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Silent Era Challenge (Official, September 2020)

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Silent Era Challenge (Official, September 2020)

#1

Post by Traveller » August 30th, 2020, 3:36 pm

Welcome to the 2020 Silent Era Challenge!


Image


The challenge will run through the month of September, starting September 1st at midnight in your local timezone and ending September 30th, also at midnight.

Goal:
Watch as many silent-era silent films as you can. Only silent films made during the silent era are eligible, if you have any doubts as to whether a film counts or not feel free to ask.

Rules:
- Rewatches allowed.
- A feature film (at least 40 min) counts as one entry.
- A total of 60 minutes of short films count as one entry.
- No TV series this challenge.

- Please include year of release when listing your viewings.
- New posts are preferred over edited posts.

Many thanks to maxwelldeux for last year's thread, from which I shamelessly but gratefully copied most.


Official lists:
The Top 300 Silent Era Films
Silent but not Forgotten
IMDB 1910s
IMDB 1920s

Unofficial lists:
iCM Forum's Favourite Silent FIlms
Cinemacom's 200 Important Silent Films
BFI Screen Guide: 100 Silent Films
TSPDT's Top 25 Films per year: 1920s


Rank Participant Count
1 Traveller 104
2 blueboybob 38
3 jdidaco 28
4 sol 24
5 PUNQ 15
6 ororama 11
7 insomnius 10
7 klaus78 10
7 St. Gloede 10
10 Obgeoff 7
11 cinephage 6
11 zzzorf 6
13 OldAle1 4
14 Lonewolf2003 3
14 hurluberlu 3
14 maxwelldeux 3
14 burneyfan 3
14 Lilarcor 3
19 mightysparks 2
19 allisoncm 2
19 Knaldskalle 2
19 3eyes 2
23 sebby 1
23 Melvelet 1
23 Ebbywebby 1
Last edited by Traveller on September 20th, 2020, 3:24 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#2

Post by Traveller » August 30th, 2020, 3:40 pm

Any opinions on whether Tih Minh (1918) should count as one point or more (if so, how many)?
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September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#3

Post by blueboybob » August 30th, 2020, 5:04 pm

Oh no, no available official check silent films left for me :(

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#4

Post by 3eyes » August 30th, 2020, 7:32 pm

Traveller wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:40 pm
Any opinions on whether Tih Minh (1918) should count as one point or more (if so, how many)?
I see it was originally shown as a 12-part serial, but no longer, I guess. The whole thing appears to be 2 min short of 7 hrs, so I would say 6-7 points.

I see it's on youtube so if viable I might even rewatch it. It seems timely, too.
Count me in on this challenge (maybe).
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#5

Post by St. Gloede » August 30th, 2020, 8:04 pm

I'm in. Will likely just aim for 10-20 however, unless I do rewatches.

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#6

Post by maxwelldeux » August 30th, 2020, 10:41 pm

3eyes wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 7:32 pm
Traveller wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:40 pm
Any opinions on whether Tih Minh (1918) should count as one point or more (if so, how many)?
I see it was originally shown as a 12-part serial, but no longer, I guess. The whole thing appears to be 2 min short of 7 hrs, so I would say 6-7 points.

I see it's on youtube so if viable I might even rewatch it. It seems timely, too.
Count me in on this challenge (maybe).
I always had it in my head as a serial, so the shorts rule would apply. But I just checked, and no one watched it last year...

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#7

Post by zzzorf » August 31st, 2020, 9:00 am

blueboybob wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 5:04 pm
Oh no, no available official check silent films left for me :(
Well that must mean it is time for you to check out what the Australian silent movie scene was like as I think only about 2 are official :P

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#8

Post by zzzorf » August 31st, 2020, 9:56 am

If anyone is interested/looking for ideas here is a playlist I keep on YouTube containing all the silent movies I watch. While the list isn't complete (there have been some Australian movies I have had to source elsewhere during my chronowatch I started earlier this year) it is a good look at how my viewing of silents has progressed since I watched my first just 2 years back and has some movies in it with a very minimal check count along with a few classics.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... FO--PrgpH3

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#9

Post by allisoncm » August 31st, 2020, 2:14 pm

Traveller wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:40 pm
Any opinions on whether Tih Minh (1918) should count as one point or more (if so, how many)?
12 episodes, approx. 30 mins. each
6 checks if we're doing 2 episodes per check, 7 if based on total length with the shorts rule.

