Archive for December 5th, 2009

Abel Gance’s silent masterpiece, “La Reue” (1923)
     The two-month duration of voting for the 90’s poll will conclude on Sunday December 13th at 11:00 P.M., eight days from the date of this post.  With Allan’s #1 choice unveiled today, remaining voters are asked to get their own lists in order and post them under the ‘Best Films of the 90’s’ thread on top of the site header.  Voting Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’Arminio Jr., who has tirelessly navigated the returns of every poll until now, is eager and ready to bring this venture to a successful conclusion, and has informed me that about 25 ballots or so have already been submitted, meaning in all likelihood the total will top 30.     After some rather contentious discussion, it has been decided that Allan’s preference on the upcoming order of events will be honored and that the long-planned silent cinema polling will begin over the days before Christmas.  The silent poll will be the most auspicious undertaking this site has ever attempted, as Allan has insisted that he present his “Top 100” rather than only “Top 50” meaning that the poll will run from late December until the end of March.  Allan and I share a significant similarity:  We both feel silent cinema is the greatest cinema of all-time, and we both have spent quite a bit of time studying and appreciating it.  Of Allan’s Top 100 I have seen between 80 to 85, but like Movie Man I plan on accelerating my preparation.  Movie Man is also a huge silent film fan and at The Dancing Image he has archived a priceless catalogue of silent reviews, including the complete D.W. Griffith canon, and so much more including some vintage Dreyer.  Movie Man completes the triumpherate here at Wonders of silent film fanatics, but Tony d’Ambra has been moving in that direction as of late, and it’s expected that Jamie, Dave Hicks, John Greco, Troy Olson, Pierre de Plume, Jason Giampietro, Kevin Olson, Dee Dee, Jon Lanthier, Bob Clark, Daniel Getahun, Just Another Film Buff, Ari, Joe, Shubhajit, Margaret, Andrew Wyatt, Craig, Dennis, Pat, J.D., Samuel Wilson, Stephen of the U.K., Judy, David Schleicher, Phillip, Joseph Demme, Bobby J., Ric Burke of the “Zeroes” fame, Coffee Messiah, Tony Dayoub, Qalandar, Jenny, David Van Popper, Jeopardy Girl, and many others will be focusing their attention to silents if some of them haven’t already.  Judy just reviewed Wings at her place, for example.

    Kaleem Hasan, Dorothy Porker, David Noack, Ed Howard, Frank Gallo, Peter, and and some others are big silent fans, and of course Ed has reviewed some challenging material like Franju and early Hitchcock at his site.  T.S. of Screen Savour has been on sabatical as of late, but his specialty has always been the silents, as he has done extraordinary work with Chaplin, Keaton and the early German masters.  In fact T.S. is a titan in this regard.  Marilyn Ferdinand, a consumate scholar also has an extensive background, as does her site colleague Rod of the U.K., who just reviewed The Big Parade.  Rick Olson is a long-time proponent of silent cinema as well, and the esteemed Film Dr. is another writer with extensive background.

    Hence the 2000’s polling (2000-2009) won’t commence until early April, at which point many other internet pollings will be complete.  But ours will allow many to take their time seeing films they may not have seen with the quick-trigger voting, making the project far more comprehensive.

    Once again that man from Sydney, Tony d’Ambra, has done some magnificent work on our sidebar!  Check it out!  It’s really great stuff.  Thank yous are simply not enough.

Renee Falconetti gives the greatest performance in the history of the cinema as the lead in Dreyer’s “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (France; 1928)

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(France/Poland 1991 98m) DVD1/2

Aka. La Double Vie de Véronique

Four Colours: Yellow

p  Leonardo de la Fuente  d  Krzysztof Kieslowski  w  Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz  ph  Slowimir Idziak  ed  Jacques Witta  m  Zbigniew Preisner  art  Patrice Mercier, Halina Dobrowolska 

Irène Jacob (Weronika/Véronique), Halina Gryglaszewska (aunt), Kalina Jedrusik (gaudy woman), Aleksander Bardini (orchestra conductor), Philippe Volter (Alexandre Fabbri),

One would be forgiven for thinking that Kieslowski had premonitions of his death, a feeling I had ever since I noticed the use of the number 270641196 in Three Colours: Blue (see the essay from that film for an explanation).  I deliberately avoided watching this earlier Kieslowski film again after first seeing it in 1991 because I wanted to wait for a suitable DVD version to be released.  (more…)

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