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|68 85%||The Wicked Darling (1919) - Aug 11, 2018
"For as much as it has all the grimy trappings of a gritty suspense picture (dive bars, dark alleys, Lon Chaney, etc.), at heart this is a pleasant and predictable little story where everyone's a colorful character. That's not to say it doesn't embrace its slummy atmosphere, nor that it leaves out its share of violent scuffles, just that the overall effect in the end is that of having spent a pleasant hour with a notably charismatic cast."
|30 42%||A Very Fine Lady (1908) - Aug 09, 2018
"Some mediocre slapstick as men get all distracted and clumsy as an attractive, well-dressed woman walks by. I vaguely remember an old Tab Cola campaign with this premise, though it involved fewer pratfalls and more soda."
|40 60%||La maison ensorcelée (1908) - Aug 09, 2018
"One of the better-known pictures from Chomon's days as Pathé's resident Méliès substitute. The tricks feel rougher than usual in their execution. Still, there's a full variety of them, and it's amusing enough. Stop motion was one of Chomon's strong suits, and those are the stand out sequences here."
|27 37%||Character Studies (1927) - Aug 07, 2018
"The 20s loved their cameo-fests, and here we get one masquerading as a vaudeville act. (It was originally made to entertain at a 1925 Pickford/Fairbanks party in Chaplin's honor). In point of fact, it's an old-fashioned trick film with big name Hollywood talent leaping in and out via jump cuts. Méliès it is not, but it is what it is. Notable as Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's first public appearance in front a camera since his 1922 acquittal. Also, a posthumous appearance by Rudolph Valentino."
|94 99%||Sunrise (1927) - Aug 07, 2018
"Murnau presents a masterclass in painterly composition and lighting with every setup, and boy does he know it. There are also fantastic moments like that one arc shot. The story told is at once monstrous and supremely silly if taken literally; for once, though, silent melodrama earns its lofty self-designation as allegory, for what we really have here is an outright medieval pageant of emotions—in all their intensity and inherent contradiction—where the better impulses win out in the end."
|32 46%||How Men Propose (1913) - Apr 05, 2018
"Simple little half-reeler where three men all propose to the same woman. One of the suitors is played by Phillips Smalley, Lois Weber's then-husband and usual working partner."
|53 72%||A House Divided (1913) - Apr 05, 2018
"A cute little comedy of misunderstandings where a likeable couple wrongly suspect each other of infidelity for flimsy reasons. Most of the appeal is down to the cast, and they're pretty fun."
|53 72%||Making an American Citizen (1912) - Apr 05, 2018
"A bizarre bit of "educational" contract work from Alice Guy's American period. Stock-comedy immigrant "Ivan Orloff" is a violent, lazy lout who beats upon his wife and treats her (quite literally) as a beast of burden. Thankfully, there is always a helpful neighbor around the corner to pummel a proper American work ethic and respect towards women into him (?!), until 6 months of incarceration finally set his priorities straight. The direction lends this all a certain archness, but still..."
|27 37%||Grand Delhi Coronation Durbar and Royal Visit to Calcutta Including Their Majesties' Arrival at Amphitheatre (1912) - Apr 05, 2018
"A particularly grandiose ceremony shot from nicer vantages than usual for the year. George V was the only "Emperor of India" to personally attend the ceremony where the nobility marked his coronation, in this, the first royal visit to India. There was also some sort of flap over the Maharaja of Baroda's behavior, which some saw as an act of protest: as seen here, he did not wear his full regalia, quickly bows only once, and turns away before leaving the dais."
|38 57%||Panorama of Calcutta (1899) - Apr 05, 2018
"What Promio did for the Lumières on the Grand Canal in Venice some three years before, someone or other does for the Warwick Trading Company on the Ganges in Varanasi. (Yes, you read that right, they misidentified the city in the title, probably because it was filmed along with some scenes in Calcutta. Oh well.) Great scenery; OK shot."