Gallery of Mastheads

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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSun Dec 02, 2012 4:13 pm

What a nice surprise, Mike. Thanks!

Marxist references to Christmas:

Groucho to Harry Woods in Monkey Business, when the latter brandishes his gun:

"Cute, isn't it? Santa bring it for Christmas? I got a fire engine!"

At the Circus:
As Chico & Harpo tries to do some detective work around the sleeping bunk of Nat Pendleton, Harpo suddenly becomes Santa Claus and rings a bell loudly (the traditional Harpo way of "keeping quiet").
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Dec 31, 2012 8:39 pm

Image

Who's this rather outré looking bird? If you saw La Feu Matthias Pascal on TCM, you know it's Ivan Mozzhukhin/Mosjoukine, one of the major European stars of the era who has, however, until now never received the place he deserves in the cinema firmament— somewhere between Jannings as a thespian, Nijinsky as a visual performer, and Valentino as a sex symbol. Okay, he seems a bit overripe to modern tastes in stills— more like Valentino crossed with Mischa Auer. But that's the point; we haven't gotten to see his films, so who knows what effect he really had on audiences? Two decades of stardom in two different countries speaks for itself.

The leading performer of pre-Revolution Russian cinema, he became the center of a group of White Russian exiles who made big-budget spectacles and the occasional avant-garde work in France in the 20s, then faded into obscurity as sound came in and died in 1939, of tuberculosis, or maybe drink. (Meanwhile, back in the USSR, it was footage of Mozzukhin's face that Lev Kuleshov used to demonstrate his editing theories.) David Shepard and Flicker Alley are finally affording us the opportunity to see some of these films, first with the blu-ray release of Matthias Pascal this month, then a box set of some of his other 20s work later this year. (He's also in some of the VHS early Russian titles that Milestone released many moons ago, and Grapevine has his one, unsuccessful Hollywood film, 1927's Surrender— for which he was forced to undergo plastic surgery which diminished his exotic looks.)

So he's been more visible than many— but few in America, at least, knew that they should be seeking him out. Here's the thread on Matthias Pascal from a few weeks back (you'll see why it's named for another film).

One more interesting note— the novelist Romain Gary, whose mother was a Lithuanian stage actress of the time, claimed that Mosjoukine was his real father... and looking at him you can believe it.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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bobfells

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Dec 31, 2012 8:55 pm

Mike, an excellent choice and the photo you selected has a contemporary look to it.

Here's a screen cap from MICHAEL STROGOFF (1926):

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greta de groat

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Dec 31, 2012 10:54 pm

Woo hoo!

greta
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 2:04 am

Mike Gebert wrote:(Meanwhile, back in the USSR, it was footage of Mozzukhin's face that Lev Kuleshov used to demonstrate his editing theories.)


Many of you will have read Truffaut's Hitchcock interview book, where Hitch names Kuleshov and that footage as an inspiration on the shots of James Stewart regarding his neighbors in Rear Window.

In a TV interview clip (anyone know the original source?), Hitch himself plays the "voyeur" in a segment used as illustration:

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 5:53 am

As usual, my first guess -- Could that be El Brendel cast in a serious role? -- was wrong.

Bob
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 10:20 am

Woot, very nice.
Fred
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Ann Harding

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 11:04 am

Great choice, Mike! :) I absolutely adore Mosjoukine and his protean talent that made him equally at ease in tragedy and comedy. I don't think his looks have aged that much really. Just look at his Julien Villandrit in La Maison du Mystère:
Image
There are more stills and screencaps of Ivan on my blog.
Anyway, we can thank warmly David Shepard for releasing those fabulous Albatros pictures. Something the French cinémathèque should have done years ago...and still hasn't done it (and won't).
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 1:07 pm

Is Flicker Alley planning on releasing Kean, and the other Albatros titles, in the near future ????? Glorious films, magical central performer.
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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greta de groat

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 1:40 pm

Ann Harding wrote:Great choice, Mike! :) I absolutely adore Mosjoukine and his protean talent that made him equally at ease in tragedy and comedy. I don't think his looks have aged that much really. Just look at his Julien Villandrit in La Maison du Mystère:
Image
There are more stills and screencaps of Ivan on my blog.
Anyway, we can thank warmly David Shepard for releasing those fabulous Albatros pictures. Something the French cinémathèque should have done years ago...and still hasn't done it (and won't).


