Segundo de Chomón - News Poster


Slippery Jim — Ferdinand Zecca

Slippery Jim by Ferdinand Zecca. The completion/release year of Slippery Jim varies among sources.

The catalog for the 1947 Art in Cinema program dates the film as circa 1906. However, Richard Abel, a silent movie historian, gives two dates for the film. First, in his The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914 (published 1998), Abel places the film in 1910 citing a Motion Picture World magazine article and a Pathé World Bulletin, both published in October 1910.

Later, Abel places the film in 1908-1909 in his Encyclopedia of Early Cinema (published 2010). Most online sources claim a definitive year as 1910 without sourcing the origin of that date, but perhaps it began with The Ciné Goes to Town.

The original source of the above bootlegged version of the film is unknown, as well.

Although this is a French film, the opening title card calls the film Slippery Jim, perhaps for its U.S. release. The
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Remembering Forgotten Early Female Documentarian and That Talkies Began Long Before 'The Jazz Singer'

'Amazing Tales from the Archives': Pioneering female documentarian Aloha Wanderwell Baker remembered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival – along with the largely forgotten sound-on-cylinder technology and the Jean Desmet Collection. 'Amazing Tales from the Archives': San Francisco Silent Film Festival & the 'sound-on-cylinder' system Fans of the earliest sound films would have enjoyed the first presentation at the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 1–4: “Amazing Tales from the Archives,” during which Library of Congress' Nitrate Film Vault Manager George Willeman used a wealth of enjoyable film clips to examine the Thomas Edison Kinetophone process. In the years 1913–1914, long before The Jazz Singer and Warner Bros.' sound-on-disc technology, the sound-on-cylinder system invaded the nascent film industry with a collection of “talkies.” The sound was scratchy and muffled, but “recognizable.” Notably, this system focused on dialogue, rather than music or sound effects. As with the making of other recordings at the time, the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Will Women's Right to Vote Signal the End of the Family?: Socially Conscious Rarities

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Annecy: Spanish Animation – Art and Now Industry?

Annecy – Annecy’s 2015 guest country, Spain arrives at 2015 Annecy Fest with the biggest animation spread in its history, the largest delegation – 264 registrations by last Thursday, 80% up vs. 2014 – from any country in Europe outside France, and at last some financing and market tailwinds after being hit hard by recession.

It’s too early to talk of a Spanish animation boom. But there is a larger sense of optimism in the sector, of some sort of recovery. “We are at a key point in animation history in Spain. There’s an incredibly active panorama which we haven’t seen for years,” said Ignacio Perez Dolset, president at Ilion Animation Studios.

The question now is whether Spain’s industry can really turn that corner.

From 2015, Spain’s tax authorities offer 15% tax credits to international productions that use Spanish animation houses or vfx. Spain’s animation sector needs as a matter of urgency such structural aid.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Annecy Animation Fest Unveils Lineup, Turns Spotlight on Women

Paris — The Annecy International Animation Film Festival is set to turn the spotlight on women working in the toon world.

The 2015 Honorary Cristal will be awarded to Florence Miailhe, a critically acclaimed director whose short “Conte de Quartier” won a special mention in Cannes in 2006.

The fest will also showcase the work of Canadian female director Janet Perlman, whose short “The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin” won an Oscar in 1981.

Annecy’s artistic director Marcel Jean sifted through a record 2,606 films from 95 different countries, including 73 features, to finally come up with the final 215 films.

As every year, the festival will unspool a flurry of high-profile international animated pics. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen Ever” and “Zootopia” by Byron Howard (“Tangled”) and Rich Moore (“Wreck-It Ralph”), as well as Pixar/Disney’s “The Good Dinosaur” and “Inside Out” (which world premieres at Cannes, pictured above) will play at Annecy.

