Top Ten By Year: 2005 Watchlist


Hello everyone! I’m jumping ahead 80 years in the Top Ten By Year Project, from 1925 to 2005. Since my viewing choices will largely consist of ’05 films for the foreseeable, I’m posting my watchlist for any interested readers. Ideally, I hope people use it to look up films they don’t recognize or even join in and watch a few!

It took a long time to narrow this down. I chose 2005 because, while every year in the 2000’s is overwhelming to take on, ’05 seemed particularly ‘weak’ in certain areas, and I felt it would be a comparatively more manageable year to explore. And yet, when I asked for lesser known recommendations from that year on twitter, all sorts of suggestions came pouring in. Some I’d heard of, and many I hadn’t. I tried not to be completely beholden to the ‘I should see this’ ethos. Initially I wanted a mix of what was huge that year, what I was most interested in, and the bigger critical successes. I quickly realized this was too schematic and removed from what I actually wanted to see. So I tried to keep it mixed while prioritizing my interests.

I also decided to divide some of these up into themed viewing groups. There are so many films here, and I thought it’d be fun to come up with some categories. I also received some help from twitter folks, so thank you! Of course there is the potential for overlap here (ie. A History of Violence could also easily fit in the Graphic Novel category). Some of these categories are based on subject, theme, or genre, and a few (like Based on My Favorite Novels, Favorite Men in Hollywood Thrillers) are tailor made for my tastes.

I have ‘(RW or rewatch)’ in parentheses for the films I’ve seen and will be revisiting. I don’t have Capote on here because I rewatched it last year, and Grizzly Man I’ve seen several times.

What was the criteria for 2005? Release dates are trickier in recent years. I decided to go by US release dates for US films only. For everything else, I went with imdb (which goes by festival date premiere). So that explains why films like Brick and Hard Candy aren’t here. They’d count for 2006 by my rules.

Let me know what you think of the watchlist! And wish me luck!

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Top Ten By Year: 1925


Top Ten By Year: 1925 posts: Favorite Shots, Movie Poster Highlights, Poll Results, What I’ll Remember
Top Ten By Year posts: 1935, 1983, 1965, 1943, 1992, 1978

For those unaware of my Top Ten By Year project:
The majority of my viewing habits have been dictated by this project since September 2013. Jumping to a different decade each time, I pick weak years for me re: quantity of films seen and/or quality of films seen in comparison to other years from said decade. I use list-making to see more films and revisit others in a structured and project-driven way. And I always make sure to point out that my lists are based on personal ‘favorites’ not any notion of an objective ‘best’.

I miss the way actors faces used to be photographed. The head-on shot. Directors and actors using the camera as connective tissue, a delivery service to the audience. This wasn’t breaking the fourth wall — just one of the most commonly used angles, getting us access to the in-between spaces. In silent film, we frequently become eavesdropping ghosts with the ability to insert ourselves anywhere without disruption.

After starting in April, I have finally reached the end of 1925. The road was rough this time around for a few reasons. For one thing, I went through a major break-up which put life and movie watching on hold for a good month and a half. And I’m not going to lie, restricting my viewings to mostly silent films for several months was trying at times. I love silent films, but I often have to be in a certain receptive head-space for them, a kind of synchronization that aligns us both. And I’m picky with them to boot. And so, working through the watchlist took longer than it normally would have.

I’m also in a writing slump. I normally take notes while watching films, and/or jot down thoughts in a notebook after viewing. But for 1925 I became very lazy about this process. So the idea of writing about films I watched months ago, when you aren’t feeling inspired to begin with, has put me at a standstill. The more I try to force it, the more time I end up wasting, and wasting time is something I’m trying to do less of these days. So for this year, I’m going to do what I hoped I’d never do; I’m just going to drop the list without ceremony. This decision basically goes back on the entire purpose of this project, but I don’t think enough people read this for it to be more of a disappointment than it probably is for myself. But I cannot sit in 1925 limbo any longer. So here you go. We will get back to our regularly scheduled programming for my next year, 2005. 

What I’ve learned is that I love silent spectacle; there is, and never will be, anything else like it. I’m more drawn to silent films that try to operate in more than one mode, tone, or genre even if they sometimes fail at doing so. And finally, the power of an actor’s face, and their chemistry with the camera and costars, goes a very long way for me.

