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Short Starts: Watch 5 Santa Claus Films From More Than 100 Years Ago

Later today, we have a Christmas-themed edition of Scenes We Love, in which you’ll find a number of favorite movie moments of varying genres and content. Some of them involve Santa Claus. So, in lieu of finding a short film made by or featuring someone related to a new film out this week, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the earliest cinematic appearances of the jolly old holiday mascot. If you want to go back further than your usual classics-honoring tradition of watching Miracle on 34th Street, definitely check out these five ancient shorts. One of the scenes I nearly chose for the forthcoming feature is the opening of City of Lost Children, which isn’t quite a Christmas movie but it does include Santa-infused dream sequences. And those sequences tend to remind me of the dreamy fantasies of early Santa films. For example, here
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Colour film of 1901, judged world's earliest ever, found at media museum

British cinematographer's footage of his children, Brighton beach and Hyde Park, pre-date Edwardians' Kinemacolor

There is not much of a plot – goldfish in bowl – but the scene and others from the same rolls of film were revealed on Wednesday as the earliest colour moving images ever made in a discovery that does nothing less than "rewrite film history".

The National Media Museum in Bradford said it had found what it contends are truly historic films from 1901/02, pre-dating what had been thought to be the first successful colour process – Kinemacolor – by eight years.

"We believe this will literally rewrite film history," said the museum's head of collections, Paul Goodman. "I don't think it is an overstatement. These are the world's first colour moving images."

The films were made by a young British photographer and inventor called Edward Turner, a pioneer who can now lay claim to being the father of moving colour film,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

British Film Institute Discovers World’s Oldest Dickensian Movie

While hunting around in the archive, British Film Institute Silent Film Curator Bryony Dixon stumbled upon a short film called The Death of Poor Joe from director G.A. Smith which was released early in 1901 – making it the oldest movie featuring a Charles Dickens character. Smith’s career began in 1897, and he managed nearly 100 shorts in 13 years. His most famous work might be A Kiss In the Tunnel (which featured a man and woman stealing some time on a tunnel-darkened train for some romance), but the new recognition here might propel the minute-long Poor Joe to the top of the list. This is especially good timing because, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, because of this year’s celebration of Dickens’s work on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The movie itself features a small crossing sweeper child from the novel “Bleak House,” and it looks appropriately destitute.
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

World's oldest Charles Dickens film discovered

A 111-year-old film which depicts a character from Bleak House, was found by an archivist at the British Film Institute

An archivist at the British Film Institute has stumbled across a 1901 movie just one minute long which turns out to be the earliest surviving film featuring a character from the works of Charles Dickens.

Bryony Dixon was researching early films of China when she noticed an entry in a catalogue referring to The Death of Poor Joe, which she realised could refer to a character in Dickens' Bleak House.

Not expecting to find a film to match the catalogue entry - most movies this old have not survived - Dixon says she was astonished to discover the film was actually in the BFI's collection, albeit under a different title.

The discovery was announced on Friday, just over a month after the bicentenary of Dickens' birth was celebrated around the world.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The House that Jack Built and Your Portal to Ninety Minutes of Misery: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a screener of this film was provided by Gravitas Ventures.

Director: Bruce Reisman.

Writer: Bruce Reisman and Kris Black.

Here is another entry into the worst films for 2011 here at 28Dla. The title of this latest nomination is The House That Jack Built and this is more of an ego project for actor Kris Black than anything else. Poor acting, lack of rehearsals, a small budget and the use of one set make this film feel cheap, while the script is seriously uninspired. As a little backstory, "The House That Jack Built" was originally a poem from 1755 and there have been at least eleven films made with this title, beginning with George Albert Smith's experimental 1910 film. Without having seen the other ten films, this version is by far the worst. Although this film was technically released on DVD in August of 2010, The House That Jack Built releases this month through video-on-demand.
See full article at 28 Days Later Analysis »

All things Brighton beautiful

Experiments in the British seaside town were among the most significant early attempts to bring colour to the film industry

The first thing you see on entering Capturing Colour is Loïe Fuller, or one of her imitators, performing the "Serpentine Dance" on the earliest kind of colour film, hand-tinted frame by frame. Fuller's act, which involved her whirling her silky costume about the stage of the Folies-Bergère with arms and sticks, while bathed in multi-coloured light, transfixed the poets, painters, and sculptors of fin-de-siècle Europe, who saw in the dance a return to the primitive and intuitive, a manifestation of "Art, nameless, radiant", as one of them had it.

Though the film is, conventionally speaking, a relic, the very unnaturalness of the colourist's splotchy handiwork is, speaking otherwise, true to Fuller's literary reputation, taking us a shade closer towards understanding what Mallarmé, intoxicated by her "limelit phantasmagoria", meant by "the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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