It’s strange to consider that there can be recent news about films that are sometimes one hundred years old, but there often is. With so many films lost, and so much of film history nearly forgotten, there’s a lot of information lying under the surface, just waiting to be illuminated. Now and then, something shines.
Here are a few recent news items of interest to silent film fans:
|Marion Davies in The Cardboard Lover, recently found at a UK dump.|
A UK couple found a pile of 16mm and 35mm films at the dump, including The Cardboard Lover-—only one heavily-damaged copy of which was known to exist prior to the find. The found films date back to as early as 1909, and will be loaned to the British Film Institute for proper preservation. The Daily Mail
As if it’s not bad enough that so many of F. W. Murnau’s films are lost, someone has stolen the director’s head. Grave robbers in Stahnsdorf, Germany pried open the metal coffin where Murnau has been resting in a family plot since 1931. Variety
In further Murnau news—and whether it’s good or bad news might be arguable—silent classic Nosferatu is getting another remake. Robert Eggers, who recently won the Sundance directing prize for Witch is writing and directing. Deadline
The plaster Sphinx from DeMille’s Ten Commandments was literally excavated from the dunes of Guadalupe, California last year, and its restoration is finally complete. The Sphinx is now on display at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center as part of an exhibit. LiveScience
While not breaking news, here are some recent articles and reviews related to early film, all of them worth some attention:
- A lovely article about the hand-coloring of early film, going back to the 1890s. Nautilus
- Video and article about the largely-forgotten Louis Le Prince, who beat both Edison and the Lumières to filmmaking, then mysteriously disappeared. CBS
- A particularly nice list of the 100 best silent films, favoring films that are not merely influential or of historical interest. The result is a list of films that are highly watchable. Paste
- A brief, but worthwhile, review of 1929’s Man With a Movie Camera, re-released and screening in UK theaters during August. The Guardian
Have you seen an item of interest in the news related to early film? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the next newsreel.