A Domestic Affairs Comedy

Black Eyes
R: Will Louis. B: Lee Arthur. D: Raymond McKee, Jean Dumar, Guido Colucci, Yale Benner, Julian Reed, T. Tamamoto. P: Edison Company. USA 1915
Print: Museum of Modern Art

“As the feature film was becoming dominant over the course of 1915, Edison (like other American producers) had clearly mastered the one reel format as Black Eyes demonstrates. This is an enjoyable domestic comedy about marital discord and reconciliation. Nothing is allowed to get too serious, and all ends happily. The story is structured around parallels and coincidence, as Mr. and Mrs. Willard each seek their own entertainments on the sly but fail miserably in their deceptions. The actors are adept and keep the situations light and charming.”

Will Louis (1873 – 1959) was a director and writer, known for One too many (1916), Santa Claus vs. Cupid (1915) and Black Eyes (1915). He was a prolific comedy actor/director/writer of the 1910s, who first acted for Lubin, then Edison, then returned to Lubin, where he was one of the leading contributors to the comedies produced by the Jacksonville, Florida unit.

Éclair in America

Chamber of Forgetfulness
R: Étienne Arnaud. D: Alec B. Francis, Barbara Tennant, William R. Dunn. P: Éclair American. USA 1912
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)
Dutch titles

“Mr. Francis plays in this picture the role of a very jealous husband. A player who seems to be new in Eclair pictures (Barbara Tennant) fills the role opposite to him in the early scenes, and is not only very personable herself, but a good player. The picture is well acted by every member of the cast and well conducted. The sets and scenes are good, some of them beautiful. The husband’s insane jealousy really caused the wife’s death. After this he wouldn’t have their child near him. His wife’s room remained untouched; it was the chamber of forgetfulness. One day he saw her ghost (extremely well done) in this room. It made him read her papers and then (it was years later) he discovered what a fool he had been. Her happy ghost now appears to him. It is a very interesting picture.”
The Moving Picture World, June 1, 1912

Étienne Arnaud was born on September 4, 1879 in Villeneuve-les-Béziers, Hérault, France as Chiaffredo Arnaud. He was a director and writer, known for Saved from the Titanic (1912), Clair de lune espagnol (1909) and Soyons donc sportifs (1909). He died on May 11, 1955 in San Francisco, California, USA.