Now Playing on Harpodeon

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donnie
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

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dustin@harpodeon.com wrote:
Sun Jul 10, 2022 2:00 pm
Up now is The Heart of Doreon...
“Take that, you frog!” :lol:

An enjoyable short; thanks for posting! This one does seem to lack some in the way of dramatic tension, though—you keep expecting something to go amiss with the plan, but it never does (not that I minded—I liked Doreon and wanted him to succeed). However, I imagine the missing original footage may have added something in the way of conflict to the plot—and maybe explained, also, why Babette changed her affections so quickly? :))

Anyway, it’s rather amazing that two-thirds of the length could have been chopped off without it being particularly noticeable that anything is missing.

I enjoyed the sharp print, though wavy at times. By the way, what causes this wobbliness you sometimes see in silent prints? (e.g., the wall behind the characters in the opening scene). I usually notice it more in the backgrounds where there are flat vertical surfaces.

dustin@harpodeon.com
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

Post by dustin@harpodeon.com »

The film is curled and each frame isn’t sitting exactly where the last was in the gate. You see it mostly at the edges because the picture is stabilized on the center (when at all possible). 9.5mm film is intentionally curled and a bit difficult to convince to lie flat, but the real problem comes from film that’s curled unevenly from age. If you look at it on the reel, it looks like the film is going around in waves. When that happens, frames stop looking rectangular and one side or the other can pucker in or out a bit at intervals.

Can be mitigated a little. You can chemically treat the film to partially dissolve the base, and since it’s the base that’s curled, you might take out some or all of it. That doesn’t come without risks, though.

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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

Post by dustin@harpodeon.com »

Up now is one of Henri Andréani's many religious films, Absalom (1912), also called A Prince of Israel.

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donnie
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

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Most intereting! Thanks for posting. David’s heartbreak at the loss of Absalom is one of the most moving incidents of the Old Testamant, and this depiction is pretty well done, for the most part.

Neither King David nor Absalom fits what I imagine them to look like, though, especially David—he looks here almost more like an elderly Merlin-the-Magician type of character. And my goodness, what a thick head of hair. :)

I’m curious where this was filmed. Those palms are very distinctive, and look like those I’ve seen in photos of the Middle East; yet other parts of the terrain don’t look like the land of ancient Israel, at all (an example being Absalom’s ride along the forest path).

dustin@harpodeon.com
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

Post by dustin@harpodeon.com »

donnie wrote:
Mon Aug 08, 2022 2:08 pm
I’m curious where this was filmed. Those palms are very distinctive, and look like those I’ve seen in photos of the Middle East; yet other parts of the terrain don’t look like the land of ancient Israel, at all (an example being Absalom’s ride along the forest path).
I do agree that the palms seem out of place. I'm half of a mind to think they're not real and are just painted canvas. They could be authentic but they look rather flat to my eyes.

The Power of Innocence is up now, a short about a small town girl going to find work in the city and winding up in a brothel.

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donnie
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

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dustin@harpodeon.com wrote:
Tue Sep 06, 2022 7:57 am
The Power of Innocence is up now, a short about a small town girl going to find work in the city and winding up in a brothel.
I liked this one :D—though the plot is somewhat on the thin side. Extra nice score, with such good selections for each turn in the plot.

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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

Post by dustin@harpodeon.com »

Very thin indeed. I've had the print for ages but only discovered what it was recently. It's a Pack o' Fun print re-titled Only a Poor Working Girl. "Hiss the villain! LOVE this pure innocent maiden! ... tragic LAUGH RIOTS!" the ad copy reads. I only discovered its original title searching the trade journals for the character and the date mentioned on the letter.

Little late, but playing now is The Little Country Mouse. Directed by Donald Crisp, who's more known as an actor, and featuring Raoul Walsh, who's more known as a director. Also from Pack o' Fun.

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donnie
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

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Enjoyed this one! :D

Blanche Sweet is one of my favorites. So was she no longer working with D.W. Griffith at this point?

It was interesting to see Walsh acting. My main familiarity with him—aside from his directing—is Miriam Cooper's descriptions of him in her autobiography. He makes a excellent villain.

And once again, a most enjoyable score. I love that Venetian Romance at the end—it has such a feeling of idyllic days of long ago (does that make any sense? :) )

Why was this collection called Pack o' Fun??

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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

Post by dustin@harpodeon.com »

donnie wrote:
Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:55 pm
Why was this collection called Pack o' Fun??
I said before that, in the early '30s, I thought it was less the general audience and more the studios pushing the idea that silents were creaky old embarrassments so that they could better sell their new releases. Pack o' Fun existed in the '40s and by that time the studio view had become generally accepted by everyone. They released silent melodramas which, by virtue of being silent, were ipso facto funny.

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donnie
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Re: Now Playing on Harpodeon

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dustin@harpodeon.com wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:17 am
...which, by virtue of being silent, were ipso facto funny.
Yes, that's what I suspected. What a myopic and shallow viewpoint. :roll:

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