Australian journey no. 2 – Moonrise

Number two in our series of short posts on Australia while we happen to be away in said country is a quick look at the modern silent. Australia did produce a silent feature film in 2007, Dr Plonk, directed by Rolf de Heer, of Bad Boy Bubby infamy. It’s a slapstick, black-and-white comedy about a scientist from 1907 discovering that the world will end in 2008.

But instead, I recommend trying out Moonrise. This was made in 2010 by stuents from the Griffith Film School (great name for a place producing a silent film), Griffith University, Queensland. It’s a haunting, wry piece, simply done and nicely photographed in black and white. More people should have viewed it than has been the case up to now. Do take a look.

100 silent films

Who can resist a list? Everyone loves to take part in top ten lists of this or top 100s of that, pitting personal preference against the canon. Debates on which are the top silent films, be they box office (a contentious areas given the unreliability of data from the silent era), most popular or most esteemed. The Silent Era website maintains a top 100 silent films based on votes supplied by visitors to the site. It comes across as a mixture of popularity and critical esteem, and the top ten (as of today, but they haven’t changed much in ages) has a stale familiarity about it:

1. The General (USA 1926), d. Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman
2. Metropolis (Germany 1927), d. Fritz Lang
3. Sunrise (USA 1927), d. F.W. Murnau
4. City Lights (USA 1931), d. Charles Chaplin
5. Nosferatu (Germany 1922), d. F.W. Murnau
6. The Gold Rush (USA 1925), d. Charles Chaplin
7. La passion et la mort de Jeanne d’Arc (France 1928), d. Carl Theodor Dreyer
8. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Germany 1920), d. Robert Wiene
9. Bronenosets ‘Potyomkin’ (USSR 1925), d. Sergei M. Eisenstein
10. Greed (USA 1924), d. Erich von Stroheim

All great films, and all films that you would recommend to anyone first getting interested in silent films and wanting to know what to see. But there is no surprise.

Very different is 100 Silent Films, by Bryony Dixon, just published by Palgrave Macmillan/BFI, and one of a series of books recommending 100 moving image titles in a variety of genres. Dixon points out in her introduction that silent film is not a genre – it is the first thirty or so years of cinema and embraces almost all genres – and also makes it clear that her 100 films and not the 100 best, but rather 100 titles which represent the breadth as well as the greatness of the type.

It’s certainly an idiosyncratic list of films, each of which is described across a couple of pages, and arranged alphabetically by title to avoid any sense of a top 100. These are silent films to see because it will be an adventure to do so. There are the familiar warhorses, of course – all bar one of the top ten above are represented (City Lights is the casualty) – but what one notices far more are the choices that delight or intrigue: Ernst Lubitsch’s The Oyster Princess (Germany 1919), William Wellman’s Beggars of Life (USA 1928), Sun Yu’s Daybreak (China 1933), Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley’s Suspense (USA 1913), Yakov Protazanov’s The Queen of Spades (Russia 1916), Tomu Uchida’s Policeman (Japan 1933), Joris Ivens’ Rain (Netherlands 1929), or Henri Frescourt’s Monte Cristo (France 1929).

Dixon is a strong advocate of British silent film, and fifteen of the titles were produced in Britain, which might raise an eyebrow or two. But it’s hard to disagree much with the choices, from James Williamson’s iconic The Big Swallow (1901), to Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929), Arthur Robison’s The Informer (1929), Anthony Asquith’s A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929) or Walter Summer’s overlooked masterpiece of drama-documentary The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands (1927).

Alfred Butterworth & Sons, leaving the works, Glebe Mills, Hollinwood (Mitchell & Kenyon 1901)

Dixon is keen to demonstrate the full breadth of of silent film, so there is a lot more here than the traditional feature film. She includes advertising films (The Spirit of his Forefathers, c. 1900), newsreels (Topical Budget 93-1 The Derby, 1913 – the ‘suffragette’ derby), and actualities, such as Mitchell & Kenyon’s Alfred Butterworth & Sons, leaving the works, Glebe Mills, Hollinwood (1901). There are assorted magical early cinema titles from Gaston Velle, Albert Capellani and Georges Méliès (Voyage à travers l’impossible rather than Voyages dans la lune). And there are examples of the avant garde (Manhatta), documentary (Drifters), propaganda (The Battle of the Somme), animation (Winsor McCay’s How a Mosqutio Operates) and even natural history (Oliver Pike’s Les hôtes de l’air). There’s even one token modern silent, Guy Maddin’s delirious The Heart of the World (Canada 2000).

