tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
I'm not entirely sure what brought it on, but I had this idea I'd watch all the big Robin Hood movies in order. And then, I dunno, compare them I guess.

So I've seen the 1922 Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks, regarded as one of the first big business Hollwyood productions (a cast of thousands, humongous sets, and the first ever movie gala premiere); And a bloated, overlong melodrama it is too. Over two hours long, and Fairbanks spends more than half of it as plain ol' Earl of Huntingdon, knight to King Richard.

The entire first act of the film deals, oddly enough, with Richard thinking Robin (sorry, Huntingdon) spending all his time wrestling with his manfriends and shunning women is all a bit inappropriate, and he lays several plots to force Robin to like ladies. Then of course comes Marion and fixes Robin's homosexuality shyness.

Despite the film's length, the story is very pared down compared to, say, every single other Robin Hood film. Prince John is the primary villain, obviously. Sir Guy spends most of the movie in The Holy Lands, even after Robin leaves for home, and the Sheriff I forgot was even in the movie until he was mentioned in the climactic scene.

Most of the scenes where Robin comes head-to-head with authority reads more like Keystone Cops gags than tense melodrama, except once in a while Robin stops to murder one of his pursuers and immediately throws his head back and laughs like the cold-blooded motherfucker he is.

I'm probably being too hard on the film. It's 1922, that's pretty damn early. In any case it had some absolutely beautiful posters:

l_102856_0013556_86969e89l_50247_0013556_0621e9bc
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Yes, time to confirm it: My newest obsession is definitely John Barrymore in his silent era. Which is a relief, I mean-- I've spent a couple of months just half-heartedly liking things. That's not me at all. Thank God something came along.

I don't want to burn through all his best silent movies in just a few days, so my rule is only one (...ish) every week, with some of his early talkies (I'm ignoring everything after 1934 because yeesh, his alcoholism and mental issues really took their toll) in between.

His silent films are great fun though, even the ones that aren't particularly good. There's a lot of action, and even more romance. I've been infatuated with lots of actors and obviously I always enjoy when they get a love scene, but Barrymore love scenes really are next level stuff; Hands trembling, chest heaving, eyelashes fluttering... If you're really lucky it's all shot in profile, like in When a Man Loves (I've never seen an actor shot as much in profile as Barrymore):

*

Congratulations, you've just seen Drew Barrymore's grandparents making out (they married the next year). Share my shame.

When a Man Loves, incidentally, is a ridiculous, melodramatic film (he plays a priest, but can suddenly fence like a champ in the last reel) and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody, but it sure has a lot of sweet scenes.


*This is the first time I've had to fix the image quality of a film before I could gif it. Usually I gif a video file exactly as-is, but my copy of this film is kinda blurry and glitchy. That said, giffing silent films, turns out, is a cinch compared to seventies' BBC video transfer.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
My failure to see the appeal of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. had me thinking maybe swashbuckling movies weren't as good in the silent film days as they would get in the Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn era.

But no more.

See, I used to think John Barrymore was exclusively a talkies (and stage) actor, with his sing-songy delivery and sonorous voice. Not the case, as I found out.

In talkies, he's pretty entertaining. In silent films he's an absolute delight -- agile, flamboyant, sexy, and with one of the best-looking noses I've ever seen captured on film (they didn't call him The Great Profile for nothing).

Tonight I watched Don Juan from 1926 and apart from being a surprisingly sophisticated film, you cannot convince me this wasn't made primarily for a female demographic. From the moment Barrymore first appears as the Don exiting his bedroom, post-coitus and half undressed, the camera doesn't so much capture him as suggestively linger on his body. There were no women in the movie as revealingly dressed as Mr. Barrymore. What a silhouette!

vlcsnap-115755

A lot of pre-Code movies strike me as sort of lewd (and very male gaze-y), but this was an elegantly suggestive movie even though it mostly centered around sex.

(Another silent Barrymore vehicle I've seen, The Beloved Rogue, features Conrad Veidt in his first Hollywood movie, and is hands-down the most homoerotic silent movie I've ever seen. You just won't believe how much pawing, caressing and embracing those two get up to in between Barrymore's fencing sequences.)

