The Mark of Zorro (1920) - News Poster


National Film Registry: A Sirk, Some Ghostbusters, and Zorro

Nooooo. I almost forgot to share the National Film Registries new titles. Each year they add 25 pictures  that are deemed historically, culturally or aesthetically important. Each year I suggest that we should watch all the titles together. Well, the ones we can find at least. Perhaps we'll actually do that for 2016 -- you never know! Getting a spot on the National Film Registry is more symbolic than active. It does not guarantee preservation or restorations but it does suggest that these films should all be preserved and/or restored.

The 2015 additions are:


Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894) - watch it now. it's six seconds long... the earliest surviving copyrighted film Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) -watch it now. (7 minutes) from a short Winsor McCay comic strip A Fool There Was (1915) -watch it now. (66 minutes) Theda Bara tempts a married man! It's always the woman's fault, don't you know  Humoresque
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Imitation of Life,’ ‘Being There,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ and More Added to National Film Registry

Since 1989, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has been accomplishing the important task of preserving films that “represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.” From films way back in 1897 all the way up to 2004, they’ve now reached 675 films that celebrate our heritage and encapsulate our film history.

Today they’ve unveiled their 2015 list, which includes classics such as Douglas Sirk‘s melodrama Imitation of Life, Hal Ashby‘s Being There, and John Frankenheimer‘s Seconds. Perhaps the most popular picks, The Shawshank Redemption, Ghostbusters, Top Gun, and L.A. Confidential were also added. Check out the full list below.

Being There (1979)

Chance, a simple-minded gardener (Peter Sellers) whose only contact with the outside world is through television, becomes the toast of the town following a series of misunderstandings. Forced outside his protected environment by the death of his wealthy boss, Chance subsumes his late employer’s persona,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Shawshank Redemption’ Added to National Registry of Film

  • The Wrap
‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Shawshank Redemption’ Added to National Registry of Film
“Ghostbusters,” “Top Gun” and “The Shawshank Redemption” were among the 25 movies added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, acting Librarian of Congress David Mao announced Wednesday. The 2015 registry includes such iconic movies as the 1997 film-noir crime film “L.A. Confidential,” starring Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey; the 1959 melodrama “Imitation of Life,” starring Lana Turner; and the Douglas Fairbanks 1920 swashbuckler “The Mark of Zorro.” Also on the list of significant films is one of the earliest film recordings and the oldest surviving copyrighted motion picture, produced by Thomas Edison’s team of inventors. Recorded in...
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Top Gun,’ ‘L.A. Confidential’ Among 2015 National Film Registry Selections

‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Top Gun,’ ‘L.A. Confidential’ Among 2015 National Film Registry Selections
Ghostbusters,” “Top Gun,” “L.A. Confidential” and “Being There” are among the Library of Congress’ 2015 selections for the National Film Registry.

Each year, the Library of Congress adds 25 notable films to its permanent collection, ensuring that the titles will be preserved for generations to come. The 2015 class is typically eclectic, ranging from silent films to 1980s blockbusters, edgy indies to educational films such as the Disney-produced 1946 entry “The Story of Menstruation.”

“Selecting a film for the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to cinema and America’s cultural and artistic history,” said acting Librarian of Congress David Mao. “The registry is an invaluable way to advance public awareness of the richness, creativity and variety of our nation’s film heritage.”

The 2015 selections bring the number of titles in the registry to 675. The films are selected by Library of Congress staffers and the National Film Preservation Board, after reviewing nominations made
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark Of Zorro (1920) in 35mm with Live Music December 13th at Webster University

The Mark Of Zorro Screens Sunday, December 13th at Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium (470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63119) with Live piano by Ben Model, one of the nation’s leading silent film accompanists.

I used to check out The Mark Of Zorro on 8mm film from the library and watch it over and over in my basement when I was a kid in the early ‘70s and I can’t wait to see it in glorious 35mm (the print is from the Museum of Modern Art) this Sunday night (December 13th) at Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium. Admission is $6 ($4 for seniors and free for Wu students)

In The Mark Of Zorro (1920), Don Diego Vega (Douglas Fairbanks), a foppish son of a wealthy rancher, disguises himself with a mask and cape and becomes the legendary Zorro, defender of the people when corrupt Governor Alvarado (George Periolat) crushes
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Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray Review: 'The Thief of Bagdad'

  • CineVue
★★★★☆In the early 1920s, Douglas Fairbanks was transformed from comedy star into swash-buckling heartthrob via The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921) and Robin Hood (1922). Arguably one of the high-notes amongst his sensational ripping yarns is 1924's The Thief of Bagdad, a reworking of the Arabian Nights that gave ample opportunity for his charisma to burst from the screen. His performance is complemented by lavish production design and unparalleled special effects in what was one of the decade's most expensive features. Now released on a terrific blu-ray transfer as part of the Masters of Cinema collection, this silent fantasy epic is well worth revisiting.
See full article at CineVue »

Learning From The Masters Of Cinema: Raoul Walsh's The Thief Of Bagdad

Douglas Fairbanks, "the first King of Hollywood", is today remembered as the star of numerous silent swashbuckling epics, including The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood. However, he attained the popularity and industry clout to get such projects off the ground (which were out-of-favour with the public at the time) making his name as a funny man in a string of comedies. A founding member of United Artists, and the very first president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Fairbanks and then-wife Mary Pickford were Hollywood's first golden couple and at the peak of their popularity and power, when he set his sights on his most ambitious fantasy adventure yet, The Thief of Bagdad.Loosely inspired by the collection of...

