100 Silent Films
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100 Silent Films

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?100 Silent Films provides an authoritative and accessible history of silent cinema through one hundred of its most interesting and significant films. As Bryony Dixon contends, silent cinema is not a genre; it is the first 35 years of film history, a complex negotiation between art and commerce and a union of creativity and technology. At its most grand - on the big screen with a full orchestral accompaniment - it is magnificent, permitting a depth of emotional engagement rarely found in other fields of cinema. Silent film was hugely popular in its day, and its success enabled the development of large-scale film production in the United States and Europe. It was the start of our fascination with the moving image as a disseminator of information and as mass entertainment with its consequent celebrity culture. The digital revolution in the last few years and the restoration and reissue of archival treasures have contributed to a huge resurgence of interest in silent cinema.Bryony Dixon's illuminating guide introduces a wide range of films of the silent period (1895-1930), including classics such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), The General (1926), Metropolis (1927), Sunrise (1927) and Pandora's Box (1928), alongside more unexpected choices, and represents major genres and directors of the period - Griffith, Keaton, Chaplin, Murnau, Sjostrom, Dovzhenko and Eisenstein - together with an introductory overview and useful filmographic and bibliographic information.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 122 x 164 x 20mm | 340.19g
  • British Film Institute
  • BFI PUBLISHING
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2011
  • biography
  • 1844573087
  • 9781844573080
  • 544,325

Back cover copy

?100 Silent Films provides an authoritative and accessible history of silent cinema through one hundred of its most interesting and significant films. As Bryony Dixon contends, silent cinema is not a genre; it is the first 35 years of film history, a complex negotiation between art and commerce and a union of creativity and technology. At its most grand - on the big screen with a full orchestral accompaniment - it is magnificent, permitting a depth of emotional engagement rarely found in other fields of cinema. Silent film was hugely popular in its day, and its success enabled the development of large-scale film production in the United States and Europe. It was the start of our fascination with the moving image as a disseminator of information and as mass entertainment with its consequent celebrity culture. The digital revolution in the last few years and the restoration and reissue of archival treasures have contributed to a huge resurgence of interest in silent cinema. Bryony Dixon's illuminating guide introduces a wide range of films of the silent period (1895-1930), including classics such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), The General (1926), Metropolis (1927), Sunrise (1927) and Pandora's Box (1928), alongside more unexpected choices, and represents major genres and directors of the period - Griffith, Keaton, Chaplin, Murnau, Sjostrom, Dovzhenko and Eisenstein - together with an introductory overview and useful filmographic and bibliographic information.show more

About Bryony Dixon

BRYONY DIXON is a curator at the BFI National Archive responsible for the collections of silent film. She has researched and written on many aspects of early and silent film and co-directs the annual British Silent Film Festival as well as programming for a variety of film festivals and events worldwide.show more