Ah, swashbucklers. Proving that all you have to do is don some tights, swing on a chandelier and leap on a table, sword in hand, and I'll love you unconditionally (except Fairbanks).
tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
I watched Safety Last! on the big screen, the one where Harold Lloyd dangles from the clock face over the city. To my shame, my knowledge of silent comedies up to this point encompass only Keaton and Chaplin (though to be fair I've watched a whole lot of them both), so it's hard not to compare Lloyd to them. So that's what I'll do.

The first thing that struck me about Lloyd is how ordinary he looks. He doesn't have Chaplin's greasepaint or Keaton's unique face; I'd say Lloyd is more handsome than funny-looking -- not handsome enough to base his schtick on that, sure (and I have to say I think both Keaton and Chaplin were quite handsome too), but quite attractive in his own right. With the makeup just accentuating his eyebrows and lips, and only a pair of glasses to hide behind his character (which I've learned is referred to as simply "Glasses") really looks like an everyday guy.

Silent-comedy-titan-Harold-Lloyd-in-Safety-Last-1923

And I get that feeling from his acting too, in a way. To me Lloyd seems way less theatrical than C. and K., he's a bit more low-key, he has a little more subtlety in this double-takes in a way that feels almost modern. I was half-expecting to find he'd avoided vaudeville altogether and gone straight into movies (not the case, as I found out), but I feel I can tell he didn't grow up in vaudeville like C. and K. did. Lloyd's subtleties are pretty intriguing for such an early movie, but they sometimes come at the cost of a good punchline.

The comedy falls somewhere between Chaplin and Keaton for me -- not as sentimental and childlike as Chaplin, not as dark or physical as Keaton. Some good gags, but fairly forgettable (though that monkey crawl through the department store had me in stitches). It's the climb that's the lynchpin of the movie, and the audience and I gasped in turn -- and then I learn there were doubles involved. Disappointing.

See, that's sort of my take on Lloyd. A good actor but not brimming with talent like Chaplin and Keaton -- they were also good comedic actors, but they picked up all these other little things for their entertainment value, and put them in their movies as little treats for the audience. Safety Last! is a fun movie, but it didn't offer any treats, and Lloyd didn't really leave me craving more.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
There's just something about keeping list that seems so... satisfying!

So here we are, list of this year's movies (short films, documentaries and rewatches not included).

Movies 2011 )

All in all I feel the list isn't as varied as it was last year, but that's probably because I haven't had the money to go to my beloved film club this semester. On the other hand I've been watching a lot more foreign movies ("foreign" as in non-English) than usual.

A good movie year, I think.
tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
I've been telling myself I should get back to acquainting myself with early classic comedy. I've been sort of doing it on the sly by watching some Mack Sennett shorts, but to be fair I only slog through them to hear Bing Crosby sing.

But I did come to the conclusion that it was shameful of me never to have watched anything by Laurel and Hardy (or "Helan and Halvan" as they used to be known in Norway), so tonight I sat down with The Flying Deuces, and the most open of minds.

To be honest, I'm not sure I see what makes them stand out in comedy history. I'm not sure what their hook is. All I saw were old slapstick routines done in a talkie, without the inventiveness of comedians like Chaplin or Keaton, and without the benefit of a handcranked camera that could speed up action and make it look more fluid. I was disappointed, I expected something more memorable, more unique.

I admit I am not a big fan of early talkie comedies like these. There was this period where nobody could quite figure out how to move on from the silent films, and wound up with very awkward, clunky comedies. The Marx Brothers worked because they had Groucho's sophisticated jokes, and Chico's musical interludes. Chaplin worked because his early talkies only had minimum of talk in them (and the faux-Italian singing in Modern Times, I love that). I didn't see Laurel and Hardy using the medium very well.

Maybe I watched the wrong movie. Maybe I should try one of their early silent films. Or maybe I'll just accept that this wasn't for me, and move on. (I should get on with seeing some Harold Lloyd one of these days. And you know, I've never watched anything of the Three Stooges either).
tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
I finally decided to watch Fritz Lang's Metropolis (the 2001 restoration with a quarter of the movie missing) and. And.

Oh wow.

I've told you before I'm slowly learning to appreciate silent dramas, but I had no idea it was possible for me to get so completely riveted by a German sci-fi film from 1927. God, it's one of the best silent movies I've ever seen - the best silent drama by far. The city of Metropolis seems so real and it's so beautiful above ground and so soul-crushingly depressing underground. That moment when Freder first sees Maria in the chapel is so powerful.

