An account of the life of Jesus Christ, based on the books of the New Testament: After Jesus' birth is foretold to his parents, he is born in Bethlehem, and is visited by shepherds and wise... See full summary »
Young Pauline is left a lot of money when her wealthy uncle dies. However, her uncle's secretary has been named as her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially take ... See full summary »
Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »
Edwin E. Reed
A young director intent on making "the greatest color crime movie ever" can't seem to finish his script--he has a beginning and an end, but he can't quite figure out the middle. The ... See full summary »
Nearly silent comedy filmed in black and white follows a street artist (Charles Lane), who rescues a baby after her father was murdered. The artist then sets off to find the mother, but has... See full summary »
An immigrant leaves his sweetheart in Italy to find a better life across the sea in the grimy slums of New York. They are eventually reunited and marry. But life in New York is hard and ... See full summary »
J. Frank Burke
"The plotters, anticipating Motana's death, "mourn" him as his hair, stuffed into the bodies of toads, smokes over their fire" reads one of the title cards. This is, after all, a documentary about the Kwakiutl Indians. And yet, clearly, it is a directed story film. It's an unusual sort of film these days, limited to "novel and astonishing works of unprefigured genius" like THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY, but in reality, this is how documentaries started. Flaherty "cheated" by modern standards on NANOOK OF THE NORTH. CHANG has a story line imposed on it. While unedited footage of Kwakiutl Indians carving totem poles might have been a big draw in 1896, by 1914 the sophisticated filmgoer demanded more: a story line. And so we had this, by modern standard, odd .... well, call it a "mockumentary", but not in the sense of a Christopher Guest film. We see real Kwakiutls in real Kwakiutl regalia dancing real Kwakiutl war dances aboard real Kwakiutl war canoes. It's just that it's edited together and given titles to make it a story.
Interestingly, although a story film, this movie survives because it was saved at a couple of museums. So what can we make of it?
Well, make of it what you want. A feature film from the dawn of feature films; fascinating shots of Kwakiutl Indians when they still did these things. Do you want egg in your beer?
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