1925 Films Seen: (bold; first-time viewing, italic; re-watch)
Joyless Street,
Seven Chances, Phantom of the Opera, The Eagle, The Red Kimona, Lazybones, The Freshman, The Wizard of Oz, Cobra, The Goose Woman, Lady of the Night, Variete, Tartuffe, The Salvation Hunters, Go West, Woman of the World, The Lost World, Whirlpool of Fate, The Gold Rush, Master of the House, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Orochi, Body and Soul, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Pleasure Garden, Visages D’Enfants, Don Q, The Big Parade, Ben-Hur, Chess Fever, Battleship Potemkin, The Unholy Three, Strike, The Gold Rush, The Merry Widow, The Road to Yesterday, Stage Struck

Joyless Street 1

1. Joyless Street (Germany, Pabst)
2. Stage Struck (US, Dwan)
3. The Merry Widow (US, von Stroheim)
4. The Road to Yesterday (US, DeMille)
5. The Gold Rush (US, Chaplin)
6. Lazybones (US, Borzage)
7. The Big Parade (US, Vidor)
8. The Eagle (US, Brown)
9. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (US, Niblo)
10. The last 20 minutes of Seven Chances (US, Keaton)

What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1925: A Love Letter


My What I’ll Remember posts are an ongoing tradition. A logbook of sorts, they pay tribute to all the year-specific viewing I’ve done over the past however many months. It also stresses that, while the Top Ten list is the crux of this whole project, it’s really a means to an end. It goes without saying, but the process and journey of watching and re-watching these films is most important. I’ve recently looked back on previous What I’ll Remember posts and they evoke the feeling of a photo album, flipping through filmic memories of all shapes and sizes. Top Ten By Year: 1925 will go up late next week.

Top Ten By Year: 1925 posts so far: Movie Poster Highlights, Poll Results, Favorite Shots of 1925

Posts in the What I’ll Remember tag: 1943, 1958, 1965, 1978, 1992, 2012, 2013, 2014

johngilbertbigparade

MVP of 1925: John Gilbert (The Big Parade, The Merry Widow)

The realization that impressive craftsmanship and individual merits aside, I am very picky when it comes to silent films that captivate me as a whole…which makes me feel like a shitty cinephile. 

Favorite Characters: Jenny Hagen (Gloria Swanson; Stage Struck), Jack (William Boyd; The Road to Yesterday), Sally O’Hara (Mae Murray; The Merry Widow), Molly Helmer (Norma Shearer; Lady of the Night), Countess Elnora Natatorini (Pola Negri; A Woman of the World)

Rape, attempted rape, or the threat of rape and/or assault is almost guaranteed to crop up
(Whirlpool of Fate, Orochi, The Road to Yesterday, Variete, The Salvation Hunters, The Red Kimona, Tartuffe, The Wizard of Oz, The Joyless Street, Body and Soul, The Merry Widow, The Unholy Three, Phantom of the Opera)

Goose Woman

There’s a disturbing image for you (The Goose Woman)

Clarence Brown putting his engineering skills to use with that majestic tracking shot through a banquet table (The Eagle)

Introducing (relatively speaking): Paul Robeson, Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Georgia Hale (The Gold Rush, The Salvation Hunters), Constance Bennett

Introducing to Hollywood: Vilma Banky (The Eagle)

woman of the world

Pola Negri’s tattoo in A Woman of the World (:whispers: “she did it for a man she loved!”)

Least Favorite Characters: Farmhand/The Scarecrow (Harry Semon; The Wizard of Oz), Levett (Miles Mander; The Pleasure Garden), Jill Cheyne (Carmelita Geraghty; The Pleasure Garden), Ken/Lord Strangevon (Joseph Schildkraut; The Road to Yesterday), Mary Drake (Gertrude Olmstead; Cobra), Metzger von Melchiorstrasse (Werner Krauss; Joyless Street)

Lon Chaney playing a man whose love goes unrequited; how shocking! (The Unholy Three, Phantom of the Opera)

Pretending you aren’t in love with someone so they can be happy and move on (Cobra, The Unholy Three, Lady of the Night)

Red Kimona 1Tartuffe 3

Postmodernism rears its head by breaking the 4th wall in The Red Kimona and Tartuffe

The disasterpiece that is The Wizard of Oz

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari reunion! (Werner Krauss and Lil Dagover in Tartuffe)

