Bloody Sunday in Russia

Terreur en Russie
Dir. and actors unknown. P: Pathé frères. Fr 1907
Swedish titles, Engl. subtitles
Scène d’actualité reconstituée en 6 tableaux (Pathé)

“Premier tableau: L’Union des Terroristes Dans une salle en sous-sol, un groupe d’hommes et de femmes discute. L’un d’eux se présente en volontaire et s’en va armé d’un coutelas sous le salut de tous. Deuxième tableau: L’Attentat manqué Dans le salon du gouverneur de province, quelques hommes discutent. Entre un policier qui remet un pli au gouverneur. Le policier fait entrer un conspirateur qui est qui est arrêté alors qu’il sortait son couteau. Dans la cave des conspirateurs un homme annonce le “résultat négatif”. Un autre, après avoir embrassé ses deux enfants se présente en volontaire. Troisième tableau: Attentat contre le gouverneur Le gouverneur et son épouse partent en carrosse. A un pont, les terroristes organisent le guet-apens. Le gouverneur est tué, sa femme enlevée. Quatrième tableau: Le Peuple se venge Elle est emmenée dans une masure. Cinquième tableau: La Police s’active La police fait irruption dans la cave des conspirateurs et les fait sortir. A leur sortie, ils sont abattus par un peloton d’exécution. La femme du gouverneur est délivrée. Sixième tableau: La Dernière bombe Le chef de la police est à son bureau. Un conspirateur armé d’une bombe passe par un soupirail, place la bombe auprès d’un pilier. La bombe axplose.”

“The revolution of 1905, an unprecedented empire-wide social and political upheaval, was set in motion by the violent suppression on January 9 (Bloody Sunday) in St. Petersburg of a mass procession of workers, led by the radical priest Georgiy Gapon, with a petition for the tsar. Bloody Sunday was followed, nationwide, by workers’ and students’ strikes, street demonstrations, spates of vandalism and other periodic violence, assassinations of government officials, naval mutinies, nationalist movements in the imperial borderlands, and anti-Jewish pogroms and other reactionary protest and violence. In a number of cities, workers formed Soviets, or councils. At the end of the year, armed uprisings occurred in Moscow, the Urals, Latvia, and parts of Poland. Activists from the zemstva and the broad professional Union of Unions formed the Constitutional Democratic Party, whose initials lent the party its informal name, the Kadets. Some upper-class and propertied activists called for compromise with opposition groups to avoid further disorders.

The outcome of the revolution was contradictory. In late 1905, Nicholas agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to issue the so-called October Manifesto, which promised Russia a reformed political order and basic civil liberties for most citizens. (…) Those who accepted the new arrangements formed a center-right political party, the Octobrists. Meanwhile, the Kadets held out for a truly responsible ministerial government and equal, universal suffrage. Because of their political principles and continued armed uprisings, Russia’s leftist parties were undecided whether to participate in the Duma elections, which had been called for early 1906. At the same time, rightist factions actively opposed the reforms. Several new monarchist and protofascist groups also arose to subvert the new order. Nevertheless, the regime continued to function through the chaotic year of 1905, eventually restoring order in the cities, the countryside, and the army. In the process, terrorists murdered hundreds of officials, and the government executed much greater number of terrorists.”

>>> Terrorism in Russia: Louis Feuillade’s La Terroriste, 1907

Griffith and Pickford (2)

The School Teacher and the Waif
R: David W. Griffith. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: Edwin August, Mary Pickford, Charles Hill Mailes, Bert Hendler, Claire McDowell, William A. Carroll, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, Alfred Paget. P: Biograph Company. USA 1912
Print: Mary Pickford Foundation

Pickford made her career portraying young women on the verge of adulthood who were often unruly, willful, even violent. This signature had already surfaced in films such as Tess of the Storm Country (1914/1922), Fanchon the Cricket and Rags (both 1915), as well as Biographs such as Wilful Peggy (1910) and Lena and the Geese (1912). Remarkably, Pickford had even played M’liss before [i.e. before her 1918 film M’liss]. The School Teacher and the Waif (1912), a D. W. Griffith one-reeler, is based, like the 1918 feature, on Bret Harte‘s 1863 novelette ‘M’liss’.
Christel Schmidt: Mary Pickford Films on DVD

“Bret Harte (born Francis Brett Hart; August 25, 1836 – May 5, 1902) was an American short story writer and poet, best remembered for his short fiction featuring miners, gamblers, and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush. In a career spanning more than four decades, he wrote poetry, plays, lectures, book reviews, editorials, and magazine sketches in addition to fiction. As he moved from California to the eastern U.S. to Europe, he incorporated new subjects and characters into his stories, but his Gold Rush tales have been the works most often reprinted, adapted, and admired.”

