Author Topic: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910  (Read 1228 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 04:39:52 AM »
Following along.

Nothing from 1910 should be under copyright (although if it has a newer soundtrack that might be still under copyright). I found and watched Frankenstein (1910) on www.archive.org (along with lots of other old movies).

ProperCharlie

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 11:02:59 AM »
Following along.

Nothing from 1910 should be under copyright (although if it has a newer soundtrack that might be still under copyright). I found and watched Frankenstein (1910) on www.archive.org (along with lots of other old movies).

I've been experimenting with links to the films where they can be found, but I'm having a new problem.

Does anyone know how to link to a film, say on YouTube, and prevent the film being embedded in the post?  I'm anal enough in my formatting to just want the link and not the video itself.


MartinTeller

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2017, 11:04:27 AM »

ProperCharlie

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2017, 11:07:48 AM »

pixote

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2017, 01:30:09 PM »
Rien n'est impossible a l'homme was robbed! Will man never beat back the sea?!

(Just chiming in to say this continues to be great reading.)

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

ProperCharlie

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2017, 04:04:01 AM »
In the Border States dir. D.W. Griffith
Biograph Company
USA





Bracket Record:
  • Round 1. bt The Indian Land Grab
Winners' Bracket:
  • Round 2 bt. Max Embarrassed   
  • Round 3 bt. Thunderbolt
  • Round 4 bt. Les Ficelles de Leontine
  • Round 5 lost to The Abyss

Losers' Bracket:
  • Round 9 bt. Tilly the Tomboy Visits the Poor
  • Round 10 bt. Princess Tarakanova
  • Round 11 bt. The History of a Butterfly: A Romance of Insect Life
  • Round 12 bt. The Sanitarium
  • Losers' Bracket semi-final bt. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Losers' Bracket pre-final lost to The Unchanging Sea

Link to film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoOIdF8JtfI#no

War.  No matter how just the cause, those left behind only have hope and prayer.  Unless they're a resourceful young daughter living a carefree existence in the the land being fought over by the two sides, in which case the power of your innocence can prevent some of the worst war crimes.

This was the 14th seed, and so far the initally lowest ranked film to make it this far, triumphing after a lengthy run through the higher reaches of the loser's bracket.  To get that far I was mostly going on the still used to signfy the picture on Letterboxd which demonstrated some cinematographic wonder to be found here.  There was less than I thought. 




This is a simple tale of doing the right thing, earning good karma and being repaid.  Where it excels is in the clarity of the story-telling and how well-paced it is. It relates feelings that we can all empathise with.  The concern of the family of the solider and the perils of war.  It treats both sides of the conflict fairly even-handedly, which given this D.W. Griffith directing a picture about the American Civil War, did surprise me.  Overall thought, this is standard 1910 Biograph fare.  A Civil War setting and the power of innocence. 




Cinematically it's a single, fixed camera making the fourth wall of a simple room set, fixed focus, big depth of field, one-reel of film.  There are exterior shots, and there is the scene overlooking a river valley which does look relatively gorgeous with some good angles and nice composition.  After 'The Unchanging Sea' it seems to me that D.W. Griffith put effort into having one or two of these more visually-grabbing landscape shots with the much of the rest being mostly gesticulating. Often in rooms.  He's not alone in this approach in 1910.




The star of this is Gladys Egan playing the young daughter.  Fresh from playing the young Mary Pickford in The Unchanging Sea, it's her acting that gives this film character and sets it apart from the majority of Griffith's output.  While the adults use their actorly training to demonstrative and melodramatic effect, Gladys is a whole lot more raw and a little more naturalistic.  She is the calm heart of the picture teaching us the lesson that one good turn earns another.  Yes, it's a naive outlook but it's certainly a message that gets pumped into the populous loads, especially in the first half of the 20th Century.  This is a charming way to receive your socially approved dose of positivity and clean morals.