At the climax of the second act, when Freder sees Death descending upon Metropolis in his fever dreams, while the Machine Man in the guise of Maria dances in the nightclub before she finally appears as the Whore of Babylon sitting on the seven-headed beast, flanked by the Seven Deadly Sins and the male patrons of the nightclub worshiping her, and all the while that completely breathtaking original score by Gottfried Huppertz plays...










...I audibly let out a "Holy shit!"

Some of the most intensely well made moments of cinema right there.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Okay, so I went for the Immigration class. And promptly forgot that the first lecture was today. Ah. Not the best ways to start the semester. I did go for a long walk when I realized I hadn't visited Bryggen since I returned to Bergen though.

Also later tonight I'm attending a yoga class. Exciting, since I've never tried my hand at yoga before. It was recommended to me as a way of coping with my anxiety. And I don't know, I feel really comfortable with doing things the mellow way these days.

Mellowness doesn't make very exciting reading though. So in general news, this last week I finally saw Chaplin's Gold rush, with accompagnement by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra of all things (it was amazing. Silent movie watching has always been such a lonely pastime for me - I was completely thrilled at laughing along with a chock full concert hall), and I've seen Tom Baker's peen (damn you Canterbury Tales).
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
I'm always a bit taken back when people tell me they "don't watch black and white movies". To me that makes as much sense as saying "I don't listen to music recorded in mono" - it's basing your enjoyment of something beautiful on something as random as technological development.

But then I shouldn't be so stuck up about it - I wasn't a fan of old movies from the moment I popped out into the world. I hardly ever watched black and white movies until I chanced to catch Casablanca on the big screen when I was fourteen or so, and I realized that monochrome isn't something you have to look past, it isn't something you have to forgive about older movies, it can be one of their strenghts.

Tastes vary of course, but I'm always frustrated when I meet someone who proclaims they can't stand black and white movies based on having watched Modern Times and Schindler's List. I started thinking about it, and as I'm taking the weekend off before tackling my next exam, and it's been a while since I made a pointless list, I can do what I love best - waffling on about movies.

So here you have it, Nine black and white movies to win you over.

Obviously my taste is universal and impeccable )
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
Ngh, no more sleep for me. And my first exam now less than a week away.

So hey! Let me tell you about going to my first silent movie with live accompagnement last night (or... this night. Some hours ago. Not sleeping screws with your perception of time).

It was pretty damn cool. I dressed up (a little bit) for the occasion and sat there, in a real movie theatre, and that man over there playing was real, and that was a real piano from 1916 - I kept getting excited just thinking about it! This was real, this was how people have been watching these silent movies for so so many years, and still I was getting a performance that was unique and could never be repeated quite the same way (made all the more unique when they experienced technical difficulties mid-movie and he had to do unscheduled improvisations).

So yeah, watching any old silent movie would have made the evening exciting to me, but they screened a movie I've been wanting to watch for ages too: The Man Who Laughs (1928), based on the story by Victor Hugo.

And it was pretty damn great )

I wish I had the command of the English language right now to tell you just how I loved this movie - I quickly forgot about the live accompagnement, the technical difficulties, my uncomfortable skirt - I was literally sitting at the edge of my seat, hoping Gwynplaine would make it.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
But if you take her out
Remember she can break your heart in two
But she'll put it back, glue it together, make it look brand new
You see she's a very extraordinary sort of girl


So yesterday I watched Hitchcock's Secret Agent, and...

Well you know John Gielgud, right? When he wasn't doing Shakespeare, he portrayed these lovely elderly no-nonsense, snarky characters, like Hobson in Arthur and stealing the show as Charles' father in Brideshead Revisited?

Well take a look )

But as for the overall movie, I wanted to watch it because of Peter Lorre (who portrays this great dandy slag and is great fun - and not the villain for once. Unsympathetic as hell, but not the villain). But generally I'm pretty certain it's the weakest I've seen so far of Hitchcock's movies. I mean, even the silent movie The Lodger was many times as suspenseful as this one.

I quite liked the dialogue though. And not even the plot bits, just how everybody flirted and teased and were so utterly charming all the time.

