Mittwoch, Juli 19, 2006

Silent Films Illustrated With Commentaries By:

About Alice Guy's "Falling Leaves" (1912)

Silent Guest Stars: Dame Frederica, Herr Mikegebert, Herr Rodney Sauer und Herr Neil Midkiff

Dame Frederica said about aristocratic diseases: "Syphilus was very popular amongst your set, too"... and added about how to cure those sufferings: "...antibiotics?."

Then, Herr Mikegebert wrote about those antibiotics: "Not that early. More like wishful thinking.
That said, it is a lovely little film (I can't remember where I saw it-- was it the Before the Nickelodeon series? Probably, as the main thing I took away from that series was a sense of how good Alice Guy-Blache was for her time)."

And Dame Frederica replied: "Now there's an interesting question. How many other silent (or early) films display that kind of wishful thinking regarding some of the nastier disease/infection processes so prevalent before antibiotics? Did they have "disease of the week" films then? Those were standard fare for television movies for a long time. The only movie I can think of (right off the bat, anyway) that has tuberculosis as part of the story line is Camille. But that was extremely soft focus tuberculosis."

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien from the darkness commented: "Obviously the aristocrats didn't like to go to the cinema to watch those successful and ordinary "disease of the week films" because we preferred to fall ill going to the theatre in order to watch, for example, the ultimate and complete Wagner's "Die Nibelungen" opera... anyway the "tuberculosis films" were very "popular" during the early silent days and many films were filmed including Herr Consumption as the main character starring films like ""The White Terrror" (1915) or "Cassidy" (1917)."

And Herr Rodney Sauer added: "Well, there are a number of "operations" to cure blindness, running from the two-reel drama era to City Lights. And there's a blood transfusion in Little Annie Rooney. Nothing quite compares to the dramatic medical and psychological effects caused by the removal of a contusion in THE PENALTY, though."

But Dame Frederica mentioned: "And Basil Rathbone needed an operation after canoodling with Kay Fwancis in Notorious. And there are all those annoying little children who really can walk, if only they believe they can.
But I'm wondering if there is any common attitude in films to those long-term types of diseases, other than the people dying of them are required to be noble about it. Films sort of pretended the Spanish Flu epidemic wasn't there. Although if you had one of those nasty diseases, maybe you wouldn't want to go see a film about it."

Not forgetting that Herr Neil Midkiff said: "Considering that in many locations theaters (and many other public places) were ordered to be closed to minimize the spread of influenza during the height of the pandemic, it's quite understandable that filmmakers didn't want to remind their audiences of the danger once the movie houses reopened."

Published in "alt.movies.silent".

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