Selection of purple prose intertitles:
“In his mind the boy divided human beings into Children of the Mud and Children of the Sun. Himself, he belonged somewhere between the two.” (A typical one in The Salvation Hunters)

“On the edge of the Grand Canyon, in the shadow of infinity” (The Road to Yesterday)

stage struck 4 200_s

Color (two-strip Technicolor or stencil) (Stage Struck, Phantom of the Opera, Cyrano de Bergerac, Ben-Hur)

The idyllic French countryside at the center of Whirlpool of Fate

The sheer spectacle of Ben-Hur

The completely unrecognized comedic stylings of Gloria Swanson. She does a wide range of physical comedy in Stage Struck, utilizing the entirety of her body and the intricacies of her face

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Larry Semon is the world’s worst-case scenario Martin Short (The Wizard of Oz)

Told in flashback: Variete, The Red Kimona

Yakov’s death in Strike

Directorial debuts (or close enough): Alfred Hitchcock, Josef von Sternberg, Jean Renoir, Lewis Milestone

50b19134f7de2afe35d72a7bf39cf4ebThe Gold Rush 1

William Boyd serving up some young Kurt Russell in The Road to Yesterday, and Georgia Hale serving young Catherine Keener in The Gold Rush

An independent message film about forced prostitution co-directed, produced and overseen by a woman, Dorothy Davenport aka ‘Mrs. Wallace Reid’ (also adapted by Dorothy Arzner!) (The Red Kimona)

10 Performances of 1925: John Gilbert (The Big Parade), Zasu Pitts (Lazybones), Charlie Chaplin (The Gold Rush), Mae Murray (The Merry Widow), Gloria Swanson (Stage Struck), Louise Dresser (The Goose Woman), Harry Earles (The Unholy Three), Norma Shearer (Lady of the Night), Georgia Hale (The Salvation Hunters), Asta Nielsen (The Joyless Street)

John Gilbert rises to stardom and meets Mae Murray as she descends from stardom (The Merry Widow)

Am I the only one who finds Charlie Chaplin the most attractive during his bread roll ballet in The Gold Rush? (P.S he’s always attractive)

Merry Widow 3

John Gilbert’s lascivious stares are both sexy, and terrifying (The Merry Widow)

Favorite intertitles:
“Doff your hat you mannerless knave!” (A typical piece of dialogue from the 17th century portion of The Road to Yesterday)

“Gudule was endowed with the ability to make a good stew while using questionable ingredients” (Whirlpool of Fate)

“A gentleman’s relation to a lady is indicated by the manner in which he rings her doorbell” (Lady Windermere’s Fan)

“Martha Tuttle was one of those mother hens who clucked long after the deed was done” (Lazybones)

“I will only marry a man of great deeds and strange experiences – a man who can look death in the face without flinching!” – Miss White, who might be single for a very long time, oh wait except she’s married by the end of the film (The Lost World)

Phantom of the Opera 1 Phantom of the Opera 2 Phantom of the Opera 3

Don’t ask me why, but I live for scenarios like this (above) (Phantom of the Opera)

Lazybones making what is on paper a really queasy central romance into something delicate and beautiful

Mads’s stony face remains in tact as her son throws all manner of clothes at and past her in Master of the House

The incredible aerial shot fight scene at the end of Orochi

The innovative model animation of the dinosaurs in The Lost World

stage struck

The unbearable cuteness of Gloria Swanson’s Jenny having regular conversations and role plays with a stuffed dog named Flea (Stage Struck)

Photographed by the incomparable Karl Freund! (Variete and Tartuffe)

The Goose Woman, just one example of ceilings visible in the frame before Citizen Kane

The romantic interest of Stage Struck; wheat cake extraordinaire Orme Wilson who is obsessed with actresses and says things like “You oughta see her – she’s the Duke’s mixture” and “You’re about as funny as a murder”

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Why yes, that is a duck projectile vomiting (The Wizard of Oz)

Emil Jannings as the eternal fool? Yes. But you expect me to buy him as a fucking trapeze artist? Girl. Sorry. Next. (Variete)

Slow motion in Whirlpool of Fate, The Joyless Street, The Unholy Three, The Merry Widow, Phantom of the Opera

The proto-Cocteau dream sequence in Whirlpool of Fate

Discovering the greatness of character actress Louise Dresser (The Eagle, The Goose Woman)

