Archive for Variete

The Spice of Life

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , on March 29, 2016 by dcairns

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Accompanied by Stephen Horne (piano and various) and Frank Bockius (percussion), E.A. Dupont’s VARIETE was a triumph at the Bo’ness Hippodrome. Deliberately rather cold, the movie depends on visual strength to put across its impact, so the restored picture makes a BIG difference. My programme notes, adapted from an original Shadowplay post, have now been adapted into a Chiseler essay, available here.

One thing I never mentioned — excellent use of Emil Jannings’ bulging back. He’s introduced in prison from the rear, and during the long flashback which comprises the story, Dupont again focusses on the rear view each time the character takes an additional step on his journey to potential damnation. Very effective!

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The Sunday Intertitle: Yeast

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2016 by dcairns

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A full day in Bo’ness at last, soaking up the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema. Four shows on Saturday —

Buster Keaton & Eddie Cline’s MY WIFE’S RELATIONS — world premiere of newly discovered ending!

Doubled with Garvin and Marion Byron in A PAIR OF TIGHTS, a Hal Roach farce from the mind of Leo McCarey!

VARIETE by EA Dupont in a fresh restoration of glistening quality!

DAYBREAK, a fascinating Chinese rarity from the thirties in a hideous DVD, cropped and lacking contrast!

WUNDER DER SCHOPFUNG — German space documentary — a film that is to sci-fi what HAXAN is to horror, using a factual basis as pretext for as many startling images as possible.

I also saw Jessie, a volunteer who mentioned that she never makes it into the videos about Bo’ness, so I thought I’d give her some publicity here.

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Just time maybe to comment on the new ending of MY WIFE’S RELATIONS. The original cut fizzled out with Buster battling his in-laws in their newly acquired mansion, then swiftly cut to him on the back of a sleeper car — a favourite escape ending. This time the train is the Reno Express, so a quickie divorce is intimated. As a final shot it’s perfect, but the film doesn’t seem to get as there. A colossal ellipse gapes, not entirely complete-able by the imagination.

This new ending gets Buster out the house at least, but then the film simply stops, sans resolution. It’s absolutely clear to me that the two endings must be combined — Buster escapes the house AND boards the train. Then you got an ending. I’m even wondering, based on another error in the restoration involving the Polish intertitles (don’t ask), whether a combined ending was intended and then overlooked. Such blunders do happen — I saw several in Bologna involving restored Chaplin shorts which were still works-in-progress.

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More on the rest of these soon. I’m in the edit today! If I’m VERY lucky and efficient I might make it to STELLA DALLAS (1925) this evening.

The Sunday Intertitle: Fit as a Fiddle and Ready for Love

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2016 by dcairns

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Emil Jannings preposterously proposes himself trapeze-ready in an intertitle from E.A. Dupont’s fabled VARIETE, which will be wowing them at the Bo’ness Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema on March 19th. Attendees will receive a programme note written by myself.

What else? Ah yes, limericks, on various Nosferatus (Nosferati?) at Limerwrecks, herehere, here and here and a collaborative one (I contributed four syllables) here.

And — another look behind the scenes of THE NORTHLEACH HORROR. This time, meet the gaffer:

THE NORTHLEACH HORROR – Behind the Scenes Part 2 from Dave Jack on Vimeo.

If you’re lovely and would like to contribute to our Indiegogo campaign — funding to help enhance Jane Gardner’s score and Danny Carr and Garry Marshall’s amazing special effects and the sound design — go here. There are exciting prizes to be won and access to be gleaned!

Oh, and MAYBE I’ll watch the Oscars tonight, and MAYBE I’ll do some of that live-blogging.