Review quote

This is no bluffer's guide. The enjoyment of silent cinema is Dixon's priority. As Dixon says when discussing Hell's Hinges (1916):"Nearly everything in current cinema can be traced back to the silent era." And that's why this guide is so valuable - anyone interested in how cinema became what it is today will find many of the answers here, both in Bryony Dixon's illuminating book and the films you will rush to watch the minute you put it down.' - Silent London 'David Thomson is arguably the doyen of "film list" authors and Dixon shares both his rare ability to justify a choice with a single cinematic trump card and his lucid prose style - her description of Dziga Vertov's radical montage as "visual Esperanto" is inspired. She captures some of silent cinema's most sublime moments - Charlie Chaplin mournfully eating his shoelaces in The Gold Rush (1925) or the woodland chase in People on Sunday (1930) - with an infectious joy.' - Lucian Robinson, The Times Literary Supplementshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements.- Introduction.- The Adventures of Dollie, D. W. Griffith, 1908.- Alfred Butterworth & Sons, Leaving the Works, Glebe Mills, Hollinford, 1901, Mitchell and Kenyon, 1901.- Alice in Wonderland, Percy Snow, 1903.- Ballet Mecanique, 1924.- The Battle of the Somme, 1916.- The Battles of the Coronel and Falkland Islands, Walter Summers, 1928.- The Battleship Potemkin.- Bronenosets Potyomkin, Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1925.- Beggars of Life, William Wellman, 1928.- Berlin, Symphony of a City, Walter Ruttmann, 1927.- The Big Swallow, James Williamson, 1901.- The Birth of a Flower, F. Percy Smith, 1910.- The Birth of a Nation, D. W. Griffith, 1915.- Blackmail, Alfred Hitchcock, 1929.- Body and Soul, Oscar Micheaux, 1925.- The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.- Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1919.- Cabiria, Giovanne Pastrone, 1914.- The Cameraman's Revenge.- Mest' kinematografi?eskogo operatora, Ladislas Starewicz, 1912.- Casanova, Alexandre Volkoff, 1928.- The Cheat, Cecil B. DeMille, 1916.- Un chien andalou, Luis Bunuel, 1928.- A Cottage on Dartmoor, Anthony Asquith, 1929.- Daybreak.- Tianming, Sun Yu, 1933.- The Derby, Topical Film Company, 1913.- Les Deux Timides, Rene Clair, 1928.- Douro, faina fluvial.- Labour on the Douro River, Manoel de Oliveira, 1931.- Drifters, John Grierson, 1929.- Earth/Zemlya, Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930.- En Dirigeable sur les Champs de Bataille, Lucien Le Sainte, 1918.- The Fall of the House of Usher.- La chute de la maison Usher, Jean Epstein, 1928.- Finis Terrae, Jean Epstein, 1928.- Flesh and the Devil, Clarence Brown, 1926.- The General, Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton, 1926.- The Gold Rush, Charles Chaplin, 1925.- The Golem, How He Came into the World.- Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam, Paul Wegener, Carl Boese, 1920.- Gosta Berlings Saga, Mauritz Stiller, 1924.- The Great Train Robbery, Edwin S. Porter, 1903.- The Great White Silence, Herbert Ponting, 1924.- Greed, Erich von Stroheim, 1925.- Heart of the World, Guy Maddin, 2000.- Hell's Hinges, Charles Swickard, 1916.- Hotes de l'air, Oliver Pike, 1910.- How a Mosquito Operates, Winsor McCay, 1912.- L'Inferno, Giuseppe Beradi, Arturo Busnego, 1911.- The Informer, Arthur Robison, 1929.- It, Clarence Badger, 1927.- I Was Born, But..., Yasujiro Ozu, 1932.- Japonaiserie, Gaston Velle, 1904.- The Kid, Charles Chaplin, 1921.- Lenin Kino-Pravda No. 21.- Leninskaia Kino Pravda, Dziga Vertov, 1925.- Liberty, Leo McCarey, 1929.- The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, Alfred Hitchcock, 1926.- The Lure of Crooning Water, A. H. Rooke, 1920.- Man with a Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov, 1928.- Manhatta, Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand, 1921.- La Mariee du chateau maudit, Albert Capellani, 1910.- The Marriage Circle, Ernst Lubitsch, 1926.- Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927.- Monte Cristo, Henri Fescourt, 1929.- Nanook of the North: A Story of Life and Love in the Actual Arctic, Robert J. Flaherty, 1922.- Napoleon, Abel Gance, 1927.- The Nibelungen Saga.- Die Nibelungen Saga, Fritz Lang, 1924.- Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horrors.- Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens, F. W. Murnau, 1922.- The Oyster Princess, Ernst Lubitsch, 1919.- Page of Madness.- Kurutta Ippeiji, Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926.- Pandora's Box.- Die Buchse der Pandora, G. W. Pabst, 192.show more

Review Text

This is no bluffer's guide. The enjoyment of silent cinema is Dixon's priority. As Dixon says when discussing Hell's Hinges (1916):"Nearly everything in current cinema can be traced back to the silent era." And that's why this guide is so valuable - anyone interested in how cinema became what it is today will find many of the answers here, both in Bryony Dixon's illuminating book and the films you will rush to watch the minute you put it down.' - Silent London 'David Thomson is arguably the doyen of "film list" authors and Dixon shares both his rare ability to justify a choice with a single cinematic trump card and his lucid prose style - her description of Dziga Vertov's radical montage as "visual Esperanto" is inspired. She captures some of silent cinema's most sublime moments - Charlie Chaplin mournfully eating his shoelaces in The Gold Rush (1925) or the woodland chase in People on Sunday (1930) - with an infectious joy.' - Lucian Robinson, The Times Literary Supplementshow more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 47% (9)
3 16% (3)
2 16% (3)
1 0% (0)
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