I'm fine with it being counted either way. I've already seen it, so it won't apply to me and anyone who spends that much time with Tih-Minh deserves 6-7 checks.

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#10

Post by Traveller » August 31st, 2020, 3:28 pm

Thanks everyone - I'll go with six points then for Tih Minh (1918). I plan to and am very excited to watch it this month.
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September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#11

Post by blueboybob » August 31st, 2020, 11:18 pm

Is there an agreed upon "Silent Era"? Like upto and including 1929?

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#12

Post by maxwelldeux » September 1st, 2020, 2:15 am

blueboybob wrote:
August 31st, 2020, 11:18 pm
Is there an agreed upon "Silent Era"? Like upto and including 1929?
Traveller's call, but last year, I judged it as "silent era silents"... which roughly translated to me as silent films up to the mid-1930s, depending on region.

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#13

Post by Traveller » September 1st, 2020, 4:17 am

maxwelldeux wrote:
September 1st, 2020, 2:15 am
blueboybob wrote:
August 31st, 2020, 11:18 pm
Is there an agreed upon "Silent Era"? Like upto and including 1929?
Traveller's call, but last year, I judged it as "silent era silents"... which roughly translated to me as silent films up to the mid-1930s, depending on region.
Sounds good to me. I trust in the judgement of the participants here.
ICM
September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#14

Post by Traveller » September 1st, 2020, 4:19 am

01.a Kino-pravda no. 1 (1922) (10min)
01.b Kino-pravda no. 2 (1922) (10min)
01.c Kino-pravda no. 3 (1922) (7min)
01.d Kino-pravda no. 4 (1922) (7min)
01.e Kino-pravda no. 5 (1922) (7min)
01.f Kino-pravda no. 6 (1922) (13min)
01.g Kino-pravda no. 7 (1922) (11min)
ICM
September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#15

Post by sol » September 1st, 2020, 12:16 pm

1. The Nut (1921)

Image

Performing breathtaking acrobatic stunts, Douglas Fairbanks often feels the equal of Keaton, Lloyd and Chaplin in this comedy - and there is amusing Chaplin lookalike here! The plot is not much to write home about and the film relies too heavily on title cards. When the focus is on Doug's inventions though, the film rarely misses. An early scene prefigures Wallace and Gromit and watch out for makeshift clothes, mannequin madness and x-ray sets.

I'll be adding this film to my 500<400 list soon. It is already #57 on clem's 500<400. :party:
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#16

Post by Traveller » September 1st, 2020, 3:42 pm

02. Speedy (1928) - 7/10
03. Stella Maris (1918) - 5/10
04. Ecuador Noticiero Ocaña Film (1929) - 4/10
05.a Cenere (1917) (30min)
05.b The Idle Class (1921) (32min)
ICM
September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#17

Post by hurluberlu » September 1st, 2020, 4:45 pm

1. The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1924) 7-
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

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#18

Post by mightysparks » September 2nd, 2020, 7:41 am

1. The Hoodlum (1919) 5/10
A spoilt bratty rich girl, Amy (Mary Pickford), turns down an offer to go to Europe with her grandfather and instead chooses to go stay with her father who, unbeknownst to her, lives in a poor neighbourhood and adapts to her new life as a street 'hoodlum'. The story is nothing unique and the film does nothing interesting with it; it doesn't explore Amy's struggles in any depth, the 'romance' is a pointless subplot, and the attempts at comedy fall flat. Some of Pickford's tantrums are mildly amusing and the foreign language intertitle gag was funny. It's also difficult to understand what's happening at times or whether something's supposed to be funny or not, and impossible to read the cursive letters. It's a light and easy watch and tolerable enough, but mostly forgettable.

Enjoy the SilentsShow
1. [url=https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0010267/]The Hoodlum (1919) 5/10
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#19

Post by sol » September 2nd, 2020, 1:26 pm

The Great SilenceShow
1. The Nut (1921)

2. Leap Year (1924)

Image

One of Fatty Arbuckle's attempts to transition from shorts to feature comedies. Arbuckle is his usual funny self, but whereas his shorts with Buster Keaton have compact plots that rarely outstay their welcome, the jokes here tire at one hour long. The plot is contrived, the actresses generally act and look similar (makes it hard to keep track of who is who) and title cards are overly descriptive ("time lapse", "close-up" etc are blatantly stated).
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#20

