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Author Topic: Silent film from the victorian era  (Read 4338 times)
The Grand Duchess
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« on: March 21, 2007, 04:19:05 am »

Found this again tonight-  a link to a page where you can see Edison shortshttp://memory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edmvchrn.html.  These are great if you want to know how people dressed in the era of steam.
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007, 05:12:57 am »

Great find.  Grin
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5tephe
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007, 05:32:41 am »

They are beautiful!

I feel somewhat reverential watching them. You can feel the air of experimentation from behind the camera, of a man using a new technology to document an almost random string of things around him throughout his life. It is fascinating to see the topics he chose, as well as the films themselves.

Those little films show us so much about the man, as well as the time.

Thanks.
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2007, 01:24:58 pm »

My thoughts exactly, 5tephe. I feel like I'm watching something so novel and experimental. A great feat of human achievement captured in the steam coming off a train, railroad workers excited about everything that is going on.

Thank you so much for posting these, Grand Duchess.
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The Grand Duchess
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2007, 02:32:33 pm »

The various movie companies originally made what they called 'actualities'.  these were slices of everyday life, from every place that they could tote a camera.  The public was enthralled at the new technology, just as we're enthralled with the technology of the internet- they wrote songs about seeing nickelodeon moves, just as they wrote songs about driving in an automobile, talking on the telephone, and the wonders of  the telegraph.  If you look carefully, you'll see that even in early film, product placement and advertising soon made an appearance- there's a wonderful little ad for Admiral cigarettes.

People got bored of just seeing others walks walking down the street or playing with puppies, so film went from being experimental to dynamic.  The companies started making short humorous vignettes, the equivalent to sketch comedy.  They filmed vaudeville stars like the Great Sandow and Annie Oakley.  At that time the movie industry was in New York, with some filming going on in Menlo Park, NJ at the Edison laboratories.  And then finally, a real breakthrough in film; 'The Great Train Robbery', which featured dynamic sideways and forward movement, and a final scene that was enshrined by the ending of 'Good Fellas'.  It was 9 minutes long, had a simple plot, was one of the earliest westerns, and played to packed houses for months.

Whatever many of us might think of Edison, we would not have movies as we know it without him and his assistant Edwin S. Porter, who directed 'The Great Train Robbery' and other early films that included pretty much everything we associated with film- laughs, special effects, bawdy humor, action, romance, and exotic places.

http://www.iath.virginia.edu/utc/onstage/films/mv03hp.html
http://home.aol.com/mg4273/porter.htm

Some info on the first special effects wizards, the Lumiere Brothers, is here. They also made the first real movies.
http://www.cinescene.com/dash/lumiere.html
http://www.institut-lumiere.org/francais/films/1seance/accueil.html (contains early films)
http://www.victorian-cinema.net/louislumiere.htm (Louis Lumiere lived long enough to speak on television)
http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue04/reviews/lumiere.htm
http://www.archive.org/details/Levoyagedanslalune (And finally, the first science fiction epic!)
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OHebel Wring
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2007, 02:54:31 pm »

great find... I love these.

When I was in LA last, the Silent Theatre was playing "The Kid".  It was amazing.  Because the show itself was only about 20 minutes long, they prefaced it with Buster Keaton shorts including "The Boat".

I really love the silent film stuff.  Look forwards to our brassgoggles field trips there!
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2007, 12:46:14 am »

Good find. Most of you probably know this but in 1910 the first "Frankenstein" movie was made,. It was directed by J. Searle Dawley, with the involvement of Thomas Edison. In 1912 Bram Stoker died. I often wonder if he got to see the first horror film ever made.



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The Grand Duchess
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2007, 01:01:10 am »

I don't know if Stoker got to see it- but you can.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3076844987926952949&q=edison+frankenstein
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phineas sheridan
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2007, 03:44:36 am »

that link is wonderful!!
didn't know there were such treasures on google vid.

d
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The Grand Duchess
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2007, 03:57:42 am »

Here's a short Edison film on Youtube.
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5tephe
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 03:28:23 am »

Duchess- you are a living WONDER!

I hereby nominate the Grand Duchess for the title of Steampunk Forum Ocularogram-Archive-Mistress-Extraordinaire!
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The Grand Duchess
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2007, 03:31:34 am »

'Tis nothing.  I just have patience and a love of doing research on the fly.
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The Grand Duchess
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 03:40:55 am »

http://www.movieflix.com/genre_list.mfx?genre=Silent

I just found this one- some of the movies are free and some require a small fee.  Let me know how it works.
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