Before Hollywood: Turn-Of-The-Century American Film

American Federation of Arts, Other Rizzoli International Publications $0 (169p) ISBN 978-0-933920-91-0
Before movies took on a Hollywood polish, silent films focused candidly on human foibles and absurdities and often sided with victims of misfortune. Moralists were worried about this unsettling new medium. Early directors like D. W. Griffith, Cecil DeMille and Edwin Porter borrowed story lines from comic strips and character types from vaudeville, but their silent art soon became more complex. Realistic slice-of-life vignettes, comedies, animations, melodramas and social commentaries are among the 69 silent films highlighted in this catalogue of a traveling film exhibition. Included are The Informer, How Men Propose, What Happened in the Tunnel and A Mighty Tumble (about the razing of a building). Each film is covered by a frame still, commentaries and critical reviews. Nine scholarly essays scan the early cinema's roots and the actor's rising status. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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