Also watched City Lights for the the first time. Maybe I'd gotten too high expectations after hearing about it all these years, but I thought it was a bit unsatisfying. "The best ending in movie history"? In the end I thought the flower girl showed herself to be undeserving of the Tramp's sacrifice, and that just bothered me.
tilly_stratford: (Curious collection)
Yes I believe but I'd rather not pray
What I believe in I'd rather not say baby
Did your God show you the door
Well I'm here to eat your apple to the core


My arms. Have. Fallen off. I have walked back and forth across the town picking up big parcels at the post office with things I couldn't get on the train, my Christmas toys mostly. And with a new laptop I can finally play Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of the Undrentide. Half-elven fighter, baby. I'm limiting myself to one hour per day.

Funny I should speak of arm loss, really. I had a really bad nightmare last night, the sort you wake up from with a jolt. A gigantic alligator ripped off my arm. Sure, that was bad in itself, but the worst thing was that no one cared, I was forced to tend to my empty arm socket spurting blood all by myself.

Don't you dare try to psychoanalyze me. I've got a weird phobia of sea monsters, that's all there is to it.

Anyway, voice post meme time!

This is what procrastination sounds like )

Yes - Sherlock Holmes, Gene Kelly's bum and Daryl Hannah, all in one pointless sound file. This is is indeed your lucky day.

Come on, flist, I want to hear your lovely voices!
tilly_stratford: (Buster and Viola)
They're shakin' their hips and scream and shout
And doin' things I can't even talk about
The dirty boogie, the dirty boogie
When I get low down it's the dirty boogie for me


Jesus yes, I'm finally - as far as I know - finished with that damn exam. Tomorrow I'll upload it and on Monday I go home for Christmas. I haven't seen my family (except for my sister Tiny) for four months! I've never been away for so long before, I'm missing them like mad.

So to occupy my mind (how many times have I written that sentence in my blog by now?) here comes the epic Buster Keaton post I promised, which I'm certain no one but me will ever bother reading again.

Now with images! )

Well that got progressively sillier and more gratituous. So hey, as a round-up: I like Buster Keaton, I like The Strokes - happily somebody found a way to kill two birds with one stone.

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Check out the world's most beautiful pratfall at 01:05
tilly_stratford: (Buster and Viola)
My future in the system
Was talked about and planned
But I gave it up for music
And the Free Electric Band


It seems this day has a theme going on the subject of closure.

- School: I've finished and uploaded my exam on Vysotsky. Whew. I'm fairly pleased with it, and it feels good to have it out of my hair. Only one left to go, and that's mostly finished anyway, I only need to make some minor adjustments and write the end bit.

- Books: I've finished 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' for the second time, first time in English. Yes, I found falling in love with a handful of the characters just as easy as it was years ago. And the bonus about not reading a translation was that I could experience unproportional joy every time someone used Yorkshire-specific words and phrases, especially John Childermass (which happens, oh, about twice). My fondness of Yorkshire comes from the English side of the family of course. I'm anglophile first, Yorkshirephile second.

Post-book depression )

- Movies: And last but not least, I have now watched every. single. Buster Keaton silent the public library of Bergen has to offer. I'm not sure what I'll do now. Continue on with their Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy movies, I suspect. In the meantime I'll search up what can be had commercially of Keaton DVDs, there are still a couple of essential films of his I haven't seen.

Expect an epic Buster Keaton post one of these days. Keep in mind three months ago I had never seen a single Buster Keaton silent. Since then I've watched... forty-two of them. Wow. Okay, so only ten of them were features, but damn if that isn't a itty bitty obsession right there.

The Cook: Norway and Buster laughing )
tilly_stratford: (Default)
The natives grieve
When the white men leave their huts
Because they're obviously
Definitely nuts


You know what's sillier than watching a silent movie and sighing dejectedly because an actor lived decades before me?

To watch a silent movie and sigh dejectedly because an actor was gay, and lived decades before me.

Oooh, Ivor Novello. You and your damned beautiful androgynous features.

So yeah, I've been watching The Lodger from 1927, which is my first silent Hitchcock movie. I was really amused by how it still felt like a Hitchcock movie, only in a sort of distilled form with a pinch of German expressionism. It was delightfully horrific at times too.

My first Novello film as well. I think I didn't fancy him until that long drawn-out scene where you're supposed to wonder if he's going to kiss or kill the girl, and it's just so lovely tense and sexy.

