“Ruttmann’s visual style is considered to be more playful and impressionistic than Eggeling’s and Richter’s and produces an overall painterly feel both in technique and in the use of screen, colour and movement. Indeed, his technical methods were also painterly and would have had a definite bearing on the resulting imagery. His Opus films have been described as paintings that move in time. While Richter and Eggeling focussed on figures, forms and time relationships between visual elements, Ruttmann focussed on a more expressive visual aesthetic for his imagery. He exploited ‘movement and colour to create choreographies, where entrances and exits, collisions and complementary trajectories establish a linear, cumulative scenario or development in which new configurations, colours and shapes appear right to the last moments of the film’.” (Jennifer Valcke, Static Films and Moving Pictures: Montage in Avant-Garde Photography and Film, p173)
Director: Walter Ruttmann
A young man puts on the play “Romeo and Juliet” as a fundraiser, but has to keep a close eye on his dad, who’s had several drinks too many, and a pesky cab driver who’s determined to collect his fare.
Initial release: September 19, 1926
Director: Leo McCarey
Music composed by: Dave Knudtson
Producer: Hal Roach
Screenplay: H. M. Walker, Charles Alphin
Stars: Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy, Corliss Palmer
Our Modern Maidens is a 1929 American silent drama film directed by Jack Conway. Starring Joan Crawford in her last silent film role, the film also stars Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Anita Page. Our Modern Maidens has no audible dialog, but features a synchronized soundtrack and sound effects.
Billie (Joan Crawford) is a liberated woman of the Jazz Age. The heiress lives a carefree life, and is engaged to young diplomat Gil Jordan (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Sparks fly when she meets Glenn Abbott (Rod La Rocque) a senior diplomat she hopes can influence Gil’s diplomatic assignment. Billie denies her attraction to Glenn, but when she realizes that Gil has been involved with her friend Kentucky (Anita Page), she seeks an answer that will make all these lovers happy.
Director: Jack Conway
Writers: Josephine Lovett (story and continuity by), Marian Ainslee (titles)
Stars: Joan Crawford, Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
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In Kronberg, Ruritania, the planned wedding of Queen Regina (Seena Owen) and Prince Wolfram (Walter Byron) is halted when the prince falls in love with Patricia Kelly (Gloria Swanson), a beautiful orphan at the convent. The prince kidnaps Patricia and takes her to the palace, but the queen drives her out. After a failed suicide attempt, Patricia unwillingly allows her scurrilous aunt to marry her off to a decrepit scoundrel. Undaunted, Wolfram follows Patricia to her new home in East Africa.
Initial release: January 1, 1929 (USA)
Directors: Erich von Stroheim, Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding, Richard Boleslawski
Producers: Erich von Stroheim, Gloria Swanson, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
Screenplay: Edmund Goulding, Delmer Daves, Marian Ainslee, Paul L. Stein
Music composed by: Ugo Derouard, Adolph Tandler
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
A rare early silent movie short starring Elsa Lanchester with a cameo from Charles Laughton. Sadly, Elsa’s Buster Keaton-esque charm was never again utilised. This Ivor Montague directed/H.G.Wells scripted comedy arrived at the very tail end of the silent era and talkies were just around the corner…
As criminals assemble for a convention, a policeman investigates and is abducted. A young woman finds his whistle and blows it. The full forces of the law assemble. The confrontation between order and disorder ensues, with our heroine caught up in it.
Director: Ivor Montagu
Writers: Frank Wells, H.G. Wells (story)
Stars: Elsa Lanchester, Joe Beckett, Dorice Fordred
Charlie attempts to meet his favorite movie actress at the Keystone Studio, but does not win friends there.
Director: George Nichols
Producer: Mack Sennett
Production company: Keystone Studios
Writer: Craig Hutchinson
Stars: Charles Chaplin, Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, Peggy Pearce
There are 2 sections. The 1st is of Tolstoy’s 80th birthday at Yasnaya Polyana. It shows his wife Sofya picking flowers in the garden, his daughter Aleksandra sitting in the carriage in the white blouse, his aide and confidante, V. Chertkov, and students. It was filmed by Aleksandr Osipovich Drankov. We’re not sure of all the details within the 2nd section, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, please reach out to us if you’re interested in assisting with the Intertitle Cards’s translation.
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer (most famously, War and Peace & Anna Karenina) and is oft-considered the world’s greatest novelist. He was equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Video also features:
his wife Sofya Andreevna Tolstaya (picking flowers in the garden)
his daughter, Aleksandra L’vovna (sitting in the carriage in the white blouse)
his aide and confidante, V. Chertkov (the bald man with the beard and mustache)
his dog (a spaniel-poodle)
and his peasant students.