A Star is Born

Afgrunden.
R & B: Urban Gad. K: Alfred Lind. D: Asta Nielsen. H. Neergaard, Robert Dinesen. P: Kosmorama, Kopenhagen. Dk 1910

Zapatas Bande (Fragment).
R & B: Urban Gad. K: Axel Graatkjaer, Karl Freund. D: Asta Nielsen, Fred Immler, Max Agerty, Senta Eichstaedt u.a. P: PAGU, Berlin. D 1913/14

Asta Nielsen
Photographs and Posters

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 254 ff.

Modern Media

How a French Nobleman Got a Wife through the New York Herald Personal Columns
R: Edwin S. Porter.  P: Edison Manufacturing Co.  USA 1904

Getting Evidence
R: Edwin S. Porter. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1906

 

Max fait de la photo
R: Lucien Nonguet. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1913

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 242 und S. 245

Early Sitcoms: Max Linder

Max reprend sa liberté.
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1912

Max prend un bain
R: Lucien Nonguet.  D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1910

Idylle a la ferme
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1912

Une nuit agitée
R: Max Linder. D: Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1912

“Der künstlerische Wert und Sinn dieser Szenen wäre auch gleich null und noch weniger, wenn sie nicht von Max Linder gespielt würden. So ist er ein markanter Typus des Kinoschauspielers, einer, der nicht nur aus dem Sprechunvermögen heraus Großes leistet, sondern der bei diesem Bemühen so weit gelangt ist, daß hinter der Bedeutung seines Spiels die Bedeutung der dargestellten Szene vollkommen zurücktritt, weil sie eben nur die eine Bedeutung haben darf, die, daß Max Linder sie spielt. Ein jedes Mehr wäre hier ein Weniger. Auch die Gleichartigkeit und Aehnlichkeit der dargestellten Szenen ist kein Mangel und langweilt auch nie, weil in ihnen das Leben einer seltenen schauspielerischen Individualität pulsiert. Die schauspielerische Elastizität Max Linders ist ganz besonders erstaunlich. Aus einer Handbewegung, aus einer gewollten und stets unnachahmlich gelungenen Ungeschicklichkeit geht oft mehr hervor als aus raffinierten und tiefen gedanklichen Erwägungen. In der Art, wie er sich eine Zigarre anzündet, liegt oft mehr Geist als man unserer ideenarmen Zeit zutrauen dürfte und die Verwirrung, die die Tatsache, daß er raucht – er stößt vielleicht mit der Zigarre an einen Neubau an, der dann natürlich zusammenstürzt, man wundert sich, daß die Trümmer noch existieren – anzurichten imstande ist, scheint mir nicht nur auf die Wertlosigkeit der Kinowelt einem solchen Vorgang gegenüber hinzudeuten, sondern vielmehr die falsche, geschäftliche Wertschätzung zu verulken, die so oft in der wirklichen Welt herrscht, die es gar nicht auf der Leinwand gibt. Darum ist es zu bedauern, daß wir uns am Abend vor die Leinwand drängen müssen, um uns über die mißlungenen Versuche eines falschen Ehrgeizes von ihm trösten zu lassen, auf daß er uns erklärt, wie nebensächlich, wie bedeutungslos das ist, daß das Leben höchstens ein Kinoschauspiel wert ist, ein Kinoschauspiel, wie Max Linder es spielt. O daß wir doch alle so frei, so leicht und ungehemmt wie er sein könnten!”
(Erste Internationale Film-Zeitung, 9.11.1912)

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 240

Louis Feuillade’s serial Bout-de-zan

Bout-de-zan vole un éléphant
R: Louis Feuillade. D: René Poyen. P: Gaumont. Fr 1913

Bout-de-zan et l’embusqué
R: Louis Feuillade. D: René Poyen. P: Gaumont. Fr 1915

Buster Brown, an American colleague of Bout-de-zan:

Buster’s Dog to the Rescue / Buster’s Revenge on the Tramp / Buster and Tige Put a Baloon Vender out of Business / Buster and the Nude / Buster Makes Room for his Mama at the Bargain Counter
R: Edwin S.Porter. B: Richard Felton Outcault. P: Edison Manufacturing Company. USA 1904