Okay, so those things aren't odd. This is odd: You know how I'm fascinated by silent movie estethics, especially makeup? Well, high on sugar I sat down with eyeliner and tried to imitate it. Aaaand... I have a web camera.

I'm not quite sure how this happened )
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
I gotta find my baby
I declare there ain't a lie
I ain't had no real good lovin'
Since that woman said goodbye


I've been reading this book about Norwegian censorship of foreign films in the childhood of cinema (1913-1940), and I'm guessing the Norwegians must have been the world's most bored movie audience at the time.

To give you an idea, here's a little compiled list of things that were cut in comedy silents because they were deemed "unhealthy" to watch:
Everything fun ever )

I've just finished the chapter on crime movies. It used Fritz Lang's M as an example, because the censors at the time cut everything they thought might be "too frightening" in it, i.e. indicators that Hans Beckert, the protagonist, was a child murderer.

I wonder what the hell you end up with if you snip that away. A movie about a man walking the streets and whistling a lot, who gets inexplicably put before a trial of
thieves and beggars?

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Gah, I need to watch that movie again. Peter Lorre is brilliant in it, I don't know if it might have had something to do with him acting in his native tongue as opposed to English. Just hearing him softly say "Du hast aber einen schönen Ball..." makes me shudder.

But in conclusion: Censoring great movies, boo.

Damfino

Nov. 18th, 2008 10:23 am
tilly_stratford: (Buster and Viola)
You never wear a stitch of lace
Your powder's never on your face
You're always wearing jeans except on Sundays
So please don't ever change, don't you ever change


I've watched the two-reeler The Boat from 1921. Great pun ending, or greatest pun ending?

*

I mean, not only is that a expletive (the same word that had cencors shitting themselves when Rhett Butler said it eighteen years later) but it's a verbal joke in a silent movie. Doesn't that blow your mind?

It does mine. Though I still preferred watching The Play House from the same year. It's just so brilliantly surrealistic, especially the first bit. Appearantly Buster Keaton had broken his ankle, so he wasn't able to do acrobatics for a while. Instead he did this wonderful movie set in a vaudeville theatre where, through the magic of double exposures, he's every performer, every member of the orchestra, and the entire audience. At one point he wanted to do a scene with himself double-exposed nine times on the stage simultaneously, but their technology wasn't up to it. So what did he do? He sat down and invented a new type of shutterbox for the camera.

How's that for in-your-face attitude? "We can't do it, it's impossible with the newest technology." "OH YEAH? Excuse me while I invent THIS."

See, it's things like that I like about the audio commentaries by Joseph McBride, not when he goes on about the sexual imagery in The Boat. Tall things falling down doesn't necessarily equate erectile dysfunction okay?

And finally, you might have noticed my glorious new mood theme, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] balcairn. Because you can't have enough of sixties monochrome low-budget scifi in general, and Troughton in particular. At least I know I won't go off Two like I did with Ten.


*Discaimer: I'm a horrible person for not writing down who made that icon over at [livejournal.com profile] silentbuster, and now I can't find the post. Sorry, someone.
tilly_stratford: (Buster and Viola)
You're lookin' good just like a snake in the grass
One of these days you're gonna break your glass
Dont bring me down
No no no no no, ooh-ooh


So I've seen my first Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle films (eight of them, in fact). Turns out my prejudices against slapstick comedy had to stem from somewhere.

They're not funny in the same way clowns aren't funny. The comedy is too crude for me, with characters hitting eachother for no reason, trousers falling down, and food fights in every goddamn movie (although the flour fight was very nice visually). Suddenly I realize what a great leap Chaplin and Keaton did, in terms of subtle humour.

And I would never watch these Arbuckle shorts either if it wasn't for the fact that Buster Keaton made his movie debut in them.

And I'm biased as hell )

Gosh he was so young, though. My age, in fact. I wonder when the movie audiences of 1917 started paying attention to that skinny young man who kept popping up in the Arbuckle movies (even in Norway, appearantly we had surprisingly many movie theatres at that point, and Arbuckle was very popular). I guess some Americans might have been aware of him being the youngest member of the Three Keatons troupe ("The roughest act in vaudeville"), but he obviously must have done something right, three years later he was making his own movies.

I think my heartiest laugh of this evening came watching His wedding night (intriguing title, surprisingly boring movie). It wasn't Buster in drag that did it. It wasn't him doing pantomime drunkness (and I have a weakness for panto drunks). It was that impossibly silly grin.