And so on. What makes the book successful, however, is not really its eclecticism and disdain for established classics (though one senses one or two titles have been included because the publishers insisted upon it). Rather it is the unpretentious, informal style of writing. Dixon knows her subject deeply, but writes as much for the person just starting to explore the field as the afficionado. Jargon is largely banned. It almost reads like a blog. The emphasis is on availability (there are few titles here that aren’t to be found on DVD or online somewhere) and the reader is soon totting up a list of must-see-soon or must-buy-soon titles (I know I have).

In short we have as good an introductory guide to silent film as you might hope to find, one calculated to please the newcomer and the expert. No one will agree with all of Dixon’s choices, but no one will be the poorer for seeking out each one of them. It’s just the pocket-book guide needed to accompany the resurgence of interest in silent film we’ve witnessed in the past few years.

Now if you’d asked me to name 100 silent films, well…

A luxurious wallowing place

Today (7th May) at Bristol’s Colston Hall there is to be a special screening of Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc with live music by rock musicians Adrian Utley (of Portishead) and Will Gregory (of Goldfrapp). The music will be conducted by Charles Hazelwood, and will feature six electric guitars, eight members of the Monteverdi Choir, harp, percussion, horns and keyboards. The short documentary above, made by Rick Holbrook, features interviews with Utley, Gregory and Hazelwood, and shows the process of composition, illustrated by clips from the film. The trio previously collaborated on a score for Victor Sjöström’s He Who Gets Slapped at Bristol in 2007.

In The Times last Saturday there was an interview with Gregory and Utley about the project. Gregory came up with this very revealing comment on composing music for silent films:

It’s a luxurious wallowing place for composers. You get to be the whole soundtrack: music, dialogue, background noise and special effects.

I think that pretty much sums up the approach of the rock musicians and jazz musicians who have dabbled in silent film scores in recent years – among them John Cale, Jonathan Richman, Black Francis, The Pet Shop Boys, DJ Spooky, Tangerine Dream, Tom Verlaine, Giorgio Moroder, Bill Frisell, Gary Lucas, Dave Douglas, Joby Talbot, Fred Frith, Marc Ribot, Steven Severin, Maximo Park, and several more. The silent film is a canvas – practically a blank canvas – onto which they can wallow with abandon. This isn’t intrinsically a bad thing, because it is a form of artistic expression, and in some cases a highly successful one, but it is one where the film is subordinated to the music (still more to the star musician). Any regular silent film musician will tell you that their job is to accompany the film, interpreting it in the best possible way to enable the audience fully to appreciate what they are seeing. They don’t provide us with concerts accompanied by the film.

So we have two different ways of approaching the silent film score, and that has to be better than just having the one. Back to The Passion of Joan of Arc, and despite the Colston Hall calling it a unique event, the composers say that they hope to take film and score elsewhere, hinting at Italy and France.

The DIY silent film score

A Silent Film, one video in the series 365: No Day is Ordinary 049/365, by owlsongs (real name Wanda). It uses an Incompetech soundtrack, and I like the imaginative combination of webcam vlogging with silent film titles

If you have spent any time browsing through YouTube for silent films (especially silent pastiches), or indeed for a good many other kinds of video requiring a made-to-measure soundtrack, you are bound to have heard the music of Kevin McLeod. He runs Incompetech, a music download site with an extensive range of royalty-free music, including a section on silent film scores.

For anyone with a three-minute video requiring a generic piano acompaniment in traditional silent film style, this is the place to go. Tunes such as ‘Plucky Daisy’, ‘Work is Work’ and ‘Look Busy’ have been used countless times for YouTube videos, for mock silents, animation films, cute animals (lots of cute animals) and more. A typical piece will come with this information:

Gold Rush
Genre: Silent Film Score
Length: 0:47
Instruments: Piano
Tempo: 120

Peppy piano duet. 031 Bouncy, Driving, Humorous 2007

You can play the tune on the site or download it for free as an MP3 file. Other themes include ‘Comic Plodding’, ‘Old Timey’, ‘Friendly Day’ and ‘Hammock Fight’ provide bright, immediate piano scores between thirty seconds and two minutes, sometimes with additional instrumentation coming in as the music progresses. You get music for chases, villains, nostalgia, comic scenes, fanfares, and multi-purpose linking tunes.