The competition
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Babadook' (2014) Movie Review

The appeal of Aussie writer/director Jennifer Kent's psychological horror The Babadook has little, if anything, to do with any chills it offers its viewers. Adapted from her 2005 short film (watch here), Kent explores love, loss, grief, motherhood and our ability to squash inner-demons, as well as our inability to ever let them go entirely in a fairy tale-esque thriller fans of Guillermo del Toro's Spanish-language features are sure to enjoy, though horror fans hoping for traditional cheap thrills may walk away disappointed. The story tells of Amelia (Essie Davis) and her six-year-old son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), six years after the sudden death of her husband. Amelia seems good natured enough when we first meet her, reading Samuel children's books to put him to sleep even though he rages throughout the day, screaming of a monster that haunts his dreams. This so-called monster is initially nameless until the
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Daily | Cinema Scope, Sallitt, Rossellini

The new issue of Cinema Scope features articles on Harun Farocki, Xavier Dolan, David Lynch, Eugène Green and Michael Snow and interviews with Pedro Costa, Simone Rapisarda Casanova and Peter von Bagh and more. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky on Dan Sallitt's The Unspeakable Act, Jordan Cronk on Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, Howard Hampton on Eraserhead, David Cairns on Segundo de Chomón, Sierra Pettengill on Roberto Rossellini's Roma città aperta—and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Cinema Scope, Sallitt, Rossellini

The new issue of Cinema Scope features articles on Harun Farocki, Xavier Dolan, David Lynch, Eugène Green and Michael Snow and interviews with Pedro Costa, Simone Rapisarda Casanova and Peter von Bagh and more. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky on Dan Sallitt's The Unspeakable Act, Jordan Cronk on Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets, Howard Hampton on Eraserhead, David Cairns on Segundo de Chomón, Sierra Pettengill on Roberto Rossellini's Roma città aperta—and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

A Destitute Waif

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In Dimitri Kirsanoff's Menilmontant a destitute waif, betrayed and abandoned by the man who seduced her, sits on a park bench with her newborn infant. Beside her is an old man eating a sandwich. This wordless exchange is one of the greatest moments ever committed to film. Nadia Sibirskaia’s face reveals all of life’s cruel mysteries as she gazes upon a crust of bread.

The persistence of hope is the dark angel that underlies despair, and here it taunts her mercilessly. A whole series of fluctuations of expression and movement in reaction to anguish, physical pain involving hesitation, dignity, ravenous hunger, survival, self-contempt, modesty, boundless gratitude. All articulated with absolute clarity without hitting notes (without touching the keys). Chaplin could have played either the old man on the bench (his mustache is a sensory device!) or Nadia. And it would have been masterful and deeply affecting,
See full article at MUBI »

The Forgotten: Furniture Moving

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Very nicely restored edition of Émile Cohl's Mobilier fidèle (The Faithful Furnishings, 1910, sometimes known as The Automatic Moving Company).

Cohl was one of the very first movie cartoonists. His earliest shorts, notably Fantasmagorie (1908) used line drawings to capitalize on animation's ability to make one figure morph magically into another. The stick figure characters, white lines on black, are pretty crude. Eventually he discovered cut-out animation, which was less fluid but allowed for very detailed drawings (since you don't have to draw a dozen new images per second), showing what a fine illustrator he could be.

But it didn't take Cohl long to discover the idea of combining animation with live action (as Segundo de Chomón was also doing). Animation becomes just another special effect, as in many modern films. We do it with CGI, he did it by having props, whether it was snapping false teeth, or as here,
See full article at MUBI »

The strange and very old relationship of Spain with the fantastic...

Do you know Segundo de Chomón and Ruiz? (Teruel, Spain 1871- Paris, France 1929) He was one of the pioneer directors of silent cinema. Director, lighting, and photographic technician, specialist in special effects and in developing films, pioneer of fantasy and animated film, he was one of the most prominent -and fascinating- figures of the first thirty years of the existence of cinematography and worked alongside some of the most important European directors of the period. He was, along with the Lumière brothers, George Méliès and Charles Pathé, one of the pioneers of cinema history. Impressed by the discovery of cinema, he traveled to Paris in 1897 to study the magnificent invention closely. On his return to Barcelona he founded a studio for the coloring...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

A short history of Spanish cinema

Beyond Buñuel, Spanish film-makers struggled to make an international impact – until Franco's death in 1975 liberated an entire generation

Spain embraced the new medium of cinema at the turn of the century as fervently as any of its European counterparts; this film of a religious procession in 1902, by the splendidly named Fructuos Gelabert, is typical of the early amateurs.