Thanks for the link to your great blog post. I'm fascinated by him as well, and am eagerly awaiting the Albatros set (thanks to David S. as well!)

Does anybody know if the Mosjoukine documentary is available on video? (better yet, available with English subtitles)

greta
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 3:30 pm

I should have pulled together the info on the releases that David Shepard has sprinkled around here, but here it is.

The Late Matthias Pascal comes out January 15 on blu-ray; pre-order it here.

Sometime in the future...

David Shepard wrote:The Flicker Alley DVD release will contain five sparkling Albatros features:
FEU MATHIAS PASCAL (Marcel L'Herbier, 1926, with Mosjoukine; tinted print, large-orchestra score by Timothy Brock)
GRIBICHE (Jacques Feyder, 1926, with Jean Forest and Francoise Rosay; tinted, small-orchestra score by Mont Alto)
KEAN (1923, Ivan Volkoff with Mosjoukine, b&w, orchestra score by Robert Israel)
LE BRASIER ARDENT (1923, Mosjoukine, with Mosjoukine and Nathalie LIssenko, tinted, score by Neil Brand)
LES NOUVEAUX MESSIEURS (1928, Jacques Feyder, small-orchestra score by Antonio Coppola)


There will be a blu-ray set containing the four titles that are NOT La Feu Matthias Pascal.

David Shepard also wrote:Probably late this year or early next year. Lots of work to be done.

To be followed at a decent interval by a separate release:
LA MAISON DE MYSTERE (1922, Volkoff with Mosjoukine, serial in approximately seven hours, score by Neil Brand).


Somewhat later, David Shepard wrote:I'm guessing spring for the DVD set.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 01, 2013 3:35 pm

As I have not yet gone Blue I'll have to wait
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostWed Jan 02, 2013 12:25 am

Ooh, me likey this one! Great way to start the year!
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostWed Jan 02, 2013 6:18 am

greta de groat wrote:Does anybody know if the Mosjoukine documentary is available on video? (better yet, available with English subtitles)

greta


Yes the documentary is available as a bonus on a DVD of Father Sergius available in France. Click here (no subs though). BTW I found this documentary a complete disaster in terms of construction and narrative. The authors had all the clips and documents necessary to make a brillant film, but they flunked it. The voice over is terrible. It sounds like somebody reading the phonebook. And after watching it, I still didn't have a clue what kind of an actor Mosjoukine was. They never give the title of the clips they show. That documentary is only interesting if you know already most of Mosjoukine films and life. Then you can pick up some informations which are not highlighted properly...
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greta de groat

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostWed Jan 02, 2013 4:27 pm

Oh, i'm sorry to hear that. Is this the source of the talkie Mosjoukine clips that are on YouTube? They seem like clips of clips. Still, Father Sergius is a great film, so might pick it up anyway. Thanks!

greta
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostWed Jan 02, 2013 4:55 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:I should have pulled together the info on the releases that David Shepard has sprinkled around here, but here it is.

The Late Matthias Pascal comes out January 15 on blu-ray; pre-order it here.

Sometime in the future...

David Shepard wrote:The Flicker Alley DVD release will contain five sparkling Albatros features:
FEU MATHIAS PASCAL (Marcel L'Herbier, 1926, with Mosjoukine; tinted print, large-orchestra score by Timothy Brock)
GRIBICHE (Jacques Feyder, 1926, with Jean Forest and Francoise Rosay; tinted, small-orchestra score by Mont Alto)
KEAN (1923, Ivan Volkoff with Mosjoukine, b&w, orchestra score by Robert Israel)
LE BRASIER ARDENT (1923, Mosjoukine, with Mosjoukine and Nathalie LIssenko, tinted, score by Neil Brand)
LES NOUVEAUX MESSIEURS (1928, Jacques Feyder, small-orchestra score by Antonio Coppola)


There will be a blu-ray set containing the four titles that are NOT La Feu Matthias Pascal.

