Tag Archives: Film History

CNN’s The Movies Canadian Debut on Hollywood Suite, A Review

7 Aug

The Movies (miniseries) - WikipediaBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Canadian Debut
Now available on Hollywood Suite Network’s On Demand (please check provider) & beginning Aug 10
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The six-part CNN Original docu-series The Movies explores the movies that specifically came out of Hollywood. Although this focus drifts in later parts, each 90 minute segment (sans commercials) explores the influential films from each decade and there’s a lot! This work was released in 2019 to select markets and is making its Canadian debut on the Hollywood Suite Network next week.

Starting with the 70s (Instead of the Golden Age) as its first episode, we learn why going to the movies is important. The world has been enjoying cinema since the late 1890s with the silent film era–a time I thought was strangely not explored. Some info is offered when the film medium took off circa 1913. However, by the start of the talkies, those previous works aren’t always remembered. To explore the films from 1914 to 1969 is a vast range, and this series doesn’t explain why it’s all lumped together. The half-hour introduction explains why the people of the Depression era flocked to theatres. They wanted their daily news and escapism. Not immediately revealed was how World War II would influence the shorts offered; a lot of that material was propaganda.

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Reading Eadweard, A Movie Analysis & Review

22 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

eadweardCinecenta
University of Victoria
Nov 24 7:00 & 9:15pm
with Q&A afterwards with the filmmakers

The life and times of Eadweard Muybridge, the Godfather of Cinema is explored in this semi-biographical film. Highlights of this photographer’s experiments with studying motion at the turn of the century is the focus and through this lens, viewers see how committed he is to this art when it hasn’t been given the label by the community of critics from this era.

Muybridge (Michael Eklund) is best known for his 1868 work in capturing the beauty of Yosemite Valley. In contrast, the events that led to the court drama around his justifiable homicide of his wife’s lover perhaps made him world-famous. This case is still studied today. She’s 21 years younger than he, and at that time, not many people batted an eye at their age difference. The movie delicately balances between the events that leads to the fall of their romance. Eklund deserves major credit for conveying the gravitas that’s needed to make this character larger than life and appear emotionally burdened.

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Library of Congress: 70% of Silent Films Lost

4 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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The report by Variety and author Paul Harris certainly brings tears to my eyes as I love classic films, especially the early films by Walt Disney and Georges Méliès. As I grew to love the products from the era, I found a deep appreciation for the films out of Germany, namely The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis. While some of the best products from what I love from this era have survived to be appreciated by audiences today, there is a whole lot more that, from the sound of this article, is gone for good. I have to wonder what early animation experiments were made back then that is perhaps gone.

The news that not many silent films in their original film stock have survived to this day is not altogether surprising, but the fact that many products from other artists during this time exist anymore is all the more sad. In what this article suggests, hopefully the proposal to repatriation any film deemed “lost” can be found buried at some foreign film archive in Russia or wherever they may be located.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and hopefully, in this case, it means more than just the chemical used to make the film stock. I am hoping it means a concentrated effort in creating a call to arms to search the world’s film vaults for lost treasures (in whatever film format that they are kept in) so that it can get projected to a silver screen just one more time … or by some process to digitize the movie for preservation.

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