Last week saw the For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon, in which bloggers around the world took on the themes of Hitchcock or silent film or film preservation, or combinations thereof. Organised by organisers the blogs Self-Styled Siren, Ferdy on Films and This Island Rod, the inspiration was the recent discovery of part of The White Shadow (1923), the film on which Hitchcock served as art director and assistant director (the director was Graham Cutts), the goal being to raise funds through donations to enable the National Film Preservation Fund to put the film online with music score, for us all to enjoy.
The sum required is $15,000, and sadly as of today the campaign has raised $2,140 [Update: as of 21 May it is $6,490]. This is disappointing, especially as previous such preservation blogathons have achieved their targets. Maybe it’s the global economy; maybe people out there like reading about Hitch but don’t feel too passionately about watching Cutts; or maybe there’s simply been so much to read that they haven’t had time to donate as yet.
Well, there is still time, and with a 100 or so bloggers who signed up to the blogathon, each of which should easily be getting 150 viewers per post (and in some cases a great deal more), it only requires each reader to donate one dollar to hit the target. Do the math, then hit the Hitch to your left.
As encouragement, here’s a listing of the For the Love of Film posts which have related to silent Hitchcock or silent films in general. If I’ve missed out any relating to silent films, do let me know, and I’ll add them to the list.
- Instant 3: Silent Era Cinema – Jason Hedrick picks three very different silent films each available on Netflix: Hitchcock’s The Manxman, Sherlock Jr. and Un Chien Andalou.
- Tod Browning and Lon Chaney – Partners in Madness and Obsession – Sean Axmaker consider the preservation and restoration of films from the silent era.
- Notes on Abel Gance’s ‘Napoleon’ – Axmaker also gives his views on Abel Gance’s epic Napoleon following its screenings in the USA in March
- On Hitchcock’s Home Movies – A different sort of silent Hitchcock film is consider by Dwight Samson on the Home & Amateur site – his home movies.
- The White Shadow – Jandy Hardesty tackles the particular matter in hand – the discovery, preservation and screening of The White Shadow.
- Hitchcock’s earliest blonde – Didion at Feminéma considers the star of Hitchcock’s The Manxman and Blackmail, the Czech actress Anny Ondra.
- The Mountain Eagle – At Strictly Vintage Hollywood, Donna L. Hill looks at Hitchcock’s lost feature film, The Mountain Eagle (1926).
- Passionate Adventure – from the same blog, courtesy of Mary Mallory, the production history of The Passionate Adventure (1924), another film directed by Graham Cutts with Hitchcock’s production assistance.
- The Pleasure Garden – again from Strictly Vintage Hollywood, here Joan Myers looks thoughtfully at Hitcock’s first feature film, the programmer The Pleasure Garden (1925).
- An introduction to silent Hitchcock – The Pleasure Garden – Silent London also looks at The Pleasure Garden, as part one of a series on silent Hitchcock.
- The White Shadow and Streaming Restored Films Online – a particularly interesting post from Daniel Eagan on the challenges (and limitations) of presenting restored films online.
- On The Lodger – The End of Cinema looks at The Lodger from the point of view of Hitchcock’s later films.
- On Champagne – The End of Cinema also reviews Hitchcock’s minor work Champagne (1928).
- Buster Keaton’s Love Affair (with trains) – ignoring all this Hitchcock stuff, the Spoilers blog looks at Buster Keaton’s debt to the steam locomotive.
- No good deed goes unpunished – the prize for best blogathon post title goes to Christianne Benedict at Krell Laboratories for her study of The Pleasure Garden.
- Alfred’s Centennial – also at Krell Laboratories, guest blogger Lokke Heiss reviews the Hitchcock silents on show at the 1999 Pordenone Silent Film Festival retrospective.
- The Ring (1927) – Icebox Movies has mixed feelings about Hitch’s boxing move.
- Cannes Classics 2012: The Ring (1927) – whereas We Talk About Movies is more positive about its use of visual imagery.
- For The Love of (Women-Directed) Film – The Movie Review Warehouse calls for more women directors to be included in lists of notable films from the silent era.
- The Farmer’s Wife (1928) – The Garbo Laughs blog has a thoughtful take on one of Hitchcock’s least known films, the rural comedy The Farmer’s Wife.
- Hitchcock — Club: Royal Auto – Joe Thompson delves for mentions of the not-yet-that-famous Alfred Hitchcock in the film trade year books of the period.
- Easy Virtue (1928) – Chris Edwards at Silent Volume reviews Hitchcock’s neglected stab at filming Noel Coward.
- My Top 13 Films That Need Preservation – Dr Film’s Blog calls for the preservation of some obscure but fascinating titles, mostly silents.
So no one took up the challenge of Downhill or even Always Tell Your Wife, eh? Nor the silent Blackmail, which is the greater surprise.
You can find all of these posts listed and illustrated on The Bioscope’s sister news site courtesy of Scoop It.
Update: Here are other silent-related posts from the bloagthon that I missed:
- Restoring the Lost ‘Metropolis’ – Sean Axmaker documents the history of the ‘lost’ Metropolis and its restoration
- Seeing Double: Twins in the Silent Era – the Tumblr Brookie’s Silent Film Collection takes The White Shadow as the starting for a knowledgeable consideration of twins in silent films.