Red Kimona 2battleshippotemkin2

Walter Lang, Dorothy Davenport, and Sergei Eisenstein have you beat by 69 years Steven Spielberg (The Red Kimona, Battleship Potemkin)

Can the lost art of the then-ubiquitous visual of aggressively intimate head-on close-ups be resurrected? I miss it so (literally all the movies)

Largely forgotten vamps/’exotic’ types of the day: Nita Naldi (Cobra), Lya De Putti (Variete)

Cobra

Women are Cobras! Get it? (Cobra)

Based on a play: Cobra, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Tartuffe, Cyrano de Bergerac, Master of the House

Pair The Goose Woman with Frank Capra’s Lady for a Day for two very different films about down-on-their-luck alcoholic older women

Masquerading religious ‘devotees’ (Tartuffe, Body and Soul)

big parade pic A

Meet cutes don’t get cuter than this (The Big Parade)

Playing two characters (Paul Robeson in Body and Soul, everyone in The Road to Yesterday, Norma Shearer in Lady of the Night)

Costume Highlights:

The first year in the career of legendary fashion designer Adrian (The Eagle, The Road to Yesterday, Cobra, Her Sister from Paris)

The Eagle

Vilma Banky’s pearl headdress in The Eagle

Gloria Swanson -1927-Stage Struck

Gloria Swanson’s outfits in the Technicolor dream sequence in Stage Struck

Lady of the Night 6
Look at those pockets!!!!!!

Lady of the Night 1 Lady of the Night 3

Pretty much everything Norma Shearer wears in Lady of the Night

Merry Widow 9 Lady of the Night 5stage struck 3

I miss elaborate head-pieces (The Eagle, Lady of the Night, Stage Struck, The Merry Widow)

Joyless Street 5

Tamara Geva’s coat in Die freudlose Gasse (The Joyless Street)

Top Ten By Year: Favorite Shots of 1925


Each time I take on a year in film for the Top Ten By Year Project I end up adding more components. At the end of What I’ll Remember for 1978 I posted some of the shots that stood out for me the most. For 1925, I’m just making it a separate post because I’ve ended up with quite a few screenshots. I’m posting them on my tumblr page as thematic photosets and I’ll try to recreate them here as best as I can. This is by no means exhaustive but as often as I could I tried to pull what jumped out at me as being particularly evocative. I’ve realized I’m a sucker for hands, shadows, faces, and reflections. Basically, I’m an easy visual lay.

Part 1: Shadows

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Strike (Eisenstein)
Joyless Street 15
Joyless Street (Pabst) Impossible to catch in a still. Trust that it’s a moment of frenzied shaky mania
orochi 2 (2)
Orochi (Futagawa)
Phantom-of-the-Opera-1925-image-6
Phantom of the Opera (Julian)
Red Kimona 3
The Red Kimona (Davenport/Lang)
strike
Strike (Eisenstein)
the unholy three
The Unholy Three (Browning)

Part 2: Hands and Feet

Battleship Potemkin 1
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein)
body and soul 2
Body and Soul (Micheaux)
Joyless Street 11
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Joyless Street 13
Joyless Street (Pabst)
lady windermere's fan 1
Lady Windermere’s Fan (Lubitsch)
Merry Widow 1
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
Merry Widow 2
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
Salvation Hunters 5
The Salvation Hunters (von Sternberg)
tartuffe 4
Tartuffe (Murnau)
tartuffe 5
Tartuffe (Murnau)
The Eagle 2
The Eagle (Brown) (part of a tracking shot through the table)
Joyless Street 3
Joyless Street (Pabst)

Part 3: Reflections

Lady of the Night 4
Lady of the Night (Bell)
Red Kimona 2
The Red Kimona (Davenport/Lang)
Salvation Hunters 3
The Salvation Hunters (von Sternberg)
tartuffe2
Tartuffe (Murnau)
Variety 3
Varieté (DuPont)
phantom of the opera 4
Phantom of the Opera (Julian)

Part 4: The Faces of Women

body and soul
Body and Soul (Michaeux)
Goose Woman 2
The Goose Woman (Brown)
Joyless Street 1
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Joyless Street 7
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Joyless Street 8
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Joyless Street 9
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Lady of the Night 3
Lady of the Night (Bell)
Mery Widow
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
Salvation Hunters 2
The Salvation Hunters (von Sternberg)
Whirlpool of Fate 2
Whirlpool of Fate (Renoir)
Whirlpool of Fate 3
Whirlpool of Fate (Renoir)

