I just wanted to mention that I’ve been asked to take part in a couple of blogathons on classic movie themes which are coming up soon, and am looking forward to both of them.
First off, KC at Classic Movies is organising the Mary Pickford Blogathon on June 1, 2 and 3 – I will be writing a posting about Pickford’s silent film Daddy Long Legs (1919). There are a lot of bloggers taking part, including some experts on Mary Pickford (I don’t know much about her, must admit!), so I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about her work and the era of silent film. I think it is still possible to sign up to take part in this blogathon if you are interested.
Then from June 24-29, R.D. Finch will be running the William Wyler Blogathon at his blog The Movie Projector, to mark the 110th anniversary of Wyler’s birth. I am going to contribute a piece about Wuthering Heights (1939), starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. The line-up for this blogathon has been finalised and it has a wide range of bloggers who will be covering many different Wyler films.
I’ll mention both of these events again nearer the time, but just wanted to give a heads-up now. Please do visit both KC and R.D.’s sites to find out more about what is planned, and thanks to both of them for all their hard work in organising these events!
Sorry not to have updated for a while – I’ve been busy and then was away on holiday. However, this is just a note to say that I was interested to hear a report about how Birmingham Central Library has discovered what could be the UK’s largest collection of silent movie scores, including a unique Charlie Chaplin theme tune. The library’s Youtube channel also has two videos showing Ben Dawson, a pianist from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, playing some of the music discovered in the collection and talking about the pieces.
The BBC did a short report about this which mentioned that the scores may be used to help create music for nine silent Hitchcock films being restored by the BFI. A couple of brief snippets of unnamed films from the BFI archives (I don’t think they are the Hitchcocks) are set to music here and I think there may be a glimpse of John Barrymore in the first one, although to be honest I’m not sure if it is him or not – he is wearing a wig and doesn’t stand in profile. If anyone can answer this one either way, I’d be interested to know.
This is just to say that I’ve just written a posting at my other blog, Costume Drama Reviews, about my family’s visit to Stratford upon Avon and the Shakespeare productions we saw, for anybody who is interested.
Just to let anyone visiting my blog know that I won’t be online much for a few days as I’m going on holiday, so if you leave me a comment it might take a little while to appear. Your visits are much appreciated nonetheless!
Just wanted to mention that there is a John Huston blogathon coming up based at the Icebox Movies site run by Adam Zanzie, from August 5 to 12 – I’m hoping to take part in this, and will probably write something about Huston’s little-known film ‘We Were Strangers’, starring Jennifer Jones and John Garfield, which has recently been issued on DVD in region 2.
I just posted this to my other blog on costume dramas, but thought I’d copy it here too as the two blogs mainly have different readerships… so apologies to the couple of people seeing it twice. Shakespeare is on my mind at the moment as next month I’ll be going on holiday to the Cotswolds and visiting Stratford upon Avon – and seeing an RSC production of The Winter’s Tale while I’m there. I was supposed to see an open-air forest production of the same play last year but we couldn’t go as my husband had (suspected) swine flu, so it will be good to see it this year instead.:)
Anyway, I was just thinking it would be nice to watch some Shakespeare productions on film to get me in the mood before going and I’ll probably write (hopefully short) pieces about anything I watch. On my other blog I mentioned that I liked the recent RSC production of Hamlet starring David Tennant, but since this one is more geared to older movies I’ll mention here that I also love the classic version with Laurence Olivier. Does anyone have any other older (or new) Shakespeare productions to recommend?
Just to say that the website for the 13th British Silent Film Festival is now up - it will run from April 15 to 18 in Leicester, and goodies in store include the chance to see William Wellman’s silent masterpiece Beggars of Life on the big screen, as well as Tol’able David, The Bridal Party in Hardanger and more great films, all accompanied by live music. The main theme of the festival is “Exploration, Science and Nature in British Silent Film”. I’m particularly intrigued to see that there will be a focus on the race for the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen and a chance to see Ernest Shackleton’s South - I’ve just been writing about two great mini-series focusing on these explorers at my other blog, Costume Drama Reviews, so all this would be of great interest to me. Sadly I can’t see myself being able to make it to Leicester, as I will be at work and it is a long way off, but I’m hoping some of the featured films may turn up at the BFI in London in future, as that is less of a trek for me.
Just thought I’d pass on word that there is going to be a season of Josef von Sternberg movies at the BFI (British Film Institute) in London during December, including some exciting rarities! I’m especially intrigued by the sound of Children of Divorce (1927), a silent movie starring Gary Cooper and Clara Bow, as I’ve just seen them both in Wings, which was made the same year.
I was interested to read an article in today’s Guardian about classic little-known children’s films. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the main movie discussed in the piece, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T, but it sounds intriguing.
Belatedly, I’ve discovered an article which appeared on the Guardian newspaper’s film blog a few weeks ago, where film critic Ronald Bergan looks at what he thinks were some of the greatest movies to come out of the Great Depression, and speculates about whether there will be any equally memorable films dealing with the current economic crisis. Thought I’d pass on the link in case others are interested. I’ve only seen three of those he lists – The Public Enemy (1931), I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) and Man’s Castle (1932), all of which are brilliant – but hoping to see some of the others as soon as possible.