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See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Update: Batman v Superman Set Photo & Video Hint At The Waynes Death Scene

  In the comics, Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha take their son Bruce to go see The Mark of Zorro. This is most likely a reference to the 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks and not the 1940 film of the same name that starred Tyrone Powers. After the film, the Wayne family exits the theater and are confronted by a petty mugger, who ends up murdering Bruce's parents right in front of him. This tragic event has been showed over and over again in the comics, television shows and movies. Each time it is told, there are slight variations on how it unfolded. Though, it appears based on a new set photo that Batman v Superman will be the first film to add the The Mark of Zorro reference. That's actually an important addition as Bruce's childhood hero was Zorro, and the character is loosely based on elements that
See full article at ComicBookMovie »

Berlin Fest, MoMA Plan Retro Focused on Use of Light in Film

Berlin Fest, MoMA Plan Retro Focused on Use of Light in Film
The Retrospective section of the Berlin Film Festival will focus on the use of light in movie-making, the event said Thursday. The section will be curated by Deutsche Kinemathek in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where the movies will also play.

The fest said that the line-up will allow auds to discover lighting styles from a variety of genres and periods of film history.

“We admire films such as Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon,’ but for the most part we don’t know the names of the cameramen and lighting technicians who, in a team with the director, create these superb worlds of light and shadow for us. In 2014, the Retrospective will illuminate these works,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

The Retro will look at how the films of F.W. Murnau and Josef von Sternberg, with pics like “The Docks of New York” in 1928, and “Shanghai Express
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Academy & The Mary Pickford Foundation Launch Multi-year Partnership Promoting Silent Film Era – Begins Sept 11

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Mary Pickford Foundation have partnered on a multi-year initiative to promote the legacy of Mary Pickford and the silent film era, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson announced. The partnership includes an annual silent film screening, silent film preservation initiatives and the digitization of components of the Academy’s Mary Pickford Collection.

To kick off this partnership, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, the Academy and the Foundation will host a special “Inside the Vaults” event on Tuesday, September 11, at the Pickford Center in Hollywood. The evening includes behind-the-scenes tours of the vaults, a screening of a rare Mary Pickford short “The New York Hat” (1912), the Los Angeles premiere of the Academy Film Archive’s newly restored print of “The Mark of Zorro” (1920), starring Douglas Fairbanks, and a display of select items
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Silents Soar In San Francisco

How many times can I learn the same lesson? I was going to skip a Sunday morning showing of Douglas FairbanksThe Mark of Zorro at this year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival. After all, I know the movie by heart; I owned an 8mm print of it when I was a kid. But my wife and I arrived at the Castro Theatre in time to catch the last half-hour and decided to go inside the darkened auditorium. There, Doug was leaping about, undoing the bad guys as Dennis James roared away on the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. The 35mm print was stunning, and it didn’t take long for us to get caught up in the fun. I’m so glad we didn’t miss out. That feeling was driven home...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

Jude Law Wanted For Douglas Fairbanks Role In Mary Pickford Biopic

Just a few weeks ago, we reported that producers Jennifer DeLia and Julie Pacino were working on the upcoming biopic of silent era movie star Mary Pickford. They’ve now secured a leading lady — Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) — and spent their time in Cannes searching for actors to play the various men in her life.

According to Forbes (via ThePlaylist), the producers have been swept away by Jude Law, whom they want to play the role of Pickford‘s husband and silent movie star Douglas Fairbanks. He was known for playing his swashbuckling roles in films such as, The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood as well as The Mark of Zorro. The pair were married in 1920, until their divorce in 1936. Law will just need to add a thin mustache in order to resemble the actor who was once dubbed “The King of Hollywood.”

Based on Eileen Whitford‘s biography
See full article at The Film Stage »

Academy’s New “Film-To-Film” Preservation Includes The Lady Eve, The Princess Bride, Airplane!

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has undertaken a unique expansion in film preservation. As the rise of digital technology drastically reduces the availability of film stock, the project accelerates the work of the Academy Film Archive to acquire and create new archival film masters and prints from at-risk elements. Under the banner “Film-to-Film,” the $2 million initiative, approved by the Academy.s Board of Governors, focuses largely on Academy Award®-winning and nominated films from across motion picture history, including works made as recently as the 1990s.

“This is a moment of great transition for our industry, and we are responding to the urgency of that moment,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “By increasing our preservation efforts now, we are building a vital pipeline of films and film elements that we will not only safeguard, but also make available for audiences well into the future.”