Notes on the Vanquished:
  • The Indian Land Grab is an interestingly cross-cultural Western/Sitting Bull goes to Washington story that seemingly didn't play well at the time.  Maybe it's because the Native Americans are the heroes, the white politicans are the bad guys and a white woman has the audacity to fall for the young leader who goes to the seat of US power to put his tribe's case.
  • Max Embarrassed is the first Max Linder film in the bracket we've come across.  Max was immensely popular at the time, creating comic single-reelers playing himself as the hero getting into all sorts of situations with slapstick for good measure.  He was the forerunner to Chaplin and Keaton and Lloyd.  In this one his romantic approaches to a young woman are strongly rebuffed... 
  • Thunderbolt is a two/three reel tale of cattle theiving and criminality from Jack Gavin and Australia.  Interesting for having an anti-hero as the lead character.
  • Les Ficelles de Leontine from Pathé Studios in France is European slapstick/mayhem film in which a young women causes outrageous mischief and chaos for delight of the watching public.
  • Tilly the Tomboy Visits the Poor is very much exactly the same film only British.  Hopefully there will be a review of this later on in the marathon.
The rest all have reviews coming.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 04:23:20 AM by ProperCharlie »

ProperCharlie

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Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2017, 03:18:52 AM »
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz dir. Otis Turner
Selig Polyscope Company
USA






Bracket Record:
  • Round 1. bt Viaggio in Caucaso e Persia
    Winner's Bracket:
    • Round 2 bt. Le bapteme de Calino
    • Round 3 bt. Le placier est tenace
    • Round 4 bt. En route
    • Round 5 bt. A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner
    • Round 6 bt. The History of a Butterfly: A Romance of Insect Life
    • Winner's Bracket semi-final lost to Frankenstein

      Loser's Bracket:
      • Loser's Bracket semi-final lost to In the Border States

      Link to film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09iHePAIZFA#no

      A wind-assisted relocation from Kansas results in a long road trip, lubrication, and ultimately the resolution of local political quibbles.  This may all have something to do with the Gold Standard depending on who you talk to.  I can't believe the person who put this up on YouTube missed the opportunity to accompany it with 'See Emily Play'/'The Scarecrow'.




      When this was made, the book it was based on was only ten-years-old and this was already the third production.  A successful stage production in 1902 followed by a ruinous attempt to bring it to the screen in 1908 as The Fairylogue and Radio Plays bankrupted L. Frank Baum.  Selig held the rights and had another go in 1910 without the approval of the now powerless Baum.  The result is this, the earliest surviving adapation, but only the second screen version of the story.





      This is a successful attempt to squeeze as much of the story as possible into a short running time.  All the familar elements that appeared in 1939 are there as well as some less familiar elements such as Toto transformed in to a giant, lion-taming dog.  The costuming in some cases is very similiar to the 1939 film.  This is likely because it comes from the original book illustrations by W.W. Denslow via the stage play and previous screen adaptation.  This has even got the arm in arm dance along the Yellow Brick Road as they head off to see the wizard.  There is some fun group dance choreography among the men in animal costumes to be seen, presumably also from the stage play.  The set design is varied and detailed, although entirely shot in a studio against painted flats, again possibly taken directly from the stage.  And that is what this resembles most; a staged version of the Wizard of Oz captured for posterity and edited down into a highlights reel. 




      The only suggestion that this wasn't all just shot on a stage is the presence of two trick scenes, both of which are good.  There's no lingering on them, instead the narrative takes precedence and the film charges on without pausing to catch its breath.  The first, the cyclone, is properly funny while later the Wicked Witch of the West (here called Momba) has a bad and very rapid reaction to water.  The star and heart of the film is Robert Z. Leonard as the scarecrow.  He appears earlier than expected, but is thereafter clowning at the centre of everything right to the end.  This is a pleasing and light-hearted way to spend 13 minutes.  It is what you want and expect from a production of The Wizard of Oz and is an essential link in the chain of productions that lead to the 1939 dawn of technicolour in Munchkinland.




      Notes on the Vanquished: 
      • Viaggio in Caucaso e Persia is a two-reel travelogue through the Caucaus mountains and northern Persia, the travelogue being one of the more common varieties non-fiction film of the time.
      • Le bapteme de Calino is yet more Euro-chaos, this time brought you by a precocious baby who refuses to be baptised.
      • Le placier est tenace is another Émile Cohl film, this one mostly live action with some effects and is essential an absurd comedy sketch stretched over 7 minutes concerning the lengths that cast of Glengarry Glen Ross should have gone to ensure closure.
      • En route is yet more Cohl (he was nearly Griffith-level prolific), the subject this time is the history of transportation culminating in those new-fangled aeroplanes and a dire and prescient warning on the catastrophe of heavy traffic. 
      The rest of the films I will cover later.[/list][/list]
      « Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 03:58:46 AM by ProperCharlie »

