The Automatic Motorist is a 1911 British short silent comedy film, directed by Walter R. Booth, featuring a robot chauffeur taking an inventor and a young honeymooning couple on a wild ride around the planets and under the sea. Wikipedia
Director: Walter R. Booth
Production Company Kineto
Released online as part of the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season, ‘Automatic Motorist’ is free to watch, like 60% of content on the BFI Player site. Other highlights include The Airship Destroyer from 1909 and this brilliant film about a futuristic, monorail-strewn London from 1924.
In medieval Coventry a woman takes a naked horse ride to protest against her husbands policy of high taxation.
Director: J. Stuart Blackton
Writers: Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem), Eugene Mullin (scenario)
Stars: Julia Swayne Gordon, Robert Gaillard, Kate Price
A Cottage on Dartmoor (a.k.a. Escape from Dartmoor) is a 1929 British silent film, directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Norah Baring and Uno Henning. It was the last of Asquith’s four silent films, produced exactly on the cusp of the transition from silents to talkies in British cinema, a point which is referenced in the film itself.
Flashback story of an escape from the lonely, high-security Dartmoor Prison. A jealous barber’s assistant is enraged by the attentions that his manicurist girlfriend pays to a customer. He threatens the customer with an open razor and lands in gaol.
The Mitchell & Kenyon film company created hundreds of films in Great Britain, but their best material is their “actualities,” documenting every day life at the turn of the century. Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front is particularly captivating as the camera travels through the English beach resort town, observing the different people on holiday as it passes by. In the age where anyone can shoot a video on their phone and upload it to YouTube, it’s hard to remember just how special it is to have a record of life at this place and time, and share curious glances with people long dead.