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WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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MichiganJ
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » July 16th, 2012, 9:05 am

This weekend I finally got to see Louise Brooks on the big screen in Pandora's Box. As many times as I've seen the film, it really was a new experience. And, of course, Louise didn't disappoint.

There's always something new to see in how Pabst tells the story. This time, for me, was how he physically separated Dr. Schön from his fiancée by placing some backstage scenery between them when she first sees Lulu.

In regards to Lulu--and Louise, herself--it's fascinating how she commands the screen, demanding our attention as much as Lulu demands the attention of everyone in her proximity. At least early on. Have you noticed that in the film's second segment, the one on the ship, that Lulu does not seem to have the same allure as she had earlier? (Except for Countess Geschwitz, who seems as smitten as ever). None of the man are throwing themselves at Lulu, and, in fact, are either ignoring her or scheming to either turn her over to the police or sell her outright (and the buyer doesn't even want to meet the price!) Is this because Lulu has a different hairstyle? One in which she doesn't have her trademark bangs? Without her bangs, Brooks looks entirely different--still stunning, but she doesn't own the screen nearly as much as in the first sequences. Fortunately for us (and, perhaps, unfortunately for Lulu), the bangs return for the final segment in London, and Brooks, once again, commands the screen.

A favorite film of mine was immeasurably better in 35mm on the big screen.
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CineMaven
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » July 16th, 2012, 8:21 pm

I don't have the movie thoroughly memorized, not having seen it many times over. I did enjoy it though. Tell me, was there something in the plot that made her attractive with the men...knowing that she can be bought like a slab of Virginia ham? Or was it really ( like Samson ) the different hairstyle that caused the loss of her prowess. POSSIBLE SPOILER: ( Is this the film where she meets Jack the Ripper? )

Sounds like you had a great time watching this classic on the silver screen. I think ALL movies should be seen on the big screen. That's why I'll be heading over to the Film Forum to catch some Universal films.

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MichiganJ
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » July 17th, 2012, 2:35 pm

CineMaven wrote:POSSIBLE SPOILER: ( Is this the film where she meets Jack the Ripper? )

POSSIBLE SPOILER
Yes, Pandora's Box is where she meets Jack. One of the unfortunate things about the print shown was that the opening credits listed Gustav Diessl as playing "Jack the Ripper" instead of just "Jack" as other prints do. (Kinda gives things away even before the film starts.) The credits also provided a description of each character, calling Schigolch someone who "Pretends to be Lulu's father," when one of the fascinating things about the film is that his character is never clearly defined.
END SPOILER
CineMaven wrote:I think ALL movies should be seen on the big screen. That's why I'll be heading over to the Film Forum to catch some Universal films.

I'd love to see more classics on the big screen, so when shown locally, I'm generally there, supporting them. For Pandora's Box, however, I mentioned to my wife that it was playing up in Chicago, never thinking that she would say ' so let's go'. I'm sure all the folks on this forum wouldn't hesitate to drive three hours to see a favorite film on the big screen, so when my wife suggested we go, I got out my keys. (The drive was indeed three hours. Unfortunately, added to that three hours was--and I'm not exaggerating-- an additional hour and a half sitting in traffic mere blocks from the theater. It was so bad that the nice British Lady voicing the GPS got tired of saying "Do make a right turn in point two miles" and instead sang her own rendition of Carole King's "It's too Late, Baby." Anticipating traffic, I'd given us four hours to do the journey. Thank goodness for the Central Time Zone change, which gave us an additional hour. We made the curtain with minutes to spare. Oh, and I lost three pounds).
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 17th, 2012, 3:58 pm

To watch "Pandora's Box" (1929) on a big screen....Only in my dreams!! I loved th film watching it on a TV set....I only can imagine what it would be on the big screen. Louise Brooks looks so fresh, modern and lively in this film. One of the best Silents I have seen.

Kevin....I commend you for driving 3 hours to watch it. I have never driven so I can only guess how stressful it is to drive in those conditions...

I watched last Friday "Miss Pinkerton" (1932), a snappy Precoder with Joanie Blondell as a bored nurse who gets more excitement than she's looking for, when she's sent to take care of an elderly lady (Elizabeth Patterson) whose nephew committed suicide or didn't he? She also has to aid policeman George Brent. There is a sexy sequence in which our nurse gets undressed and that would be perfect for a 3rd Pre Code montage Kevin....

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby CineMaven » July 20th, 2012, 10:53 am

PRE-CODE STANWYCK TONITE

Image

LOOKING YOUNGER THAN ONE REMEMBERS - SEE THE BEGINNING OF THE LEGEND

8:00 PM SHOPWORN (1932)
A waitress falls for a wealthy young man but has to fight his mother to find happiness. Dir: Nicholas Grinde Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Regis Toomey, ZaSu Pitts. BW-66 mins, TV-G, CC.

9:15 PM TEN CENTS A DANCE (1931)
A taxi dancer with a jealous husband finds herself falling for a wealthy client. Dir: Lionel Barrymore Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Ricardo Cortez, Monroe Owsley. BW-77 mins, TV-G, CC.