Professional silent film accompianists might have a word or two to say about the formulaic nature of the sound clips, but there’s no denying that McLeod is good at conjuring up catchy accompaniments with strong hooks that find use across thousands of online videos – though it needs to be pointed out this include scores produced by McLeod across many other genres. Under Royalty Free he lists African, Blues, Classical, Contemporary, Disco, Electronica, Funk, Holiday, Horror, Jazz, Latin, Modern, Musical, Polka, Pop, Radio Drama, Reggae, Rock, Silent Film Score, Soundtrack, Stings, Unclassifiable and World. Truly something for everyone.

Of course, sites like Incompetech help reinforce the idea of silent films as being inexorably wedded to tinkly piano. Here at the Bioscope we have tried to champion different kinds of silent film scores. So we would hope that Electronica, Modern, Unclassifiable or World might supply equally serviceable soundtracks for the budding silent film producer (but possibly not Polka). Meanwhile, do take a browse – and remember that in the silent era many cinemas installed player pianos (such as the Fotoplayer, illustrated in an earlier post). The automatic score is part of the silent film tradition too.

Charlie Chaplin in Zepped


All frames from Zepped in this post come from

Last week there was much publicity about the discovery of an apparently lost Charlie Chaplin film. Morace Park, of Henham in Essex, purchased a nitrate film from eBay for the princely sum of £3.20 ($5), though he was more interested in the can. When he opened the can he found a reel of nitrate film bearing the title Charlie Chaplin in Zepped. Park could find no record of the film in any Chaplin filmography or biography. The film was a mixture of live action film of Chaplin and animation. Park’s neighbour just happened to be John Dyer, a former member of the British Board of Film Classification, and together they began investigating the history of the film.

They have been thorough in their studies so far, and have determined that the film features unused footage from the Chaplin films The Tramp, His New Profession and A Jitney Elopement. The Independent newspaper, which carries the fullest account of the discovery (including several frame illustrations), describes the film thus:

The unearthed film, called Charlie Chaplin in Zepped, features footage of Zeppelins flying over England during the First World War, as well as some very early stop-motion animation, and unknown outtakes of Chaplin films from three Essanay pictures including The Tramp. These have all been cut together into a six-minute movie that Mr Park describes as “in support of the British First World War effort”. It begins with a logo from Keystone studios, which first signed Chaplin, and there follows a certification from the Egyptian censors dating the projection as being in December 1916. There are outtakes, longer shots and new angles from the films The Tramp, His New Profession and A Jitney Elopement.

The main, animated sequence of the film starts with Chaplin wishing that he could return to England from America and fight with the boys. He is taken on a flight through clouds before landing on a spire in England. The sequence also features a German sausage, from which pops the Kaiser. During the First World War there was some consternation that the actor did not join the war effort.

At first it seemed to those who thought they knew their Chaplin history, and the habits of film collectors, that this was some cobbled-together item by someone who had edited together Chaplin clips with a separate animation film of the 1914-18 period, Chaplin being a regular subject for animators at this time. But then evidence turned up that there had indeed been a film called Zepped, exhibited in Britain in 1916. In 2006 British film historian Mike Hammond had uncovered a reference to the film in a Manchester journal (probably Film Renter), as an article in a Russian online journal reveals (scroll down to note 43 and get an English translation through Babelfish).


So what is this peculiar hybrid? The six-minute film is a mixture of Keystone and Essanay titles, plus the animation. Chaplin left Keystone in 1914 to join Essanay, leaving the latter to join Mutual in 1916. Essanay is known to have tried to make the best out of its loss by issuing Triple Trouble (1918), a mish-mash of Chaplin outtakes, but Zepped contains Keystone and Essanay titles, suggesting a still more irregular arrangement. The existence of an Egyptian censors’ certificate only adds to the peculiarity of the whole affair. There seems to be a connection with the accusations made at the time that Chaplin was avoiding his military duty by residing in the United States, though clearly this was an unofficial film and Chaplin had nothing to do with its production.

Chaplin biographer Simon Louvish speculates (in the Independent article) that the film was compiled in Egypt, which was under British occupation at the time. However, no one was making animated films in Egypt in 1916. The access to the outtakes suggests an American source, yet the theme and reference to ‘Blighty’ in the title cards hints at a British source. The frames showing some of the animation (below) look like the crude semi-animated films that British artists such as Lancelot Speed or Dudley Buxton were making at this time. The reference to ‘Made in Germany’ is a British allusion (there were protests at the import of German goods into Britain long before the War), and America was scarcely indulging in anti-German propaganda at this time. I’d point the finger at a British film distributor.