Oh God, it's breaking my brain.
tilly_stratford: (Buster and Viola)
Dancing at that moving picture ball, some scenario
Great big stars paraded round the hall, they were merry-o
Everyone jumped through William Hart's lassoo
And Olive Thomas why, she broke her promise
She got a little bolder, shook a wicked shoulder


This song is so fabulous. And since it was recorded in the early 1920s you can download it legally here. Do it, it namedrops everyone of it's time (Theda Bara! Thomas Ince!).

You know, since I moved here to Bergen, I've seen as many as nineteen silent comedies (okay, so most of them were two-reelers), and I haven't seen one pie throw. Not a hint of custard. A couple of years ago I could probably tell you that as far as I knew, slapstick consisted of two things: Falling on your arse a lot and getting hit by custard pies. So the pie thing hasn't been an issue so far, and Buster Keaton's taught me that falling on one's arse should never be straightforward.

And yes, I am really tickled by the thought of my friends, currently hooked on Avatar: The last airbender, Bleach, Robin of Sherwood... And me? I'm royally hung up on the early movie career of a man who died more than twenty years before I was born (I'm very grateful to the public library of Bergen. The Deichman library of Oslo could never have sustained my current obsession, it's only got four of his features and some Arbuckle shorts).

In an attempt to break up the Buster watching I thought I'd finally watch some new Chaplin, though, so enjoyed The circus from 1928. Aw. What is it with clown characters falling in love with ballerinas that just works on such a fundamental level? I suspect it dates back to Harlequin and Columbine (only the first book I ever read about Commedia Dell'Arte used their Italian names, so I still prefer using Arlecchino and Columbina. Apropos of nothing).

Settling a matter )

Aw, but today I finally saw One week from 1920, I've been looking so much forward to it I've been buzzing with expectations all day, and it didn't disappoint. It was Keaton's first independent movie and it only lasts 19 minutes, but oh, such a sweet little love story of a husband and wife. No mind-boggling stunts, but it's wonderfully self-contained and fun.

And the kiss! Oh. After it he stumbles like he's absolutely drunk on happiness. I melted a bit, yes. I love that sort of electric tension he conveys when he's playing men in love. There's a bit in The haunted house where he's a bank clerk, and a pretty young lady is trying to make him bend the rules for her. And it's just... aw.

Also watched The saphead (1920), his first role in a feature. Apart from that brilliant acrobatic sequence at the Stock Exchange, I think a lot of the jokes went right over my head.

But it did of course have the main character, the rich naïve boy named Bertie, and his valet who clearly cared deeply for him. So you might see why I found that entertaining.
tilly_stratford: (I say! Wooster)
And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I


Holy shit, what did I just watch?

So in order to keep my mind off the election thingamajig (it's absurd really, I've never been this caught up in any election before), I've been watching some more early Buster Keaton (yes, I suspect I'll keep on fawning over those movies until I've gone through the library's stock - and no, we're not even close).

Okay, so Battling Butler from 1926 was a pretty enjoyable movie )

And then I watched The frozen north from 1922. And holy shit. It's the most bewildering, absurd short I've ever seen. By the first ten minutes Buster's robbed a casino, shot and killed a married couple, and wooed a married woman while his wife is unconcious. And then there's some straightforward gags and pratfalls, before his henchman stabs the husband of the woman the main character's currently trying to, well, rape.

Holy shit. And it's a comedy.

I was pretty relieved when some googling revealed to me that it was in fact made as a parody of melodramatic William S. Heart movies, which I wasn't even aware of existed. But still, I don't think I'll rewatch it anytime soon. Tomorrow I plan to finally see The haunted house, hopefully that'll wash away my current sense of shock.

But hey, at least I can use it as an excellent example on why Gadamer's theories on hermeneutic horizons are a valid. Since, you know, I'm writing an exam on that.

Oh yeah, and I've been meaning to post this: Ben Model is a silent film historian and accompanist who does these fascinating bits of slowing down silent movie clips (mostly Chaplin) to realtime and just generally pointing out the tricks of the silent movie trade, sometimes even doing some lip reading. It's surprisingly fascinating.

I especially enjoy watching the pacing of movements. *Something happens*, then one - two and then react.

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