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CAPITOLFEST Serves Rare, Early Film Feast With All the Trimmings

Two weeks ago today I was on my way to what would turn out to be a fantastically rich, three-day movie-going experience, one I’ve made it my mission to promote as much as possible because it remains oddly obscure.  That event is Capitolfest in Rome, New York, a three-day classic film festival which celebrated its 13th […]


My Favorite Classic Movie: Chaplin’s CITY LIGHTS (1931)

A few days ago I was looking for a bottle of wine to take to a friend’s house and it caught my eye as I turned into the aisle where the pinot noir sit ripe for the picking.  I grabbed the dusty bottle off the shelf as it stood among dozens of others.  Cradling it in my […]


Film Preservation Blogathon: THE LOST WORLD (1925)

I’m thrilled to help spread the word about an important fund-raising event, the fourth edition of the For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon created to help raise money to preserve our film heritage for future generations.  Each edition of this blogathon sets its sight on a particular movie that is in danger of disappearing forever.  This […]


In 1925 Russia ‘Tis Chess, not Love that conquers all – CHESS FEVER from Flicker Alley

If you’d told me a 1925 Soviet comedy about chess would delight I’d’ve said выбраться отсюда!  Yet, I was indeed delighted by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky‘s CHESS FEVER. In the real world of Moscow in 1925 the city hosted the first state-sponsored Chess Tournament between November 10 and December 8.  During the entire near-month-long event hundreds of Soviet […]


Silent Film Music Podcast by Ben Model – A MUST!

Ben Model fell in love with silent movies as a kid.  It was only natural then that he should enroll in New York University years later to study filmmaking.  It was during his time as a student at NYU that he noticed and was bothered by the fact that the silent films shown in his classes bombed with the […]


My time in Rome for Capitolfest 2014

I had the most fantastic festival recap ever written ready to go when I read Norm Landis’ “Film fest ‘jewel’ grows’ piece in the Rome Sentinel and thought, “what’s the point?’  Mr. Landis not only covers all the important points, stats and highlights from last week’s Capitolfest, but does so much better than I ever could. […]


Capitolfest 2014! Bill Powell awaits.

In less than two months I’ll be in Rome, New York for Capitolfest 12, my second visit to the City and the festival which honors silent film and early talking pictures. I had a blast at Last year’s festival, a laid-back homage to the early days of the movies presented in the glorious Capitol Theater, a 1,788-seat […]

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The Little Tramp turns 100

“A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” – Charlie Chaplin Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Charlie Chaplin‘s Little Tramp when the Keystone Comedy, Kid Auto Races at Venice was released.  The day was January 7, 1914 and the character would […]


Celebrating A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Edison, Welles and Barrymore

“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol This year marks the 172nd anniversary of the publishing of Charles Dickens’ most popular work, A Christmas Carol.  When first released […]


To the Lon Chaneys – a wall of faces

As soon as I learned about A Thousand Faces! The Chaney Blogathon hosted by Movies, Silently and The Last Drive-In, which is celebrating the careers of both Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney, Jr. I made my choice of film – George Waggner’s 1941 Universal classic, The Wolf Man, which stars the younger Chaney.  That post will follow in a day […]


Buster Keaton in THE HAUNTED HOUSE (1921)

In celebration of what would have been Buster Keaton‘s birthday (October 4, 1895) and in keeping with an October-ish theme, here is a presentation of his 1921 film, The Haunted House, which was written and directed by Keaton and Edward F. Cline. “Silence is of the gods; only monkeys chatter.” (No music accompaniment) To see images of Buster […]


Frankenstein (1910)

Once Upon a Screen is unofficially dedicating the month of October to Frankenstein’s Monster.  Not only does The Monster remain among the most popular characters in media almost two centuries after Mary Shelley created him, but I also happen to be very fond of the brute.  A full-fledged tribute to a Century of film depictions […]


The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)

The years 1909 through 1913 are considered D. W. Griffith’s years of discovery due to the legendary director’s innovative work in silent film.  Those early works paved the way not only for the epics he would make that expanded film as a narrative art form, but also because of his effect on many notable filmmakers […]


The Gish Sisters – an album

“I never cease to wonder at my luck in having for my sister the woman who, more than any other woman in America, possesses all the qualities of true greatness.” — Dorothy Gish in Stage magazine about her sister Lillian Gish Dorothy Gish – movie legend Lillian Gish – movie legend ________________________________ This pictorial is […]


Film pioneer, Alice Guy-Blaché gets her due

Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs are founding partners at PIC Agency, an audio-visual communications studio focused on entertainment and motion design based in Los Angeles, California. For more than two years Green and van Sluijs have worked on a documentary that tells the story of Alice Guy-Blaché, cinema’s first woman director.  With Be Natural: The untold story of Alice Guy-Blaché, Green […]

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Capitolfest 11 – a festival recap

I’m just back from Rome, New York, my first visit to the city and the historic theater which hosted the 11th Capitolfest, a celebration of the event’s tenth anniversary. There was palpable excitement at noon on Friday, August 9 as the relatively small, but devoted group settled in to the historic Capitol Theater to watch F. […]


A weekend of Silent Film at Capitolfest 11

Next weekend I’ll be at Capitolfest in Rome, New York, my first visit to the festival and the city.  Capitolfest, which will be celebrating its eleventh incarnation, honors silent film and early talking films.  I couldn’t be more excited to venture into the world of silent film for an entire weekend – a first! The […]


Mary Pickford Interview

In tribute to Mary Pickford who would have celebrated her birthday today, I thought I’d share this outstanding interview she did with CBC Radio on May 25, 1959.  In it she recounts memories of her life and career – a smorgasbord of wonderful quotes and remembrances. In her own words for your listening pleasure. Images: […]


Mack Sennet/Gloria Swanson double feature.

A bit late as Miss Swanson would have celebrated her birthday a couple of days ago, but no less fun and never a waste to remember.  Here are a couple of silent comedy shorts starring Gloria Swanson and Bobby Vernon – both directed by Clarence G. Badger and produced by Mack Sennett.  And worth a […]

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Good Night, Nurse! (1918)

Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle would have celebrated his birthday today (1887-1933).  In remembrance here is a 1918 comedy short, Good Night, Nurse, which co-stars Buster Keaton.  Not only is this great fun, but it’s historic – Buster Keaton smiles on camera! From 1918, written and directed by Roscoe Arbuckle, here’s Good Night, Nurse. Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle…


Chaplin signs with Mutual Film Corporation, 1916

Today in 1916 Charlie Chaplin signs with Mutual Film Corporation. “By 1916, just two years after appearing in his first motion picture, Charles Chaplin had become the most famous entertainer in the world. Buoyed by his enormously successful comedies for Keystone and Essanay, he was offered the largest salary ever extended to a motion picture […]


Chaplin’s, THE KID

Released today in 1921 a gem from one of cinema’s true masters, Charlie Chaplin’s, The Kid. The film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2011 as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” You can access the complete list of cast and crew here.


Images of Buster Keaton

The most basic and obvious allure of film is the image.  Although I sometimes feel like a cheat when I post pictorials dedicated to classic stars on this blog, they are also the posts I revisit most often.  I never tire of looking at these people and I know I’m not alone.  Today calls for […]


A Romance of the Redwoods

Other than the significant role she played in Hollywood history, I know close to nothing of Mary Pickford’s work as an actress.  This is why I wanted to take part in The Mary Pickford Blogathon hosted by Classic Movies.  My attempt to venture wholeheartedly into the world of silent film.  To this point I can […]