Part Five: Scenic and/or Establishing Shots

Whirlpool of Fate 4
Whirlpool of Fate (Renoir)
Whirlpool of Fate 1
Whirlpool of Fate
The Big Parade 2
The Big Parade (Vidor)
The pleasure garden
The Pleasure Garden (Hitchcock)
Merry Widow 5
The Merry Widow (von Sternberg)
Battleship Potemkin 3
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein)
Ben Hur
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Niblo)

Part 7: The Rest

Gold_Rush_511.jpg
The Gold Rush (Chaplin)
Battleship Potemkin 2
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein)
Joyless Street 12
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Joyless Street 14
Joyless Street (Pabst)
Lady of the Night 2
Lady of the Night (Bell)
lady windermere's fan 2
Lady Windermere’s Fan (Lubitsch)
Merry Widow 6
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
Merry Widow 7
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
Merry Widow 8
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
orochi (1)
Orochi (Fukasawa)
Phantom-of-the-Opera-1925-image-7
Phantom of the Opera (Julian)
Phantom-of-the-Opera-1925-image-52
Phantom of the Opera (Julian)
Salvation Hunters 4
The Salvation Hunters (von Sternberg)
Salvation Hunters
The Salvation Hunters (von Sternberg)
strike 2
Strike (Eisenstein)
Tartuffe 6
Tartuffe (Murnau)
tartuffe
Tartuffe (Murnau)
Tartuffe
Tartuffe (Murnau)
the big parade 2
The Big Parade (Vidor)
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
The Merry Widow (von Stroheim)
Variety 1
Varieté (Dupont)
Variety 2
Varieté (Dupont)
Variety 4
Varieté (Dupont)
Variety 5
Varieté (Dupont)
Variety 6
Varieté (Dupont)
Whirlpool of Fate 5
Whirlpool of Fate (Renoir)

Top Ten By Year: 1925 – Poll Results


Previous Top Ten By Year Polls: 1958, 1978, 1992

(Reminder of the Poll rules: Participants could vote for up to 10 films; no more, but certainly less. Order was not required since it had no bearing on the results.)

First off, thank you so much to everyone who voted, from those impressively well-versed enough in silent cinema for a full top ten, to those kind enough to contribute a handful of passionate picks. I knew it was going to be a much lower turnout than usual due to the year in question, and I wasn’t wrong. 47 people voted for 50 different films.

Taking into account the internet’s oversaturation with lists/listicles, I hope it’s clear that this project is anything but tossed off. Seeing what makes the collective top ten is a lot of fun, but may I direct your attention to the full breakdown of votes and the individual ballots? My hope with these polls is that in addition to promoting scraps of anticipation for the related posts to come (What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1925: A Love Letter, Favorite Shots, and the Top Ten. Poster Highlights can be found here), that they mainly serve as a reference point for anyone looking for new films to watch whether it’s from seeing:

a. what ‘Film Twitter’ collectively loves
b. more importantly, the films towards the bottom of the list, the ones you’ve never heard of that are begging for (re)discovery.
c. the individual ballots of folks whose taste and knowledge you value (“I don’t know what this is, but if Labuza likes it, surely it’s worth a gander”; what do you mean, of course people talk like this)

Keep a look out next month for the final two posts for Top Ten By Year: 1925.

I’m also so happy and honored to announce my participation in the upcoming installment of The Film Experience’s Smackdown Panel, where we’ll be dissecting the Best Supporting Actress performances from 1948. I’m a huge fan of this column, so to be on it is both exciting and intimidating. You can find what 1948 in film means to me here, and expect the write-ups and podcast companion up at the end of the month!

Leave your thoughts on the poll in the comments section!

