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March Project: 7 Before 1930 
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Post March Project: 7 Before 1930
February is about to close and so comes the time for another arbitrary project: 7 films, all feature length (using the AMPAS definition of 40 or more minutes) that were made before 1930. Given there are 31 days to watch 7 movies, this should be a relatively easy goal to reach. Feel free to join in, make a recommendation or two. Why not have a drink? March is the month for silent movies! And early sound films.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:27 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
I'll try. Kid's baseball season kicks off in March, so 7 may be difficult. I have a huge gap of almost no Buster Keaton and Douglas Fairbanks that needs to be addressed.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:20 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Should be doable, especially since many of these movies are short. Although, I did only get 1 of the 5 done for February, so I might be full of bunk.

For anyone interested, Netflix doesn't have any Chaplin available to stream (although with Criterion releasing his stuff, I'm sure Hulu does), but they have a bunch of Keaton, Murnau, two from Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin and Strike), and Metropolis from Lang.

Mark - have you seen Man With A Movie Camera? If not, that's my recommendation. I saw it with live musical accompaniment a year or two ago and it was one of the best theaterical experiences I've ever had. It's fascinating, energetic, and feels full of discovery at what the medium is capable of. It put me on a movie high for a solid week.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:01 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
With so many silents (including Chaplin) on youtube, this is doable. I have planned on checking all Hitchcock features and his first films will go well with this thread.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:39 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
I quietly did the February project, albeit I did it by preparing for the Oscars. (I suppose there are worse reasons to watch films from different countries.) With no Oscars to prepare for this month, I think I'll be able to join in this one. I'll challenge my friend to do it with me.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:45 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Yes, I'm in. Finally some motivation to watch Man With A a Movie Camera and Intolerance. I think both of those are streaming on Netflix.

Greed is another probability, and I'm sure Keaton and Lloyd will get some time too.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:51 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Blonde Almond wrote:
Yes, I'm in. Finally some motivation to watch Man With A a Movie Camera and Intolerance. I think both of those are streaming on Netflix.

Greed is another probability, and I'm sure Keaton and Lloyd will get some time too.


Same exact thinking: Man With a Movie Camera, some Keaton and Lloyd. Something with Clara Bow. Maybe Intolerance (though the running time of 16 years, 11 months and 1 minute is daunting) though definitely not Greed - it's 16 years, 11 months and 1 minute longer than Intolerance.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:22 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
I'd like to add some Lloyd in too. I've seen exactly zero of his movies. Anyone have any recommendations?


Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:44 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
PeachyPete wrote:
I'd like to add some Lloyd in too. I've seen exactly zero of his movies. Anyone have any recommendations?


Personal favorites are Girl Shy and Why Worry?, and Safety Last! is justly famous.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:42 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Ewwwww movies before 1930

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:55 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
JamesKunz wrote:
Ewwwww movies before 1930


Yeah but some of them might have bare boobs, James. Boobs! James!

Boobs.

(.Y.)

At least that's all I see when I see the words pre-Hays Code.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:27 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Mark III wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Ewwwww movies before 1930


Yeah but some of them might have bare boobs, James. Boobs! James!

Boobs.

(.Y.)

At least that's all I see when I see the words pre-Hays Code.


Sboob! (It's "boobs" backwards and is fun to say)

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:10 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Already watched Faust, Strike and the two parts of Die Nibelungen the past couple days. Four down. Die Nibelungen is great.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:50 pm
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
MGamesCook wrote:
Already watched Faust, Strike and the two parts of Die Nibelungen the past couple days. Four down. Die Nibelungen is great.


This guy's post reminded me of something that would be very helpful: if you remember, please tell the means by which you saw each movie next to the title. It's a quick reference for everyone and will me, others to allow things to YouTube favorites, Netflix favorites and the like.

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:12 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Unless those means happen to be something less than legal. Strike has several uploads on youtube. I have Faust on DVD, Nibelungen on bluray, but those are both on youtube as well. Nibelungen is entirely yellow-tinted.

I will say that I spent nearly an hour the other day trying to find the best version of Nosferatu. There are so many crappy musical accompaniments to that thing. Gothic industrial mix? Seriously? Finally I found the one I grew up watching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcUrendT_sU

Image Entertainment DVD, released in 2000. Doubt there's much chance for a bluray, but it's the best version.


Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:26 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
My knowledge of old cinema is almost non-existent (you could say the same for my knowledge of 21st century for that matter), but a pal of mine professes to enjoying Buster Keaton's romps after he's sank a beer or two.

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:07 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
JamesKunz wrote:
Mark III wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Ewwwww movies before 1930


Yeah but some of them might have bare boobs, James. Boobs! James!

