Licensing Charlie

There’s a new Charlie Chaplin site that’s just appeared, Simply Chaplin. It’s been set up by the Carlini Group, whose business is usually managing music artists. It does all the usual stuff in giving you the potted history, then ample opportunity to buy DVDs, books, music etc. Video clips and a forum are promised, but the news page is simply items from other sites which have been harvested automatically. You can send an electronic Simply Chaplin postcard, should you so wish. It also has a singularly naff cartoon image of Chaplin on its front page. It’s not the only such site out there with license to sell official Chaplin merchandise – see, for example, – quite apart from the official site, Presumably the little fellow is still reaching corners of the global market that other silent stars can’t touch.

Kansas Silent Film Festival

Kansas Silent Film Festival

Summer is not yet o’er, and yet there is already news of the silent film festivals coming up for 2008. The Kansas Silent Film Festival, for instance, takes place 22-23 February 2008, at Washburn University, Topeka, and a provisional programme has been announced:

Fri. Feb. 22, 2008, starts at 7 p.m.

A Harem Knight (20 min.) (1926) with Ben Turpin
Only Me (15 min.) (1929) with Lupino Lane
The Kid Brother (84 min.) (1927) with Harold Lloyd
—music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Sat. Feb. 23, 2008, starts at 10 a.m.

Jack the Kisser (10 min.) (1913) a film by Porter/Edison
Bad Boy (20 min.) (1925) with Charley Chase
Clash of the Wolves (78 min.) (1925) with Rin Tin Tin
—music by Greg Foreman, organ
Coney Island (20 min.) (1917) with Buster Keaton/Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle
Leap Year (56 min.) (1921) with Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle
—music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
The Mothering Heart (20 min.) (1912) directed by D.W. Griffith, with Blanche Sweet
Dancing Mothers (66 min.) (1926) with Clara Bow
—music by Marvin Faulwell, organ
The Bond (5 min.) (1918) with Charlie Chaplin
The Sinking of the Lusitania (10 min.)(1918) by Winsor McKay
The Big Parade (140 min.) (1925) with John Gilbert/Renée Adorée
—music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, & Bob Keckeisen, percussion

There will be a short break within the final feature film to include a tribute in memory of the 90th Anniversary of the end of WWI

More information, and updates, on the festival website. The festival is free and open to the public.

A little bird tells me…

…that the BBC4 series The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn is due for a repeat soon on BBC2, though this time in half-hour episodes (presumably BBC2 viewers have less of an attention span than the sturdy folk who patronise BBC4). I also hear that there isn’t going to be a DVD release of the series, presumably owing to licensing issues, but that the Albert Kahn Museum in Paris is planning to produce some DVDs of its Autochrome colour photographs (and its films?) which will be available from the museum itself next year… More news as and when I hear it.