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POLL RESULTS – Top Ten By Year: 1925
1. The Gold Rush (Chaplin, US) – 41 votes 
2. Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, Soviet Union) – 39 votes
3. Seven Chances (Keaton, US) – 26 votes
4. The Freshman (Newmeyer/Taylor, US) – 25 votes
5. The Big Parade (Vidor, US) – 21 votes
6. Strike (Eisenstein, Soviet Union) – 19 votes
(6). Phantom of the Opera (Julien, US)– 19 votes
8. Go West (Keaton, US) – 11 votes
(8). Master of the House (Dreyer, Denmark) – 11 votes
10. Chess Fever (Pudovkin/Shpikovsky, Soviet Union) – 10 votes 

The Rest:
7 votes: Varieté, Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Merry Widow
5 votes: Tartuffe
4 votes: The Unholy Three, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
3 votes: Joyless Street, Orochi, Lazybones, The Monster, Body and Soul
2 votes: The Salvation Hunters, The Lost World, The Eagle, Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life
1 vote: Cyrano de Bergerac, A Woman of the World, Saint-Bernard, Les Aventures de Robert Macaire, Poil de Carrotte , Paris qui Dort, Whirlpool of Fate, In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea, Don Q Son of Zorro, Super Hooper Dyne Lizzies, The Pleasure Garden, Proud Flesh, Sally of the Sawdust, Le Double Amour, Furasato no uta (Song of Home), Gus Visser and his Singing Duck , Stella Dallas, Dark Angel , Zandar the Great, His People, Beyond the Border, Stage Struck , Kentucky Pride, The Rat’s Knuckles, Faces of Children 

Individual Ballots: 

@marshlands:
The Big Parade, The Unholy Three, The Merry Widow, The Freshmanm, Seven Chances, The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin, Strike, Joyless Street

@EricNBarroso:
Strike, The Gold Rush

@juvie_cinephile:
The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin, The Big Parade, Phantom of the Opera, Strike, The Merry Widow, Go West, Master of the House, The Freshman

@salesonfilm (Kristen Sales of salesonfilm, Movie Mezzanine, FilmFracture, etc):
Chess Fever, The Freshman, The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin, Go West, the final chase sequence in Seven Chances

@SchmanthonyP (Brian Schmid):
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, THE BIG PARADE, GOLD RUSH, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE FRESHMAN. 7 CHANCES, VARIETY, STRIKE

@ProphetKotto (Alex Megaro):
Le Double Amour (Jean Epstein), Seven Chances, Grass, The Gold Rush, Tartuffe, Phantom of the Opera, Battleship Potemkin

@whynotanna (of Start Focus End):
Battleship Potemkin, Phantom of the Opera

@cinemasights (James Blake Ewing of Cinema Sights):
GO WEST, 7 CHANCES, CHESS FEVER, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, STRIKE

@Cinedaze (Paul Anthony Johnson of Film-Philosophy, Popmatters):
1.THE GOLD RUSH 2. SEVEN CHANCES 3. THE MONSTER 4. LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN 5.STRIKE 6.PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 7. SUPER-HOOPER-DYNE LIZZIES 8.THE FRESHMAN 9.THE LOST WORLD 10.CHESS FEVER

@pogform (Hannah):
Ben Hur, Seven Chances, Go West, The Gold Rush

@ch_williamson (Chuck Williamson of The Missing Slate):
1. THE BIG PARADE 2. THE FRESHMAN 3. THE SALVATION HUNTERS 4. CHESS FEVER 5. POIL DE CAROTTE 6. JOYLESS STREET 7. THE MERRY WIDOW 8. THE GOLD RUSH 9. UNHOLY THREE 10. TARTUFFE 

@dallasshaldune (TJ Duane):
Battleship Potemkin, The Gold Rush, The Freshman

@atalvereo:
Battleship Potemkin, The Gold Rush, Strike

@railoftomorrow (Scott Nye, writer and podcast co-host at CriterionCast, etc.):
Big Parade, Seven Chances, Gold Rush, Potemkin, Go West, Strike, Merry Widow, Master of the House

@joshbrunsting (Josh Brunsting of CriterionCast):
The Freshman, Battleship Potemkin, Strike, The Gold Rush, Master Of The House, Chess Fever

@astoehr (Andreas Stoehr of Pussy Goes Grrr, Movie Mezzanine, etc.):
The Big Parade, The Gold Rush, Seven Chances, Battleship Potemkin, & Orochi

@BerenseOslo:
1. The Gold Rush 2. Potemkin 3. Phantom of the Opera

@DavidBlakslee (David Blakslee of Criterion Reflections):
B’ship Potemkin, Body & Soul, Freshman, Go West, Gold Rush, Master of the House, Paris Qui Dort, Whirlpool of Fate

@CinemaGadfly (Cinemagadfly.com)
1. The Gold Rush 2. The Freshman 3. Master of the House