Until recently, the
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Ten silent super-stars facing the advent of 'talkies'

The great movie pioneer D.W. Griffiths once said “we do not want now and we shall never want the human voice with our films.” Shame he failed to realise that film-making is a technical medium that will always develop. In the last 100 years we have had the introduction of colour, trick photography, 3D and CGI, among other numerous innovations such as CinemaScope - and even Smellovision. But none of these compare to the most revolutionary of cinematic changes: sound.

The silent era of the twenties holds little more than curiosity-value for many modern film fans. Other than a few notable exceptions such as Nosferatu (1922) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925), it’s become a long-forgotten part of cinema history. But back then we had the Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies of their day! Big stars and talented actors who sadly failed to survive the test of time.

The coming of sound was controversial,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

DVD Release: The Corsican Brothers

DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012

Price: DVD $19.95

Studio: Hen’s Tooth

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. let's his sword do the talking in The Corsican Brothers.

The 1941 action-adventure film The Corsican Brothers, adapted from the 1844 novella by Alexandre Dumas, stars the incomparable Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (The Mark of Zorro).

Hen’s Tooth’s DVD release marks the first time the Gregory Ratoff-directed movie has ever been issued on disc.

There’s plenty of swordplay and swashbuckling adventure in Dumas’ tale of identical twins Lucien and Mario, separated as infants, and raised unaware of each other’s existence. One becomes a Parisian gentleman, the other a country bandit.

When they are reunited as adults (both played by Fairbanks), they seek revenge on the evil Baron (Akim Tamiroff) who plundered their homestead and robbed them of their birthright. Complications arise when both fall in love with the same beautiful Countess (Ruth Warrick, Citizen Kane
See full article at Disc Dish »

The Artist – review

More than a homage to the silent era, Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist is a dazzling tale of love and loss

What better way could one year end and another start than with a pair of charming, funny, moving films celebrating the cinema itself? Three weeks ago Martin Scorsese gave us Hugo, a deeply felt picture about the creation of the cinema in France during the final years of the 19th century. Now the French cineaste Michel Hazanavicius returns the compliment with the complementary The Artist, about the coming of sound to Hollywood. The directors of the Nouvelle Vague were born around the time the talkies began. Hazanavicius was born seven years after Truffaut's Les quatre cents coups and Godard's Breathless but is as steeped in movies as they were. His first feature film, La classe américaine, which I haven't seen, was apparently compiled entirely of clips from old Warner Brothers films,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Slackery News Tidbits, January 28

Here's the latest Austin movie news:

Freestyle Releasing has announced that the SXSW 2010 movie Skateland will hit theaters in Austin, Houston and Dallas on April 1. The movie is set in a small Texas town in the 1980s, and although shot in Louisiana, the director, writers and producer all have Austin ties. Read Debbie's SXSW review or check out her photos from the fest of the movie's star, Ashley Greene.Joe O'Connell has news about an adaptation of Turk Pipkin's story When Angels Sing, which will start filming in Bastrop shortly. The movie is being directed by Tim McCanlies with Elizabeth Avellan producing, and stars a variety of local and national well-known faces -- nearly all musicians, it seems. It looks like it could be one of those warm-hearted holiday films, but hopefully the excellent local production team will steer it away from potential treacle and sap.The Long Center
See full article at Slackerwood »

[TV] Zorro: The Complete Series

Before DVDs, there was the VHS rental market, syndication, and the occasional art house or revival, but really, the industry was sitting on a whole lot of unmonetized content in their archives. Then along came the DVD: people started collecting, studio archivists got assistants, and suddenly everyone was making money (and making-of featurettes). Fifteen years on, well, you can only release Seinfeld so many times, so here we are, with the Family Channel’s thoroughly mediocre Zorro in hastily produced box set form.

You remember Zorro of course: the Batman of Spanish California, the man with no name who never rides out of town. With trusty steed Tornado, bullwhip and sword, he sows justice in the night with cunning and speed, ("Zorro" is Spanish for "fox", keep up!) and from 1990-1993, he sowed poorly choreographed justice on basic cable. Like Batman, he is a man of education and means, but unlike Bruce Wayne,
See full article at JustPressPlay »

DVD Playhouse--January 2011

DVD Playhouse: January 2011


Allen Gardner

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (20th Century Fox) Sequel to the seminal 1980s film catches up with a weathered, but still determined Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas, who seems to savor every syllable of Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff’s screenplay) just out of jail and back on the comeback trail. In attempting to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter (Carey Mulligan), Gekko forges a reluctant alliance with her fiancé (Shia Labeouf), himself an ambitious young turk who finds himself seduced by Gekko’s silver tongue and promise of riches. Lifeless film is further evidence of director Oliver Stone’s decline. Once America’s most exciting filmmaker, Stone hasn’t delivered a film with any teeth since 1995’s Nixon. Labeouf and Mulligan generate no sparks on-screen, and the story feels forced from the protracted opening to the final, Disney-esque denouement. Only a brief cameo by Charlie Sheen,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »
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