The film has been transferred to DVD, and Park and Dwyer have been showing it to assorted Chaplin experts. They have also started making a documentary film in America about their voyage of discovery, and you can follow their ‘Lost Film Project’ through Twitter and through a project blog. They seem to be making a good job not only of exploiting the discovery but of seeking to understand it. If it’s not quite ‘THE cinematic find of the last 100 years’ that the blog claims, it’s a real coup – not least for how it has left the experts baffled. We now await anxiously for the results of their researches.

Update (20 November 2009):
The people behind the Zepped discovery have kindly sent me two advertisements for the film plus a press notice, all from the journal Film Renter. Now we learn that the film was made by Screen Plays Co. of Manchester, that it was 1,000 feet long, and that there was some sensitivity over its relationship with Chaplin because the first version of the advert pointedly neglects to mention his name. He is mentioned in the second, however:

Original advertisment from Film Renter, 23 December 1916

Revised advertisement from Film Renter 30 December 1916

Press notice from Film Renter (date not given)

You can see the documents on the website for the company producing the documentary about Zepped, Clear Champion Ltd.

Another update (11 July 2011):
The latest extraordinary twist in the Zepped saga is that another print of the film has turned up, this time in a second-hand shop in South Shields, UK. This second Zepped is slightly incomplete (opening shots of a Zeppelin are missing, apparently) but otherwise looks to be the same film. It was discovered by one Brian Hann. More information (though with a muddled idea of the film’s history and value) is given in The Shields Gazette and in the comments below.

Brian Hann with the second Zepped, discovered in a South Shields second-hand shop

So you want to open a motion picture theatre?


So, as promised, it’s cinema month here at the Bioscope, and let’s kick things off with a guide to operating your own motion picture theatre, produced in 1912, which is going into the Bioscope Library.

James F. Hodges’ Opening and Operating a Motion Picture Theatre: How it is Done Successfully is available from the Internet Archive. It was produced as a basic manual for the opportunist. As Hodges writes in his introduction:

This book is written with the view of giving to the novice in the Motion Picture Business information that will be of service to him in his efforts, and which might require much time and labor on his part to obtain. It is written not so much to guide the man in the business as it is to guide him who contemplates engaging in the business. In it is contained much information that will open his eyes at once to important matters at the beginning, so that he may start right.

This is a guide therefore in the mould of those similar texts from the time which encouraged the gullible to believe that they could become actors or screenplay writers for the price of the dollar that the book would cost them. Many at this time looked upon the cinema as an easy route to quick riches, with elementary set-up procedures and costs, to be followed by an endless procession of huddled masses with their nickels yearning for the silver screen. In truth, by 1912 the initial rush of cinema speculation was over, and Hodges’ guide is for those who had come a little too late to the party. But it is all the more interesting for how it explains the business to one who it assumes knows little or nothing about motion pictures.

Firstly, he lures the keen investor in with the promise of riches:

There are approximately 14,000 picture theatres in the United States, and these give two shows, at least, an evening and seat an average of 500 people for the two performances; thus 7,000,000 people patronize the picture theatres and combination picture and vaudeville theatres each evening. Figuring the admission averaging 7 1/2 cents, which is reasonable, for while the 5c. houses are in the majority, the higher priced theatres accommodate larger audiences, it will be seen that more than $500,000 is taken in nightly.

This does not take into consideration those houses that are open from 11 A.M. and from 1 P.M. on. This would add considerably to these figures probably 50% or about $300,000,000 per annum. More than $50,000,000 is invested in the Motion Picture industry in this country outside of the picture theatres. Seventy-five to one hundred negative films are made each week and more than 3,000 positives, to supply the demand of the 14,000 picture houses.

Interesting figures, but they assume that every cinema was full all the time, which was seldom the case. He goes on to advise over location (“The best place to locate a Motion Picture house is, of course, on a street with plenty of traffic, or just around the corner from a busy thoroughfare”), management, competition, audiences (“A manager will gain a pretty fair knowledge of the effect of his program upon his business by watching the audience as it passes out”), how films are rented from a film exchange (“A film service is generally made up of films of different ages. One film may be a week old, the next may be three weeks old and the third may be three months old. The price you pay for service will determine what service you get”) and the new phenomenon of the feature film.