      ProperCharlie

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      Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
      « Reply #17 on: October 30, 2017, 04:12:17 AM »
      Birth of a Flower dir. F. Percy Smith
      Kineto Ltd.
      UK






      Bracket Record:
      • Round 1. bt Esther
      Winner's Bracket:
      • Round 2 bt. Bébé apache
      • Round 3 bt. Livet ombord i Panserbatteriet 'Herluf Troll'
      • Round 4 bt. Salomé
      • Round 5 bt. Floral Studies
      • Round 6 lost to The Unchanging Sea
      Loser's Bracket:
      • Round 11 bt. Rose o' Salem Town
      • Round 12 bt. Two Kids on a Spree in Brussels
      • Loser's Bracket semi-final lost to The Unchanging Sea

      Link to film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqW093bUjdg#no

      Flowers open with the sun.  A distinct lack of bees.




      Trick photography was a staple of cinema and it came in many different varieties.  Many of them had been pioneered by Georges Meliés in the preceeding decade.  Time-lapse photograph was even earlier than that, first being used by Meliés in 1897.  This was the first application of time-lapse photography to nature filming.  Flowers change from being static blooms to mobile creatures moving in response to light.  This one of a number of firsts in nature and scientific cinematography from this year.  It's one of the first applications of film being used as a tool of study.  Not made for an end in itself but instead to discover more about the subject in front of the lens.




      The version I watched was six minutes long although there seem to be three minute versions.  It has also been tinted, presumably to give some hint of colour to the flowers.  Each sequence is preceeded by a title explaining what you're seeing.  There's not narrative beyond that.  No attempt to put this in any context other than observing something you wouldn't normally see.  The modern appreciation of this is as milestone rather than any qualities it has in and of itself.  What is there can be me much better captured and published as animated gif in full colour.  Indeed, many of the sequences in this are available on the Internet in animated gif form.  It's also a demonstration of creative minds at work, not just think about how things can looks or represent, but how film can be used. In 1910, a lot of this type of thing was emerging from Britain, a whole 16 years before David Attenborough was born.





      Notes on the Vanquished:
      • Esther is more biblical shenanigans, this time from Louis Feuillade and Gaumont.
      • Bébé apache is also from Feuillade and Gaumont and forms part of the Bébé series.  In these, the hero is a four-year old boy who, as is by now expected for European comedy, causes havoc.  This time it's among the "Apaches" who were the Peaky Blinders of Paris in the early 20th century.  Instead of merely being slapstick for the sake of it, this one appears to have a basic plot in the Bébé is wreaking revenge on the Apaches after they attack his father.
      • Livet ombord i Panserbatteriet ‘Herluf Trolle’ is a Danish slice of life film from aboard their battleship 'Herluf Trolle', named for a 16th Century Danish naval hero.
      • Salomé is an Italian production of Oscar Wilde's play, directed by Ugo Falena.  These Italian screen productions of famous plays always have contemporaneous reviews starting 'the costumes are amazing' and this is no exception.  These ones were styled on the Aubrey Beardsley illustrations of the original 1893 edition of the play.

      ProperCharlie

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      Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
      « Reply #18 on: November 01, 2017, 04:10:52 AM »
      The Sanitarium dir. Tom Santschi
      Selig Polyscope Company
      USA







      Bracket Record:
      • Round 1. bt The Lad from Old Ireland
      Winner's Bracket:
      • Round 2 lost to Les Ficelles de Leontine
      Loser's Bracket:
      • Round 3 bt. Weihnachtstranen
      • Round 4 bt. The Indian Land Grab
      • Round 5 bt. Temporal en Barcelona (atribuido)
      • Round 6 bt. Max Embarrassed
      • Round 7 bt. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
      • Round 8 bt. Queen of Spades
      • Round 9 bt. Floral Studies
      • Round 10 bt. Rien n'est impossible a l'homme
      • Round 11 bt. The Automatic Moving Company
      • Round 12 lost to In the Border States

      Fatty Arbuckle is hungry beyond his means.  He also likes a flutter on the geegees to his fiducary disadvantage leaving him stony broke.  To remedy the situation he sets upon the idea of converting his rich Uncle's palatial residence, to which he has been granted temporary custodial duties, into a sanitarium for paying guests.  It also goes unbelievably well until a hiccough regarding a lost necklace leads to his patients recouping their fees during an emergency evacuation.  Woe is Fatty.

