Distilled (un-credited) from Kevin Brownlow's 1968 book "The Parade's Gone By...", this 13-part mini-series follows the rise and fall of the American silent film industry. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of silent film history and production. Several silent film makers - stars, writers, directors, producers, stunt-men and crew - and their family and friends are interviewed. Also included are hundreds of film clips and behind-the-scene photographs, how-did-they-do-that spoilers and lots of trivia.Written by
Steven W. Siferd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The interviews for this series were conducted from around 1976 or so, and were the final on-screen appearances of many luminaries and key figures from the silent period, several of whom had passed away before the series aired in 1980. See more »
Agnes de Mille:
There was great excitement, and great fervor, and great sense of romance, romantic adventure. They didn't know what they were working in. They didn't know what the future would be. They didn't know what they were doing. They knew that every picture broke boundaries. Some one new thing would be done. A new way of handling the camera. A new way of cutting. A new way of lighting. And they would be so excited by it! And my father used to say, always, "We are not real artists. None of us. We are ...
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I heard of this documentary years ago and bought it on Laser Disc (that's right, Laser Disc, eat your hearts out!) in the 90's. This is THE BEST documentary on silent film I have every seen. 10 of 10!
If my house was on fire, and I only had time to grab one laser disc, this would be it. From the fantastic, sweet music of the opening titles to the end of part 13, this will HOLD your interest for 12 hours (each part is about 52 min. long). The 4 page essay by Kevin Brownlow with the laser disc set is fantastic.
Watching silent film on television at home is different than watching a sound film. With a sound film, you might glance at the newspaper, let the dog out, etc. and still use your ears to keep up with the story, but a silent film HOLDS you to the screen.
To quote the last lines of the Brownlow essay: "It is impossible to listen to these people without marvelling; they are so extraordinary in their old age... what must Hollywood have been like when they were all young? This series tries to find out."
I agree: WHERE IS THE DVD!!!!
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