“Richard Felton Outcault was one of the comic pioneers, and often credited as the inventor of the comic strip. Coming from Lancaster, Ohio, Outcault was a graduate from the McMicken University in Cincinnati, who studied art in Paris, and eventually settled in New York. After doing illustration work for publications like The Electrical World, Life and Judge, he was hired by media tycoon Joseph Pulitzer to come and work for the New York World in 1894.
For this newspaper, Outcault made series of cartoons set in certain quarters in Manhattan, which eventually resulted in the feature ‘Down in Hogan’s Alley’. Being one of the first continuing series with a regular cast, one character stood out. At the time, it was still difficult to use yellow ink in color printing, since it didn’t dry properly. When one of the World’s foremen of the color-press room wanted to experiment with a new type of yellow ink, he used the shirt of one of Outcault’s characters as a test area. ‘The Yellow Kid’ was born.”
Lambiek Comiclopedia

>>> Feuillade’s Fantômas

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 237

André Deed as Cretinetti

Come Cretinetti paga i debiti
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film. It 1909

Come fu che l’ingordigia rovinò il Natale a Cretinetti
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film. It 1910
Print: CINEMATEK

“Not long after Deed made his film debut, a decidedly different comedian established himself as Deed’s most formidable rival.  That comedian was the irrepressible Max Linder.  Deed and Linder were the yin and yang of early film comedy.  But, at first, Linder did not seem as influential as Deed, who spawned far more imitators than Linder.  There was, however, a good reason for that.  Linder derived comedy from his distinct charm and personality.  How could anyone really be Max Linder except for Max Linder himself?  Deed played a bungling idiot who created destruction wherever he went.  That was an easier formula to replicate. (…)
Deed, a protégé of Georges Méliès, is the missing link between Méliès and Mack Sennett. He achieved popularity with camera-trick gags and slapstick chases. An early success for Deed was The Wig Chase (1906), which was written by André Heuzé. This film, which was about a woman’s wig floating away with balloons and a mob of people climbing up the Eiffel Tower to retrieve it, established an effective formula of fantastic comic anarchy for the comedian. Heuzé later applied the same formula to The Runaway Horse (1908), a highly successful comedy that was quickly remade by Biograph as The Curtain Pole (1909). The Biograph film starred Mack Sennett as Monsieur Dupont, who was made up to resemble a grotesque version of the dapper Linder. This funny and energetic film set Sennett on a path that would eventually lead the young filmmaker to launch the Keystone studio.”
Anthony Balducci
http://anthonybalducci.blogspot.de/2014/11/musings-on-andre-deed.html

>>> The Curtain Pole on this website: Runaway Horses


Le delizie della caccia
D: André Deed, Valentina Frascaroli. P: Itala Film. It 1910

Troppo bello!
D: André Deed. P: Itala Film. It 1909
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema

“Silent cinema is in some ways a cinema of exaggeration, and smoking is a useful gesture that, like clutching at one’s breast, may be overrepresented there. The density of smoking in the silent films (…) at times literally clouds the screen. And some smokers puff away in absurdly vogorous fashion, e.g. in the short Troppo bello (Too much Beauty) of 1909. Still, that presence provides a useful counter to the rarity of smoking in, for example, the popular press of the time. Probably real practice fell somewhere in between the two. And already in this period – few opportunities seem to have escaped these early masters – the cinematic possibilities of smoking are employed to good effect.”
Carl Ipsen: Fumo: Italy’s Love Affair with the Cigarette. Stanford University Press, 2016, p. 34

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 240 f.

French Serial Stars

André Deed as Boireau

Le costume blanc
D: André Deed. P: Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France. Fr 1906

321-André Deed
André Deed

“According to Sadoul, Deed had been an singer and acrobat on the café-concert circuit, performing at the Folies-Bergère and the Châtelet, and had occasionally even appeared in Méliès’ films. His Boireau character comes out of that stage tradition, both as grotesquely bewildered clown and a skillful practioneer of physical gags. (…) By repeatedly stitching together adjacent spaces into short, unified scenes, the Boireau series (…) seems to have established an economical narrative model that could continually prepare for, extend, and conclude its comic business and run at least as long, if not longer than, Pathé’s other comic films.”
Richard Abel: The Ciné Goes to Town. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1994, p. 228 f.