      And woe is me as this is one of the many reels in Selig's back catalogue that does not appear to have survived.  It's nowhere to be found and it's survival status is only listed as 'unknown'.  The above still is the only visual evidence I can find of it.  I started this ambitious bracket/marathon hybrid hoping that all the films on Letterboxd were survivors, but it appears not to be the case.  This would certainly have been one of Roscoe Arbuckle's first appearance on screen.  He started featuring in 1909 and he's already the leading man in something with the tagline 'The Best Full Reel Comedy You've Ever Seen!'  I want to see it!   :(

      Notes on the Vanquished:
      As you can see, The Sanitarium had an amazing run through the loser's bracket, knocking out several films that might have gone further as well as some films I've already remarked on. 
      • The Lad from Old Ireland is what happens when Sidney Olcott and Kalem Studios fancied a holiday in Ireland.  It concerns a young man heading in the opposite direction to seek fame and fortune and touches on the events at Tammany Hall.
      • Weihnachtstranen is the first German picture so far, and it sounds grisly.  More like a public information film from the 1970s for kids about safely crossing the road, only with tragedy, grief and resulting insanity for those who remain.
      • Temporal en Barcelona (atribuido) is more shots of the natural world, this time dramatic waves crashing along a breakwater in Barcleona.
      • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland went out relatively early, but I may get to it.  In case I don't, this was an Edison production aimed at the market for European fantasy films that were making it across the Atlantic.  It wasn't the first attempt at making an Alice picutre, but here more than in many adaptations, the lack of sound was a drawback.  None of the prose from the story makes it.  It's almost entirely visual.
      Both The Indian Land Grab and Max Embarrassed have been covered in earlier Notes on the Vanquished, while the other films have already been watched and reviews are forthcoming.
      « Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 10:06:25 AM by ProperCharlie »

      ProperCharlie

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      Re: ProperCharlie does Brackets: 1910
      « Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 04:16:24 AM »
      Toto et sa sœur en bombe à Bruxelles (Two Kids on a Spree in Brussels) dir. ?
      Pathé Frères
      France




      Bracket Record:
      • Round 1. bt The Conspiracy of Pontiac
      Winner's Bracket:
      • Round 2 bt. The House with Closed Shutters
      • Round 3 bt. La tournee des grands ducs
      • Round 4 bt. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
      • Round 5 bt. Les beaux-arts mysterieux
      • Round 6 lost to The Abyss
      Loser's Bracket:
      • Round 11 bt. The White Slave Trade
      • Round 12 lost to Birth of a Flower
      Link to film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV9w8NG3IFE#no

      Toto and his sister cause all manner of chaos on an impromptu day trip to Bru... Oh balls, it's a travelogue.




      I should have known. I should have read the signs.  Instead I just watched the first twenty seconds and thought, that looks fun...  It turns out that in this instance, what promises to be a good example of a  Euro-slapstick-innocents-cause-chaos flick is instead a framing device for a trip around Brussels.  It's well shot, lots of left-to-right (never tfel-ot-thgir) pans plus an obligatory phantom ride on top of a tram (yay!).  One for those looking to see a city as it was in 1910 only.  Though it's also my first sighting of a milk cart pulled by a dog, which is then promptly stolen by the young ones to get home.  Hooligans.




      Notes on the Vanquished:
      I have done many of these films a diservice.  I hope to I get to some of them.  For now, here are the summaries. 
      • The Conspriacy of Pontiac is the telling of a famous incident in which controversy over a cross-cultrual relationship lead to an attempted massacre of whites by Native Americans which was thwarted thanks to a tip off.  Or a least that's the way the whites (in this case Sidney Olcott and Kalem) tell it.
      • The House with Closed Shutters is a D.W. Griffith civil war tale of cowardice, a sister taking a man's place in the front lines and what their mother will do to hide the dreadful truth.  Now that I write it like that it doesn't sound bad.  Griffiths and the Civil War though...
      • La tournée des grands ducs is a case of slum tourism by Paris's well-to-dos that falls foul to a short con played by the undesirables.  Léonce Perret directs for Pathé Bros.
       
      Alice's Adventures in Wonderland I've mentioned, the others I will get to.