10:45 PM ILLICIT (1931)
Young free-thinkers turn conventionally jealous when they marry. Dir: Archie Mayo Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, James Rennie, Charles Butterworth. BW-79 mins, TV-G, CC.

12:15 AM FORBIDDEN (1932)
On an ocean voyage, a librarian falls for a married man. Dir: Frank R. Capra Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy. BW-85 mins, TV-G.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 22nd, 2012, 10:44 pm

Today I saw the wonderful masterpiece "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" (1928) directed by the great Herbert Brenon. A sensitive, beautiful and basically simple story. A lovely young woman is adored by an elderly clown (Chaney) who raised her as his own child....but Count Ravelli (Nils Asther) also loves the young artist....Loretta Young was 14 years old when it was made and she never looked lovelier..... she looks like the image of the Virgin Mary painted during the Renaissance. The score by Scott Salinas is wondrous. Superb! He's the same man who composed the score for the 1924 "The Red Lily". (Another triumph). Why did TCM ever end the Young Composers' Competition?? Such a great initiative!

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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Ann Harding » July 26th, 2012, 3:44 am

Image
Last week-end, French TV broadcast Upstream (1927, J. Ford). This silent comedy was re-discovered in New-Zealand in 2009. It's a typical backstage comedy showing the life of vaudeville thespians in a pension. Gertie (Nancy Nash) is the partner of Jack (Grant Withers), a knife thrower. She flirts a lot with Brashingham (Earle Fox), a mediocre actor from an acting family. One day, an agent comes to the pension and Brashingham is offered to play Hamlet in London, all of a sudden. He turns out to be a success after some vigorous teaching from an elderly penniless actor (Emile Chautard). He comes back later to the pension, full of himself and is immediately put down by a kick in the pants... This short feature (around 60 min) is an amusing comedy, but it feels like a B-picture. Unlike Exit Smiling (1926, S. Taylor), the characters are not really developed properly. Reviewers of the time complained about a truncated ending. I would have been hard-pressed to recognize a Ford picture in this small comedy if I had not been told. A sweet little comedy, but no masterpiece.

feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 26th, 2012, 9:02 am

How interesting Christine. The fact that there are Channels in your country, other than TCM France, that schedule and air Silents is something very unique and valuable.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Ann Harding » July 26th, 2012, 10:33 am

Actually, we get very little silent on France 3 TV, only twice a year or something like that. And French TCM hardly ever shows silents...

feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 26th, 2012, 11:06 am

In Chile the airing of Silents is non-existent and of films released in the 1930s, very, very scarce....

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » July 30th, 2012, 11:48 am

Last night TCM showed Kiki, and what a treat that was. I'd never seen Norma Talmadge, who was delightful as the poor girl who cons her way to a job in the chorus line and then falls for the handsome manager, played by Ronald Colman. My other half, who allegedly doesn't like classic films, saw the beginning and had to watch the whole movie. Fabulous sets, amusing costumes--if our fashionistas missed this one, don't let that happen again. Superb direction by Clarence Brown, especially in the first half of the movie. Many unusual and effective shots, like the embrace between the manager and the diva (Gertrude Astor) reflected in an open transom, or the manager and the baron seeing only the dancing feet of the chorus girls under the curtain.

No wonder Norma Talmadge was a big star, given her looks, her presence, and her expertise at comedy. I don't have a good handle on the shape of Clarence Brown's career, but he was Garbo's favorite director, survived the transition to sound, and made a couple of outstanding films late in his career, The Yearling and Intruder in the Dust, which returned him to his Southern roots. Kevin Brownlow considers him the most underrated director.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » July 30th, 2012, 12:33 pm

I fell asleep during Kiki, but what I saw I enjoyed immensely. Luckily, I bought the dvd when it came out from Kino, so I can catch up on the end of the film.

This movie was a real departure for Norma, she was known for dramatic roles like Camille, Secrets and Smilin Through. But it's obvious she inherited some comic timing from her sister, Constance, because Kiki really is a winner of a comedy.

I too noticed the cinematic touches like that open transom window reflection shot. Brown did a great job of making a really engaging and quirky film. It was comic, but not knockabout.The comedy stems from Kiki getting deeper and deeper into trouble, and the way she simply shrugs and goes with it. It reminded me strongly of Ruth Gordon, if you imagined a young Ruth in those situations, this is exactly how she'd react. A VERY enjoyable film! I hope they continue showing the other Kino releases on TCM, including Within the Law starring Norma, and Constance Talmadge's double feature, Her Night of Romance and Her Sister from Paris.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby kingrat » July 30th, 2012, 2:41 pm

Thanks for the info, JF. Seems like I need that Kino box.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » July 30th, 2012, 5:14 pm

kingrat wrote:Thanks for the info, JF. Seems like I need that Kino box.

DeepDiscount is currently running a sale on Kino/Lorber titles at close to half off:

Norma's set
http://www.deepdiscount.com/dvd/KikiWithin-the-Law

Constance's set
http://www.deepdiscount.com/dvd/Her-Nig ... from-Paris
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby JackFavell » July 30th, 2012, 6:48 pm

Those are good prices!

They are well worth 16 dollars each, kingrat.


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