Lena and the Geese
R: David W. Griffith. B: Mary Pickford. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: Mary Pickford, J. Jiquel Lanoe, Kate Bruce, Mae Marsh, Edwin August, Claire McDowell, W. Chrystie Miller, Christy Cabanne. P: Biograph Company. USA 1912

My Baby
R: David W. Griffith. B: Anita Loos. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: Mary Pickford, Henry B. Walthall, Eldean Steuart, W. Chrystie Miller, Alfred Paget, Madge Kirby, Lionel Barrymore, Elmer Booth, Kate Bruce, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Walter Miller. P: Biograph Company. USA 1912
Print: Mary Pickford Foundation

“Mary soaked it all in. As Griffith would later say, “I found she was thirsty for work and information. She could not be driven from the studio while work was going on.” That drive actually evolved; what was at first just a job soon became a passion and she immersed herself in learning every aspect of filmmaking. Mary’s strong sense of professionalism mandated that whatever she did, she was going to do it as well as or better than anyone else. Yet no one worked harder than Griffith. He often started days before dawn heading to a location, spent his afternoons and early evenings shooting interiors at the studio and stayed as late as midnight watching the previous day’s work. However, Mary put in long hours too. She befriended the cameraman Billy Bitzer and together they tested how various make-ups photographed on her as well as the impact of changing the position of the lights, using rudimentary reflectors such as oil cloth and white gravel. The art of filmmaking was advancing on a daily basis and the fact they were working in relative obscurity encouraged experimentation.”
Mary Pickford Foundation

>>> Griffith and Pickford (1)

Griffith and Pickford (1)

The Mountaineer’s Honor
R: David W. Griffith. B: D.W. Griffith, Frank E. Woods. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, James Kirkwood, Kate Bruce, George Nichols, Arthur V. Johnson, Anthony O’Sullivan. P: Biograph Company. USA 1909
Print: Mary Pickford Foundation

“No major star within the silent era can match the career longevity of Mary Pickford. Starting at Biograph in 1909, she established herself as a leading performer with her first films and went on to become the industry’s biggest female star for the next two decades. Compelling onscreen, Pickford was equally adept at controlling the aspects of stardom that extend beyond the screen. A consummate businesswoman, she capitalized on her popularity from early on, negotiating favorable terms of employment and, eventually, considerable creative control. She achieved a degree of power most stars during the period could not hope to possess. Pickford began acting as a child in Canadian theatrical productions before moving on to the New York stage under the tutelage of the impresario David Belasco in 1907. Switching to films two years later, she made a strong impression at Biograph, particularly as a comedienne. Even though the names of film performers were not made known to the public at that time, fans soon christened Pickford ‘Little Mary’; she parlayed that recognition into a series of increasingly lucrative contracts, moving from one company to another, and commanding a salary of several thousand dollars a week in the process.”

To Save Her Soul
R: David W. Griffith. B: David W. Griffith. K: G.W. Bitzer, Arthur Marvin. D: Arthur V. Johnson, Mary Pickford, Caroline Harris, George Nichols, Kate Bruce, Frank Evans. P: Biograph Company. USA 1909
Print: Mary Pickford Foundation

“To Mary, Griffith appeared to be the ultimate authority figure, yet he had only been directing films for less than a year when she arrived. Born on a Kentucky farm, he had moved to Louisville after his father’s death when Griffith was seven. As a young teenager Griffith worked a variety of jobs to help support his mother and six siblings, including acting on the Louisville stage where he claimed he carried a spear for ‘the divine Sarah Bernhardt.’ He was soon on the road, spending more than a decade traveling through the American hinterlands with different stage companies, acting and trying to be writer. To keep the wolf from the door, as he put it, he joined the Bronx-based Edison Company in 1907 and jumped to Biograph the following year. After several months acting and writing, he was approached to direct and, while he needed to be reassured he could return to acting if it didn’t work out, he quickly found his métier. All those years of learning stagecraft, story arcs and characterizations came together and in part because he was so thoroughly immersed in theatrical conventions, he was free to leave some of them behind as his techniques evolved. New as he was in a chronological sense, Griffith had already directed 100 one-reelers by the time Pickford arrived at his doorstep. He was only in his mid-thirties, but he cultivated the airs of a southern gentleman with Victorian manners. At Biograph, one of the first things the 16-year-old Pickford had to get used to was people calling each other by their first names, although no one called D.W. Griffith anything but Mr. Griffith. He, in turn, called her ‘Pickford’ once he started remembering her name.”
Mary Pickford Foundation

Wilful Peggy
R: David W. Griffith. B: Frank E. Woods. K: G.W. Bitzer. D: Mary Pickford, Clara T. Bracy, Henry B. Walthall, Claire McDowell, Kate Bruce, Francis J. Grandon. P: Biograph Company. USA 1910
Print: Mary Pickford Foundation

“The Griffith method was to gather his company around him while he sat on the stage, explain the action and then rehearse scenes. Once he was sure everyone knew what was expected, the film was shot. ‘To stop the camera in those days,’ Mary said, ‘was unheard of.’ Wasting film was wasting money; it cost two cents a foot. And in part because Griffith was paid a bonus for every foot of film he produced, movies were turned out quickly. Mary was comfortable with rehearsals, but to get used to playing to the camera instead of an audience, she practiced her expressions in front of a mirror over and over again.”
Mary Pickford Foundation

>>> Griffith and Pickford (2)

More Griffith & Pickford on this website:

A Beast at Bay
A Feud in the Kentucky Hills
An Arcadian Maid
As It Is in Life
Pippa Passes
The Country Doctor
The Lonely Villa
The Mender of Nets
The New York Hat
The Sealed Room
The Unchanging Sea
The Usurer
The Violin Maker of Cremona
They Would Elope