David Shepard also wrote:Probably late this year or early next year. Lots of work to be done.

To be followed at a decent interval by a separate release:
LA MAISON DE MYSTERE (1922, Volkoff with Mosjoukine, serial in approximately seven hours, score by Neil Brand).


Somewhat later, David Shepard wrote:I'm guessing spring for the DVD set.



Thanks Mike.
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jan 31, 2013 10:24 pm

Image

When I had the idea of honoring a silent movie Lincoln, it seemed inevitable that the most recent cinematic one was on the verge of winning the Oscar for Best Picture; that's not so true now (but there's no silent version of Argo) and, unfortunately, the movie this one came from, which at that point you could see at the George Eastman House site, has since ceased to be available online, as this thread discusses. In any case, though, it seems a timely moment to note the most frequently cinematized president; this Lincoln is George Billings, famous almost exclusively for playing Lincoln, most notably in a once-celebrated 1924 film called The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln, which won the most important early film prize, the Photoplay Medal of Honor. (It's lost in its entire form, but Eastman House has two two-reel-ish educational films that were made from it; see this thread.) Though if you've seen him, it's most likely in a more accessible and popular film— Raymond Griffith's Hands Up! (It also looks like he beat Walter Huston to the title of first talkie Lincoln, in a Pathe sound short in 1929.)

Anyway, there have been lots of screen Lincolns, including Joseph Henabery in The Birth of a Nation, Charles Edward Bull (another whose credits are entirely Lincolns) in The Iron Horse, Ralph Ince and Francis Ford both in series of shorts in the teens, Walter Huston for Griffith (just reissued by Kino), John Carradine in a truly godawful scene with Jimmy Stewart in Of Human Hearts, Fonda and Massey in Young Mr. Lincoln and Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Charles Middleton as an actor who walks around in Lincoln costume all the time for pure surreal effect in Stand-In (probably modeled on Frank McGlynn Sr., who played him all through the 30s), and on and on to the present day— when, of course, the definitive Lincoln was portrayed by Rex Hamilton.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Feb 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Great idea for a masthead! I always loved the Police Squad opening with "Rex Hamilton". I just won an auction for a George Billings photo from this film. I'll post it when I get it in a few days.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Feb 02, 2013 7:03 pm

Image
Here's George A Billings with Nell Craig in The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 10:22 pm

Image

Bet you can name the character... but not the "actor." The movie, of course, is Nanook of the North by Robert Flaherty, coming out in a new edition in a week or so from Flicker Alley. The "actor," a fair description since he was acting out the life of his ancestors more than his own, was named Allakariallak, and though the publicity would later claim he had starved to death during a bad hunting season the next year, it seems the truth is that tuberculosis claimed him.

A strong case could be made for Flaherty as the director whose reputation has fallen more than any other (since it was once so very high). The epitome of the genuinely independent filmmaker, making movies about real stuff rather than those fake Hollywood stories, he was praised by anti-Hollywood-minded critics, landing films on both the first Sight & Sound poll and the Cinematheque Belgique survey in 1952, and guaranteed a spot in Andrew Sarris' pantheon in The American Cinema in 1968. But in fact by then a new style of documentary filmmaking had appeared— cinema verite— which would make the old, artistic and semi-fictionalized style Flaherty pioneered out of date. Even as early as the film society days of the 1970s, Flaherty was becoming more rarely shown— I've seen Nanook and Louisiana Story at screenings once each, but only ever saw Man of Aran in the blurry video copy they show every night for tourists... at the heritage center on Inishmore. So I'm curious to give Flaherty his best shot with a superior video version.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Mar 01, 2013 4:47 am

I've seen Man of Aran in a fine 16mm and it is a visually beautiful film. Unfortunately Flaherty manipulated and recreated things so much that you can't really call it a documentary.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Mar 01, 2013 5:46 am

Well, you see, Frank, that's one of the points Mike was making. You've grown up so thoroughly in another style of documentary that you think anything else is weird. Plus Nanook is in black and white and silent. Ew!