Example of an attractive theatre front from Opening and Operating a Motion Picture Theatre

More follows on how to convert your building into a motion picture theatre (“It is absolutely essential, after deciding upon your location, to have plans of alterations submitted to the bureau of buildings, which will inspect the premises and pass upon seating capacity, material construction, etc.”), layout, lighting, seating (“For a small place 299 chairs are generally installed. This is because in most states the license for houses containing less than 300 seats is much lower than for houses containing over 300 seats”), projection equipment and electricity (here the book gets surprisingly technical), the screen, advertising, song slides, music (he recommends having an automatic piano in case the pianist fails to turn up), side-line revenues, and he gives these costs for salaries:

Machine operator, $15 to $24 per week
Pianist, $12 to $20 per week
Ticket seller, $6 to $8 per week
Ticket taker, $8 to $10 per week
Porter, $7 to $10 per week
Manager (probably yourself)

To this list may be added, if required:

Singer, $12 to $25 per week
Violinist, $10 to $20 per week
Drummer, $12 to $15 per week
Usher, $3 to $8 per week

Particularly interesting are the overall costs that he gives for costs for operating a small motion picture theatre:


So, are you tempted? If so, then James F. Hodges is waiting for you, because at the end of his book he gives you an address and tells you that he has a number of theatres throughout the United States available for sale, or he can join you up with a syndicate, if you can indicate how much money you are willing to invest. I wonder who tore out the form at the end of the book in answer to his call?

Australia’s Silent Film Festival


The General

The 2009 Australia’s Silent Film Festival takes place 15,18, 24 and 25 October at the Dixson Room and Metcalfe Auditorium, both at the State Library of Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW. This is the programme:


7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
The Mark Of Zorro – 1920 (USA)
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Snr
Directed by Fred Niblo
Tickets: $30/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 107 minutes
Live music: accompanist Ms Sharolyn Kimmorley and Ian Bloxsom, Australia’s Percussionist Extraordinaire
Presenter: Dr Stephen Juan


10:30 AM to 11:15 AM
The Return of The General and The Rail Rodder
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
(Short films to introduce Buster Keaton’s The General)
Admission free
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 35 minutes

11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
The General – 1927 (USA)
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
“A short introduction will be given by Orson Welles, preeminent figure of world cinema.”
Starring Buster Keaton
Tickets: $25/$15 Concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 75 minutes
Live music: accompanist Professor Robert Constable
Presenter: Bruce Elder, Senior Entertainment Writer with the Sydney Morning Herald

2:15 PM to 4:30 PM
The Story of the Kelly Gang – 1906 (Australia) and The Sentimental Bloke – 1919 (Australia)
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 100 minutes
Live music: accompanist Professor Robert Constable
Presenter: Bruce Elder, Senior Entertainment Writer with the Sydney Morning Herald


10:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Destiny – 1921 (Germany) Der Müde Tod
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
Starring Lil Dagover, Rudolph Klein-Rogge
Directed by Fritz Lang
Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 114 minutes
Live music: accompanist Mauro Colombis
Presenter: Klaus Krischok, Director, Goethe-Institut Australien

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Comedies for Kids (and the young at heart)
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 87 minutes
Live music: accompanist Mauro Colombis
Presenter: Eddie Cockrell

3:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Seventh Heaven – 1927 (USA)
State Library of NSW the Dixson Room Macquarie Street Sydney
Starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell
Directed by Frank Borzage
Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 113 minutes
Live music: accompanist Mauro Colombis
Presenter: Eddie Cockrell


10:15 AM to 11:45 AM
Man with a Movie Camera – 1929 (USSR)
State Library of NSW the Metcalfe Auditorium Macquarie Street Sydney
Director: Dziga Vertov
Camera: Mikhael Kaufman
Editor: Elsaveta Svilova
Tickets: $15/$10 concession
Film: digital presentation with soundtrack
Duration: 68 minutes
Presenter: Dr Karen Pearlman, Head of Screen Studies; Australian Film, Television and Radio School

12:15 PM to 2:30 PM
Flesh and the Devil – 1927 (USA)
State Library of NSW the Metcalfe Auditorium Macquarie Street Sydney
Starring John Gilbert, Greta Garbo and Lars Hanson
Directed by Clarence Brown
Tickets: $15/$10 concession
Film: digital presentation with soundtrack
Duration: 113 minutes
Presenter: Jason Di Rosso

3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Georges Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema – 1896-1912 (France). A selection of his fantastic magic films and imaginary journeys.
State Library of NSW the Metcalfe Auditorium Macquarie Street Sydney
Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation
Duration: 75 minutes
Live music: accompanist Mauro Colombis
Presenter: Ruth Hessey

Further details on the films being shown, plus booking details and so forth, can be found on the festival site. Each year the festival inducts Australian pioneer silent film figures into a Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are Annette Kellerman and Snub Pollard, biographies of both of whom can be found on the site.