Post by Knaldskalle » September 2nd, 2020, 2:20 pm

I think that for once I'm in on a challenge. I still have a ton of silents left to watch, but I won't make a big dent in the pile this month. My movie watching has dropped to a trickle, only saw 4 movies last month (one of which was a rewatch).
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#21

Post by Traveller » September 2nd, 2020, 3:54 pm

06. Blind Justice (1916) - 7/10
07. L'enfant de Paris (1913) - 7/10
08. Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928) - 8/10
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September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#22

Post by burneyfan » September 2nd, 2020, 4:12 pm

I hadn't planned to participate, but one of my first September movies turned out to be a silent, and it looks like I have at least two more minor silents on the horizon, so...

01. Thomas Graals bästa barn a.k.a. Thomas Graal's Best Child -- Stiller, 1918.

This is a sequel to Thomas Graal's Best Film (there's at least one more Thomas Graal film after Best Child, too). In this one, Thomas and his girl Bessie get married and start a family, and there are lots of silly misunderstandings between the two. I preferred the first film quite a bit more, but this one was okay. Victor Sjöström plays Thomas, and Karin Molander is Bessie in both of these films (I didn't bother to check about any later installments).

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#23

Post by blueboybob » September 2nd, 2020, 6:10 pm

1. Finlandia (1922)
2. Ten Nights in a Barroom (1926)
3. Gypsy Chatter (1929)
4. The Last Performance (1929)
5. The Point of View (1920)

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#24

Post by insomnius » September 2nd, 2020, 10:36 pm

I'll watch a few. Hopefully.


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1. Der Tunnel / The Tunnel (William Wauer, 1915)

An engineer proposes to build a tunnel beneath the Atlantic between America and France which engages both continents in a massive collaborative undertaking. An interesting aspect since this is a German film made during the war. Anyway, a tunnel, under the Atlantic, you kind of just wait for something to go wrong. Most scenes are static with a few slight pans horizontally or vertically, which makes for a pretty heavy-handed feel to the camerawork. Oh, and they've got live-TV, or telegraf-radio-tele-kinematographic-news as they call it. Good but nothing special.

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#25

Post by St. Gloede » September 2nd, 2020, 11:08 pm

This would have been a really bad opener if not for one film:

1. Dva-Buldi-dva / Two-Buldi-Two (1929, Nina Agadzhanova, Lev Kuleshov)
Image
Decent, but at times laughable Soviet propaganda, including silly looking people shouting "you red losers!". Not quite reefer madness, and there actually is some nice tension and even emotion here, but it was still extremely disappointing given Kuleshov's involvement, - however it seems he played a very small role in the production. We follow the older Buldi, in a father and son set of clowns called Buldi. There's some decent enough tricks, but the son is a red and quickly gets in trouble - it is 1919, in the midst of the civil war you see. Essentially we see the older clown grow to support the reds through his love for his son and the callousness of the whites. This is extremely thin, but at least we get some suspense. 5/10


2. Iz-pod svodov mecheti (1928, Kazimir Gertel)
Possibly butchered, so I won't be too unfair, but this is such a poorly constructed and shot adverure film with very little to offer. 4/10.


3. Be My Wife (1921, Max Linder)
Image
I always thought this film was lost, only surviving in fragments: I'm so happy it is finally out (and has been for a little while without me realizing it). It is far from as creative, clever or masterly as Seven Years Bad Luck or The Three Must-Get-Theres, and essentially feels like the set up of three separate short film ideas merged together - but it is still absolutely hilarious, and on-par with the general fare pushed by Chaplin and Keaton in the early 20s.

The set-up(s) are simple - boy courts girl - boy marries girl - married man gets in trouble - and the ideas and production values really keep increasing by the act. There is also a fantastic and hilarious dog. Some of the puns in act 1 (the weakest) seem a little basic, but with Max needing to constantly out-wit the aunt, but most importantly the dog, it ends up getting better and better. Act 2, featuring some extremely rauchy dance moves had me in stitches, and act 3 really goes all-out. It feels basic compared to the two most known Linder films, but still a great and extremely fun experience. 8/10.

