The Sunday Intertitle: A Film in Intertitles

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Time to give your negative capability a workout, folks! Reduced to its title cards, the 1915 slapstick romance WISHED ON MABEL, starring Mabel Normand and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, becomes both abstract and winsome. Which it is, anyway, when you watch it straight. But my way is quicker.

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Richard J. Anobile, eat your heart out! The other advantage of watching the film this way is that it eliminates most of the laughs, which could be useful if your intercostal muscles are feeling bruised or weary.

Next week: Erich Von Stroheim’s GREED reduced to its intertitles. We are confident he would have released the film this way, if he had thought of it.

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6 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: A Film in Intertitles”

  1. The glitches enhance! Never restore this film!

  2. ” Erich Von Stroheim’s GREED reduced to its intertitles. We are confident he would have released the film this way, if he had thought of it.”
    …but it would have been longer than the original novel.

  3. I agree. Ubu web hosts several movies transferred from old VHS dupes that decayed or degenerated in wonderful ways. They had ( I don’t see it up there now) a copy of Dog Star Man so far gone it was virtually an alternate version, and beyond beautiful.

  4. I was very glad to hear Shirley Clarke’s shorts were being restored, though, because the dance films clearly aspired to a prisitne beauty that wasn’t detectable anymore. I even saw them projected at Edinburgh (next to a snoozing Sean Connery) and they were falling apart in the gate…

  5. I adore Shirley. I was assistant publicist on “Portrait of Jason” and hung with her a lot in her penthouse at the Chelsea hotel. Great great filmmaker . Wonderful woman.

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