Romeo Bosetti as Roméo

Roméo se fait bandit
R: Romeo Bosetti. D: Romeo Bosetti, Max Linder. P: Pathé. Fr 1909

Une dame vraiment bien
R: Louis Feuillade, Romeo Bosetti. D: Renée Carl. P: Gaumont. Fr 1908

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 234

The Monsters Are Coming

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
R: Lucius Henderson. B: Robert Louis Stevenson (novel), Thomas Russell Sullivan (play). D: James Cruze, Florence La Badie, Marie Eline. P: Thanhouser Film Corporation. USA 1912

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
R: Herbert Brenon. B: Herbert Brenon, Robert Louis Stevenon (novel). D: King Baggot, Jane Gail, Matt Snyder, Howard Crampton. P: Independent Moving Pictures Co. of America / Universal. USA 1913

“Carl Laemmle, the son of a poor Jewish estate agent, was born in Laupheim, Germany in 1867. By 1884, he had emigrated to America and in 1905 he invested his savings into a nickelodeon chain and his fortunes were made. By 1909 he entered into film production as the Independent Motion Picture Co. as a slight against the new Motion Picture Patents Co. that planned to take control over the whole film industry. Out of the ensuing battle emerged Universal, an amalgamation of IMP, Bison, Eclair, Nestor and several other small film companies. Amongst their early productions was a successful string of films based on classic literature. One of these is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1913) starring Universal’s biggest box office draw of the day, King Baggott who had been lured to the studio by Laemmle in 1910 at the end of a stage tour.”
http://www.classichorror.free-online.co.uk/jekylltxt.htm

Frankenstein
R: J. Searle Dawley. B: Mary Shelley (novel). D: Mary Fuller, Charles Ogle, Augustus Phillips. P: Edison Manufacturing Co. USA 1910

“As the popularity of motion pictures grew, so did the attention they received from moral crusaders and reform groups, who decried the new medium as being dangerous and encouraging of immorality. Some called for strict laws governing film content and some communities banned theatres all together. Knowing that these groups could pose a serious threat to his bottom line, Edison ordered that not only the production quality of his films be improved, but also their moral tone. The Trust even set up the first Board of Censors, consisting of film executives and religious and education leaders.
Frankenstein was the perfect choice to kick off production under this new moral banner. It’s a story that deals with the extremes of the human condition, life and death, and the dangers of tampering in God’s realm. Plus, Edison made sure that publicity stressed that some of the more sensational elements of the Mary Shelly’s novel had been toned down. The March 15, 1910 edition of The Edison Kinetogram, the catalog that the Edison Company would send to distributors to hype their new films, described the film as such:
‘To those familiar with Mrs. Shelly’s story it will be evident that we have carefully omitted anything which might be any possibility shock any portion of the audience. In making the film the Edison Co. has carefully tried to eliminate all actual repulsive situations and to concentrate its endeavors upon the mystic and psychological problems that are to be found in this weird tale. Wherever, therefore, the film differs from the original story it is purely with the idea of eliminating what would be repulsive to a moving picture audience.’”
One of those changes made to the narrative concerns the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. While Shelly’s novel did not go into specifics about the monster’s creation, the creation scene in the film certainly owes more to alchemy than science. The film certainly didn’t stress the danger of unchecked scientific experimentation, not when the boss has transformed the world with his own scientific marvels. Instead, the monster is cast more as a reflection of Frankenstein’s baser instincts and dark reflection of a mind that presumed to meddle in God’s domain.”
Rich Drees: Edison’s Frankenstein – Cinema’s First Horror Film
http://www.filmbuffonline.com/FBOLNewsreel/wordpress/2005/08/07/edisons-frankenstein-cinemas-first-horror-film/