And there’s more from Warners


Marion Davies in The Patsy (1928)

A further batch of made-to-order DVDs from Warner Bros. has been announced, which includes a number of silents. As reported before, the films are in DVD-R format, burned to order, and priced at $19.95 for DVD copies in the post, $14.95 for downloads, and they can be ordered from Although officially the titles are only available in the USA, it is possible for those overseas to order them if they do so through

These are the new titles:

  • Across to Singapore (US 1928 d. William Nigh), with Ramon Novarro, Joan Crawford, Ernest Torrence
  • The Boob (US 1926 d. William Wellman), with Gertrude Olmstead, George K. Arthur, Charles Murray, Joan Crawford
  • Desert Nights (US 1929 d. William Nigh), with John Gilbert, Ernest Torrence, Mary Nolan
  • A Lady of Chance (US 1928 d. Robert Z. Leonard), with Norma Shearer, Lowell Sherman, Gwen Lee, Johnny Mack Brown
  • The Patsy (US 1928 d. King Vidor), with Marion Davies, Marie Dressler, Lawrence Gray
  • Speedway (US 1929 d. Harry Beaumont), with William Haines, Anita Page, Ernest Torrence, Karl Dane
  • West Point (US 1927 d. Edward Sedgwick), with William Haines, Joan Crawford, William Bakewell

And, for the record, these are all the silent titles previously made available:

  • Beau Brummel (US 1924 d. Harry Beaumont), with John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Carmel Myers
  • The Sea Hawk (US 1924 d. Frank Lloyd), with Milton Sills, Enid Bennett
  • The Better ‘Ole (US 1926 d. Charles Reisner), with Syd Chaplin, Harold Goodwin, Jack Ackroyd
  • The First Auto (US 1927 d. Roy Del Ruth), with Russell Simpson, Frank Campeau
  • Old San Francisco (US 1927 d. Alan Crosland), with Dolores Costello, Warner Oland
  • When a Man Loves (US 1927 d. Alan Crosland), with John Barrymore, Dolores Costello
  • The Divine Lady (US 1929 d. Frank Lloyd), with Corinne Griffith, Victor Varconi
  • Scaramouche (US 1923 d. Rex Ingram) with Ramon Novarro, Alice Terry
  • Souls for Sale (US 1923 d. Rupert Hughes) with Barbara La Marr, Eleanor Boardman
  • The Red Lily (US 1924 d. Fred Niblo) with Ramon Novarro, Enid Bennett
  • Exit Smiling (US 1926 d. Sam Taylor) with Beatrice Lillie, Jack Pickford
  • The Temptress (US 1926 d. Fred Niblo) with Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno
  • Love (US 1927 d. Edmund Goulding) with Greta Garbo, John Gilbert
  • The Red Mill (US 1927 d. William Goodrich) with Marion Davies, Owen Moore
  • Spring Fever (US 1927 d. Edward Sedgwick) with Joan Crawford, William Haines
  • The Smart Set (US 1928 d. Jack Conway) with Alice Day, Jack Holt
  • The Trail of ‘98 (US 1928 d. Clarence Brown) with Dolores del Rio, Harry Carey
  • The Kiss (US 1929 d. Jacques Feyder) with Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel
  • The Single Standard (US 1929 d. John S. Robertson) with Greta Garbo, Nils Asther
  • Wild Orchids (US 1929 d. Sidney Franklin) with Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone

All of the silent titles listed on the Warners site can be seen here. Each comes with a video clip which you can now embed in your own website, though not it seems in a WordPress blog, alas.

Forssa festival

Rejoicing in the challenging (to the non-Nordic tongue) but magnificent name Mykkäelokuvafestivaalit, but having the more manageable alternative title of Forssa International Film Festival, this Finnish festival of silent films returns to Forssa 29-30 August. Now in its ninth year, the festival brings together an international programme of classics and rarities, usually with an element of local film as well.

There’s no background information on the site in English (as yet), but here’s the programme:

29 August
17:00 Nuori Luotsi
19:30 Speedy
22:00 The Lost World

30 August
12:00 The Kid Brother
14:30 Chaplin programme: The Floorwalker, The Cure, The Adventurer
17:00 Tarzan of the Apes
19:00 Girl Shy
22:00 Faust

The site includes a page on Harold Lloyd and, usefully, details of programmes from previous years.