Blogging the silents

Coming attraction slide for Peaks of Destiny (Der Heilige Berg or The Holy Mountain, Germany 1926), from Starts Thursday!

I was doing a bit of tidying up of the links on the right-hand column, and when I came to the blogs I noticed that a number of those listed there haven’t been updated for a while. It’s a bit of a slog keeping up-to-date with a blog (believe me), but blogs can go through fallow periods and then revive, so I won’t be removing any for the links just yet.

But what I have also noticed is a number of new blogs on silent films have been turning up. And so here’s a round-up of the best of silent film blogs old (but still active) and new that you are warmly encouraged to follow.

  • Cartoons on Film
    Tom Stathes’ blog is dedicated to ‘musings, studying, and collecting of early animated film’, though it is not updated as often as it used to be.
  • Cinegraphica
    An authoritative and well-illustrated blog on early cinema technology, written in Dutch but with English translations.
  • Cine Silente Mexicano
    A scholarly blog (in Spanish) on silent cinema in Mexico, written by Luis Recillas Enecoiz.
  • The Dorothy Gish Project
    Recently-launched blog by Donna Hill on the other Gish sister, which will document the writing of a new biography.
  • Edna’s Place
    Linda Wada’s entertaining blog on Edna Purviance also covers Chaplin subjects and silent cinema in general and is consistently informative.
  • Emma Heslewood’s Blog
    Heslewood is Keeper of History at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, and her blog documents research into local filmmaker and film businessman Will Onda.
  • The Faux Charlot
    A fascinating photo blog on those around the world who have dressed up Charlie Chaplin’s ‘tramp’ character.
  • Ferdinand Von Galitzien
    Quite unique. Reviews of silents films (some familiar, some fabuously obscure) undertaken by a ‘German count’, written with insight and exquisite comic style.
  • Fisherscircle
    Media historian David Fisher blogs on early film and related media. A shame that he cannot post more often.
  • Louise Brooks Society
    Thomas Gladysz’s discursive, exhaustive blog on Louise Brooks, her films and her times.
  • Mack Sennett
    Billed as ‘A Celebration of the King of Comedy and his Studio, Films and Comedians’, knowledgeably written by Brent E. Walker, author of Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory.
  • Muy Blog
    Stephen Herbert’s admirable blog on photographer and founding father of motion pictures Eadweard Muybridge is both reportage and research in action, as new discoveries mingle with alerts to new events, publications, online resources and much more.
  • Observations on film art
    David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s blog on film art and film style is in a different league to the rest of us and is helping to rewrite how film studies can be done. Its frequent investigations into silent film subjects (often in the context of later film style) are essential reading.
  • Recanto Silente
    Good-looking general blog on silent cinema, written by David Holm, in Galician.
  • Ritrovati Restaurati Invisibli
    One of a number of authoritative blogs and websites on Italian silent cinema (all in Italian) maintained by the prodigious Teresa Antolin.
  • Silent Film Festival Blog
    The San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s blog covers silent film news in general as well as the festival and it has become an essential information source in just a short period.
  • Silent Film Music
    Silent film musician Ben Model’s entertaining blog including video blogging with reports on the festivals at which he plays.
  • Silent film music and other sounding off
    If only silent film musician Donald Sosin were able to sound off a little more often.
  • The Silent Movie Blog
    Christopher Snowden’s witty, mischievous blog draws on an extensive personal archive of stills and film journals to relate an alternative history of American silent film.
  • Silent Volume
    Engaging personal reviews of silent films by Chris Edwards.
  • Starts Thursday!
    This is a joy. Rob Byrne’s subject, the glass lantern slides that promoted coming attractions in cinemas from the silent era well into the sound era, takes a seemingly narrow subject and produces riches. Beautifully illustrated and unobtrusively knowledgeable.
  • Stummfilm-blog
    A bit quiet at the moment, but previously a very useful information source on silent film in German (the site is in German) and elsewhere.

There are many more silent film blogs, or part-silent, part-talkie blogs, than these, but these are mostly all being kept up-to-date, and they each stand out for their individual style and effective use of the blog form. If you have favourites of your own that should be added to the list, please say.

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