In Segundo de Chomón, however, Spain produced a trickster director

to rival France's Georges Méliès.

De Chomón worked mostly in France, and even made An Excursion to the Moon, his own version of Méliès's most famous film.

The route from Spain to France was well-trodden by the time Buñuel and Dalí made Un Chien Andalou in 1928; otherwise, little of Spain's silent-film output made any impact internationally.

The early sound period fared little better, as political convulsions in the run-up to the civil war made a settled industry difficult.

After L'Age d'Or (1930), his second French film,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

DVDs. De Chomón, Fairbanks, Lists, More

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Update: Sight & Sound's "The DVDs of 2010": "24 critics and curators choose their releases — and rediscoveries — of the year."

"For some while we have been bemoaning the lack of a DVD of the work of Segundo de Chomón," writes Luke McKernan at the Bioscope, where he's clearly pleased to announce that we've now got one: Segundo de Chomón, el cine de la fantasía. "Produced by the FilmoTeca de Catalunya, and with films taken from the collections of the BFI, Cnc Archives du Film, Eye, La Cineteca del Friuli and others, the multi-region DVD contains 31 titles (144 minutes of film), with an original music score by Joan Pineda. There is a booklet, Segundo de Chomón: Más allá del cine de las atracciones 1902-1912, written by Joan M Minguet, author of the main work on de Chomón, Segundo Chomón. El cinema de la fascinació (2009). There are subtitles available in Catalan, Spanish and English.
See full article at MUBI »

Wavelengths Presents 6 Programmes Featuring 36 Films and Videos

Wavelengths 1: Soul of the City

As the pace of the contemporary urban experience grows faster and the world becomes increasingly fractured, artists are documenting the vestiges and layers revealed in flux; global updates on the city symphony.

Tomonari Nishikawa’s Tokyo-Ebisu (Japan) is a 16mm in-camera patchwork constructed from multiple viewpoints from the platforms of Tokyo’s busiest railway line, Yamanote, and a masking technique which exposes 1/30th of a frame 30 times in order to capture an image of spectral apparitions. The Soul of Things (U.S.A) from Dominic Angerame presents luscious chiaroscuro images of the construction and destruction of modern structures exposing their inner soul. From Thom Andersen, director of Los Angeles Plays Itself, Get Out of the Car (U.S.A.) is a city symphony exploring Los Angeles’ gentrification through a thoughtful montage of façades and a playful excursus through its musical history. Callum Cooper’s Victoria,
See full article at TIFFReviews »

The Forgotten: Flaming Beefcake

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Cabiria (1914) was the seminal Italian historical epic, adding to the gigantic sets and overplayed melodrama of predecessors like Nero and The Fall of Troy, with elegant camera moves (using Segundo de Chomon's first purpose-built dolly) and celebrity cameos for Hannibal and Archimedes. "It had everything but a story," observed Karl Brown, Dw Griffith's camera assistant. Giovanni Pastrone and Gabriele D'Annunzio's historical pageant influenced movies from Intolerance to Metropolis to Conan the Barbarian, and Fellini borrowed its heroine's name for his wife's role in The White Sheik and Nights of Cabiria.

But the figure who caught the public imagination was not the titular heroine, but Maciste, the heroic slave, played by Bartolomeo Pagano, a Genovese longshoreman with a spectacularly muscled physique. Maciste/Pagano went on to star in twenty-four more movies over the next fourteen years, of which the most famous (and the only one available, albeit in somewhat
See full article at MUBI »

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