Silent cinema and the web: resources
You have probably noticed that Sight & Sound magazine features a regular column called Primal Screen, devoted to “The world of silent cinema”. This is undoubtedly a Good Thing, although it doesn’t appear online, which in some ways, is a Bad Thing. With absolutely no respect for this position, when I was asked to write the Primal Screen column in the January 2013 edition of Sight & Sound, I devoted my wordcount to the relationship between early cinema and the web.
Hyperlinks don’t work on the printed page, or even on the digital version of the magazine, so I thought I would help out by posting some of the links to the sites I mention in the piece here, on Silent London. In fact, Silent London is one of the sites I mention, but you already have that one bookmarked, right?
- I can’t possibly list all of the silent cinema Tumblr and Pinterest sites out there, but I am particularly fond of Silent Intertitles, and, well Fuck Yeah Buster Keaton is an excellent example of a fan site.
- Nitrateville is a fabulous forum full of wise people whose enthusiasm for silent film knows no bounds.
- You all know The Bioscope I am sure, which has closed down but is still addictively browsable.
- Silent Era is a fantastic resource. Check out Progressive Silent Film List in particular.
- You can watch silent films online at Archive.org, or YouTube channels run by the Library of Congress or the BFI, respectively. Below is that viral video hit from the BFI – and here is Perez Hilton’s take on it.
- The British Pathé site is incredibly rich in silent film material. Its Twitter feed is always jolly and frequently, unexpectedly hilarious.
- For beautiful, annotated films from archives across Europe, Europa Film Treasures. Here’s Polidor ed i Gatti (1913).
- If you want to explore British film archives, start at Union Search.
- To help identify nameless film reels and perhaps rescue a lost movie, go to Lost Films.
- Here are a couple of examples of silent cinema crowdfunding campaigns: one to restore a film, and one to make a new one.
- And because I can’t resist, and just for fun, here’s Lillian Gish’s Twitter feed.
Do buy the magazine, there’s lots of silent cinema in it this month, from Neil Brand on Beggars of Life, to Nick Pinkerton on Fritz Lang, and even myself popping up again to talk about the Battleship Potemkin/Drifters box set.