Oh, and you can see it here:




4. Die Tango-Königin / The Tango Queen (1913, Max Mack)
Very much a non-experience. 4/10.


5. Der Tunnel (1915, William Wauer)
Image
I appreciated just how straightforward this film is, and that it in many ways is just a chronicle of a great step in future progress (a tunnel from Europe to America). In fact I would have appreciated it far more without the extremely flimsy and silly material around the world's richest man, and melodrama. The strikes and investment elements had some decent drama, but what really made the film standout were the underground digging scenes, filled with so much tension. It could have been a 1915 Le Trou but they wasted it is what I am trying to say I suppose, and in the end it was just a decent film. 5/10.


6. Mädchen am Kreuz / The Crucified Girl (1929, Jacob Fleck, Luise Fleck)
Image
I went into this blind and was very surprised it was a film tacking the topic of rape and in such a direct way. It plays it a little too conventionally for the time, but as with so many German social dramas of the time the message and heart really is in the right place despite some heavy-handedness, and an unnecessary side-story of our lead's father and step-mother, played for semi laughs, semi-sleaze, semi-melancholy, which especially in retrospect seems completely out of place. Note, this is a great recent restoration, and the shots look absolutely lovely. 6.5/10

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#26

Post by Traveller » September 3rd, 2020, 3:39 pm

09. The Kiss (1929) - 6/10
10. The New Babylon (1929) - 7/10
11. Zvenigora (1928) - 7/10
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September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#27

Post by St. Gloede » September 3rd, 2020, 4:19 pm

Traveller wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:40 pm
Any opinions on whether Tih Minh (1918) should count as one point or more (if so, how many)?

Similar question on Miss Mend. It was originally released in 3 parts.

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#28

Post by Traveller » September 3rd, 2020, 6:26 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
September 3rd, 2020, 4:19 pm
Traveller wrote:
August 30th, 2020, 3:40 pm
Any opinions on whether Tih Minh (1918) should count as one point or more (if so, how many)?

Similar question on Miss Mend. It was originally released in 3 parts.
It's worth three points for this challenge, then.
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September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#29

Post by mightysparks » September 4th, 2020, 9:01 am

2. Le mystère des roches de Kador (1912) 6/10
After a rich Marquis leaves his entire estate to his orphaned niece, Suzanne, her cousin attempts to marry or kill her to take the inheritance for himself. The short runtime keeps it short and sweet, straight to the point with no fluff, but also doesn't allow for any major plot/character/thematic developments. Everything also feels a little rushed at the beginning, solved a little too easily at the end, and for a 'mystery' it doesn't spend nearly enough time building atmosphere or tension. However it is quite nice to look at, with some pleasant compositions and lighting choices, and the scenes reenacting the events and playing them back to Suzanne to help snap her out of her traumatic state are interesting.
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#30

Post by sol » September 4th, 2020, 9:24 am

The Great SilenceShow
1. The Nut (1921)
2. Leap Year (1924)

3. Fig Leaves (1926)

Image

Beginning with the Biblical Adam and Eve before cutting to the 1920s, this Howard Hawks comedy questions whether male-female relationships have really changed that much over time. There is some misogyny in the mix (the 20s Adam is horrified at the prospect of his wife working) but this is an entertaining ride. With automaton dinosaurs, prehistoric alarm clocks, combs and so on, the Biblical angle is amazing, and even the 20s stuff is fun.
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#31

Post by zzzorf » September 4th, 2020, 9:30 am

1. Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (1926) - 8/10
2. Salomé (1922) - 2/10

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#32

Post by sol » September 4th, 2020, 12:45 pm

The Great SilenceShow
1. The Nut (1921)
2. Leap Year (1924)
3. Fig Leaves (1926)

4. Be My Wife (1921)

Image

This is funny right from the very first scene in which a plant silhouette is misinterpreted, and from scarecrow antics, to Max Linder fighting with himself (pretending to fend off an intruder) to raining mice, this is actually hilarious throughout. The middle section sags a little with attention diverted away from Linder as elaborate mistake and misinterpretation gags are set up, but everything comes together well in the final act. And yes, great dog acting.
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#33

Post by sol » September 4th, 2020, 12:48 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
September 2nd, 2020, 11:08 pm
I always thought this film was lost, only surviving in fragments: I'm so happy it is finally out (and has been for a little while without me realizing it). It is far from as creative, clever or masterly as Seven Years Bad Luck or The Three Must-Get-Theres, and essentially feels like the set up of three separate short film ideas merged together - but it is still absolutely hilarious, and on-par with the general fare pushed by Chaplin and Keaton in the early 20s.