While I may not care for Flaherty's work -- last seen more than thirty years ago, so a revisit with good prints is reasonable -- there's little doubt that Flaherty was different and exciting in his day and enormously influential. All those films that Powell directed about weird people living in odd corners of Britain owe a lot to Flaherty.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Mar 01, 2013 7:36 am

boblipton wrote:Well, you see, Frank, that's one of the points Mike was making. You've grown up so thoroughly in another style of documentary that you think anything else is weird. Plus Nanook is in black and white and silent. Ew!
Bob



Bob- I'm 56. I missed black and white films, but I grew up in an era when black and white television was still normal.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Mar 01, 2013 7:45 am

I'm pretty sure Frank/Eric doesn't go ewww at such things, but Flaherty is in the odd position of having once been synonymous with a word ("documentary") which now implies things he doesn't aim to live up to.

If you want Flaherty's heirs, you could argue it's less the "serious" makers of a Hoop Dreams or a Waiting For Superman, than the guys who make sometimes manipulated, definitely camera-conscious reality shows like Ice Road Truckers. But there was definitely an impulse toward capturing artistic beauty in real life in that generation of documentary makers— Flaherty, Grierson, Ruttmann and yes, Riefenstahl— that cinema verite rebelled against and kind of won out over in the end.

Not that the other has gone away...

If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSun Mar 31, 2013 9:11 pm

Image

Has any movie been a better gateway drug for old movies than King Kong? This is probably a guy thing— for gals I guess the answer would have been Gone With the Wind around the same time. But Kong's ubiquity in reissue and TV showings, and its uniqueness— a non-stop action movie filled with things you basically never saw anywhere else in movie history (yes, there's The Lost World and Mighty Joe Young, but still), its status as a fully realized world of the imagination (it is as much a story of obvious toys come to ferocious life as it is an attempt at faking realism with miniatures), have given it a grip on kids-of-all-ages' imaginations with few rivals, even after at least two (if not many more unofficial) remakes.

Anyway, it had its east and west coast premieres in March 1933 but seems to have gone into general release 80 years ago this month. I picked this image because for once, Fay Wray was underplaying it and Robert Armstrong was the one overdoing it.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Apr 01, 2013 8:02 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Image

Has any movie been a better gateway drug for old movies than King Kong? This is probably a guy thing— for gals I guess the answer would have been Gone With the Wind around the same time.


Mine was The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow, make of that what you will. Good masthead, although my first thought was "that's what I look like watching Jolson's films."
Fred
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Apr 01, 2013 10:00 am

Frederica wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:Image

Has any movie been a better gateway drug for old movies than King Kong? This is probably a guy thing— for gals I guess the answer would have been Gone With the Wind around the same time.


Mine was The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow, make of that what you will. Good masthead, although my first thought was "that's what I look like watching Jolson's films."


I liked King Kong way better than Gone with the Wind, but my favorites were Duck Soup and Dracula.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Apr 01, 2013 12:05 pm

I think my gateway drug was marathons of the Andy Hardy movies on rainy Sunday afternoons. From the ridiculous to the sublime ...

This masthead just cries out for a caption competition. "Oh god - it's not the Victor Fleming version, it's the Larry Semon !!!"
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Apr 01, 2013 12:22 pm

Brooksie wrote:
This masthead just cries out for a caption competition. "Oh god - it's not the Victor Fleming version, it's the Larry Semon !!!"


"Oh No - it's the porn version - King *ong!"
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Big Ape-ril 1st Musical Announced ♩ ♫ ♬ ♭♮ ♯

PostMon Apr 01, 2013 1:01 pm

FrankFay wrote:
"Oh No - it's the porn version - King *ong!"

"Oh No : Part Two - it's the musical version - Cing Cong © "

(For horror/fantasy fans fans,
Cing Cong © would be pronounced with hard "C"s , as if "King Kong";
For musical fans,
Cing Cong © would be pronounced with soft "C"s , as if "Sing Song")
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