Boobs.

(.Y.)

At least that's all I see when I see the words pre-Hays Code.


Sboob! (It's "boobs" backwards and is fun to say)


I can write 'boobs' on a calculator.

PM me and I'll tell you how ;)

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:09 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
#1 - I Don't Want To Be A Man (Ernst Lubitsch, 1918)

Being the adventures of Ossi Oswalda, irrespresible girl who wants to smoke, play poker, drink and generally live it up; being under the watch of a governess isn't much fun and when her uncle goes away on business, things get more stifling when a new guardian shows up to impose a stricter code of conduct. Ossi dons a wig, a suit, and a spectacular top hat and goes about town to taste the sweet freedom of being a man. As implied by the title, there are some difficulties.

Ossi (Bacon number of 3) is about as amusing as it gets: all manic energy directed into a ridiculous role. She's good, in other words. Also interesting is the film's toying with what amounts to a homosexual attraction between the guardian and Ossi, The Girl as Man Wearing Top Hat. The end of the film, inevitable as it is, raises some further questions about tolerance and what a silent movie comedienne is willing to put up with in order to make a relationship with her bisexual guardian work. What's most clear is Lubitsch's trenchant socio-political point: the Germans who weren't fighting in World War I were top hatted homosexuals and little manic girls. It's buried so deep in the film's subtext that it's not even there.

I gave it a 2/5 on Netflix. Do with that what you will. Which is nothing.

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Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:33 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
Also, for those who aren't aware, many silent movies can be streamed and/or downloaded for free from:
https://archive.org/details/silent_films

This is how I just acquired Broken Blossoms.

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Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:43 am
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Post Re: March Project: 7 Before 1930
PeachyPete wrote:
I'd like to add some Lloyd in too. I've seen exactly zero of his movies. Anyone have any recommendations?


Safety Last! is the only one I've seen, but it's a pretty safe bet. Criterion is releasing a new edition of The Freshman later this month, so I'll probably keep on eye on TCM to see if they show it at some point.

Speaking of pre-1930s Criterions, Lonesome is one worth checking out for the purposes of this thread. Here's what I wrote about it last September:

Quote:
Lonesome - Paul Fejos’ 1928 film has quietly built up a reputation since its original release among those fortunate enough to see it, but it had never been made widely available for home viewing until a release by the Criterion Collection in 2012. The release highlights a film that is simple in its intent but still holds a good deal of value. Essentially a straightforward romance, the film follows a man and a woman, both living alone in New York City, who individually decide to take a break from their daily work routines to spend an afternoon at Coney Island. Fejos sharply contrasts the daily drudgery of the New York work routine/adult lifestyle with the youthful energy of Coney Island, where responsible men and women can reclaim some of the carefree joy and exuberance of their childhood, if only for a short while (surprisingly, the filmmakers never shot any material in New York). For a film from the later years of the silent period, Lonesome feels a little ahead of its time, with the inclusion of some surprisingly-experimental flourishes. The early scenes unfold at a rapid pace, with the work routines of the two characters complementing each other, each of them bombarded by the monotony of their occupations (the film juxtaposes the woman, who works as a telephone operator, with the faces of the many people with whom she is communicating). Elsewhere, three dialogue scenes were added to capitalize on the success of The Jazz Singer in 1927, and the film also includes brief splashes of color, done the old-fashioned way, by hand over individual frames. The Criterion release uses a later French print as its source, and while it will probably never be known whether the print was truly accurate to the filmmakers’ original intentions, what remains onscreen has a unique life of its own.

This will be the point where I reveal myself as something of a philistine regarding silent film. With only a few exceptions (mainly Chaplin), I’ve never been able to completely invest into a silent film. Instead, I tend to view them from a more detached perspective, usually more focused on the filmmaking details or the history of its making than the narrative or whatever emotions the filmmakers are attempting to evoke. Lonesome is one of the few silent films I’ve seen that bucks that trend. While there is a brief orientation period to the storytelling methods of silent cinema, the narrative quickly gets its hooks in you. It’s a simple story, but that’s not a problem when the story is told so well. When the two potential lovers break away from their daily work routines for an afternoon of entertainment and joviality, there is a palpable energy that rises up in the film. When the couple is separated after a harrowing rollercoaster ride, there is genuine tension as to whether or not they will find each other again amidst the overwhelming crowds. And when the film starts to come to a close, there is a nice ironic twist that ends everything on an incredibly satisfying note. Lonesome shouldn’t be viewed as a relic of the silent times; it’s a film that still has the capacity to entertain and inspire, 85 years since its original release. 8/10.

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