The set-up(s) are simple - boy courts girl - boy marries girl - married man gets in trouble - and the ideas and production values really keep increasing by the act. There is also a fantastic and hilarious dog. Some of the puns in act 1 (the weakest) seem a little basic, but with Max needing to constantly out-wit the aunt, but most importantly the dog, it ends up getting better and better. Act 2, featuring some extremely rauchy dance moves had me in stitches, and act 3 really goes all-out. It feels basic compared to the two most known Linder films, but still a great and extremely fun experience. 8/10.
I didn't think a lot of the middle stretch of the film (after the raunchy dance as the mistaken note etc gags are set-up), but yes, this was very amusing overall. Hilarious dog indeed and I loved that dog title card. I just added the film to my own 500<400 list; are you considering adding it to yours? :shifty:
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#34

Post by blueboybob » September 4th, 2020, 1:24 pm

6. Life of the Jews of Palestine (1913)
7. The Captive (1915)
8. This Ancient Law (1923)
9. The Cigarette (1919)
10. The Loves of Pharaoh (1922)
11. For Luck (1917)
12. You Never Know Women (1926)

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#35

Post by Lonewolf2003 » September 4th, 2020, 1:59 pm

1. Ich möchte kein Mann sein [I Don't Want to Be a Man] (1918, Ernst Lubitsch) rewatch: 6.5 > 7.2 - Enjoyable and surprisingly subversive with a man kissing a (girl dressed up as) young man.
2. Die Puppe [The Doll] (1919, Ernst Lubitsch): 7.5 - A charming and amusing movie with great creative set and costume designs. The male lead is a bit dull, but that's also cause his character supposed to be. It's also very funny.

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#36

Post by Traveller » September 4th, 2020, 4:05 pm

12. Women of Ryazan (1927) - 6/10
13. Father Sergius (1918) - 7/10
14. Ella Cinders (1926) - 5/10
ICM
September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

jdidaco
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#37

Post by jdidaco » September 4th, 2020, 5:12 pm

Thank you for hosting one of my favorite yearly traditions, Traveller!

(Screenshots from 'Protéa' & 'Étude de la lumière'),

With apologies to Protéa, but I just love her sidekick, L'Anguille (The Eel),

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1. Protéa (Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, 1913) 8/10
2. Les gaz mortels (The Deadly Gases, Abel Gance, 1916) 7.5/10
3. Haceldama ou Le prix du sang (Julien Duvivier, 1919) 7/10
4. Étude de la Lumière (Maurice Audibert, 1923) 9/10 (27 min), Harmonies de Paris (Lucie Derain, 1929) 7.5/10 (29 min), Jeux arborescents: Fugue en mineur (Émile Malespine, 1931) 7.5/10 (4 min) (Total: 60 min)
5. Âme d'artiste (Heart of an Actress, Germaine Dulac, 1924) 8/10
6. Paris en cinq jours (Paris in Five Days, Pierre Colombier & Nicolas Rimsky, 1926) 7.5/10

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sol
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#38

Post by sol » September 5th, 2020, 1:17 am

The Great SilenceShow
1. The Nut (1921)
2. Leap Year (1924)
3. Fig Leaves (1926)
4. Be My Wife (1921)

5. Za Schastem (1917)

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While technically quite advanced for a silent film of its vintage (all of the cutaways, reactions shots and changes of shot distance make this feel like something from the 20s rather than the 10s), the story here is decidedly second-rate with love triangle melodrama mess. Sickly daughter is in love with her mother's boyfriend; how can this be resolved? And will her failing eyesight get better or worse? It's too soap opera-like to care. Solid ending though.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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Ebbywebby
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#39

Post by Ebbywebby » September 5th, 2020, 7:20 am

1. I saw "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" last night...it had been in my DVR since the end of 2019. Golly, it had a BOOB in it. Shocking.

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Traveller
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#40

Post by Traveller » September 5th, 2020, 4:08 pm

15. The Mark of Zorro (1920) - 4/10
16. The Jack-Knife Man (1920) - 4/10
17. The Dragon Painter (1919) - 6/10
18. The Toll of the Sea (1922) - 6/10
19. Twilight of a Woman's Soul (1913) - 7/10
20. In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914) - 5/10
21. Hot Water (1924) - 8/10
22. For Heaven's Sake (1926) - 7/10
23. Grandma's Boy (1922) - 6/10
24. Different from the Others (1919) - 6/10
ICM
September Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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