@willow_catelyn (of Curtsies and Hand Grenades):
1. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, 2. THE GOLD RUSH, 3. FRESHMAN, 4. STRIKE, 5. SEVEN CHANCES

@bmrow (Brent Morrow):
1. Lady Windermere’s Fan 2. Chess Fever 3. Lazybones 4. Strike 5. Battleship Potemkin 6. The Merry Widow 7. Varieté 8. The Freshman 9. Master of the House 10. The Monster

@TaybackX (Ken Adams):
01)THE GOLD RUSH 02)BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN 03)THE JOYLESS STREET 04)JEALOUSY and SEVEN CHANCES 

@erikgregersen (Erik M. Gregersen):
Seven Chances, The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin, In Youth, Beside the Lonely Sea, The Freshman, Strike, Don Q, Son of Zorro

@redroomrantings (Justine A. Smith, Chief Film Editor and podcaster at Sound on Sight):
1. The Big Parade 2. Lazybones 3. Battleship Potemkin 4. The Gold Rush 5. The Phantom of the Opera

@LotsOfLea:
THE GOLD RUSH, SEVEN CHANCES, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN and GO WEST

@TheEndofCinema (Sean Gilman of The End of Cinema; The George Sanders Show, and They Shot Pictures podcasts):
The Gold Rush, Battleship Potemkin, The Big Parade, Seven Chances, Strike!, The Freshman, Phantom of the Opera

@PaulBoyne:
1. The Gold Rush 2. The Phantom of the Opera 3. The Big Parade 4. Varieté 5. Seven Chances

@MoviesSilently (of Movies Silently)
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, CHESS FEVER, HIS PEOPLE, BEYOND THE BORDER, THE LOST WORLD, CYRANO DE BERGERAC, A WOMAN OF THE WORLD, THE EAGLE ZANDER THE GREAT, VARIETY

@Cinematic_Life (of This Cinematic Life):
Potemkin, Phantom of the Opera, The Gold Rush, The Freshman, The Unholy 3

@oblongpictures (Chris Salt):
Potemkin, Tartuffe, Freshman, Phantom of the Opera, 7 Chances, Gold Rush, Big Parade, Go West, Gus Visser and his Singing Duck

@jchristley (Jamie N. Christley):
1. The Big Parade, 2. Seven Chances, 3. Go West, 4. The Rat’s Knuckles 5. Lady Windermere’s Fan 6. Lazybones 7. The Gold Rush 8. Sally of the Sawdust 9. Chess Fever 10. Master of the House

@jaimegrijalba (Jamie Grijalba):
1. The Gold Rush 2. Battleship Potemkin 3. Orochi 4. The Phantom of the Opera 5. Furasato no uta

@pierrefilmon (Pierre Filmon):
Lady Windermere’s Fan, Potemkine, Gold Rush, Saint-Bernard

@rgodfrey (Ryan Godfrey):
1. Phantom of the Opera 2. Seven Chances 3. The Gold Rush 4. Battleship Potemkin 5. Body and Soul

@realcbeckett (Christopher Beckett):
The Gold Rush, The Big Parade, Seven Chances, Potemkin, Strike, Ben Hur, Master of the House

@MrDude_o_o:
1. Strike 2. The Big Parade 3. The Gold Rush 4. Battleship Potemkin 5. Seven Chances 6. Master of the House 7. Ben-Hur 8. The Phantom of the Opera 9. The Merry Widow 10. Go West

@48ONIRAM (Brian!):
Battleship Potemkin, The Gold Rush, The Freshman

@sarahnwondrland (my Aunt!):
1. Seven Chances 2. The Freshman 3. Battleship Potemkin 4. The Gold Rush

@Fulmer:
Battleship Potemkin. The Gold Rush. The Freshman. Big Parade. The Monster. Proud Flesh, Stella Dallas.

@adamhopelies (Adam Batty, Lecturer and founder of Hope Lies At 24 Frames Per Second):
Les Aventures de Robert Macaire, Tartuffe, Battleship Potemkin, The Big Parade, The Gold Rush, The Freshman, Strike, P Garden, The Salvation Hunters

@BBandmoviegal:
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, THE BIG PARADE, THE GOLD RUSH, THE EAGLE, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, 7 CHANCES, THE FRESHMAN, BEN-HUR, LADY WINDEMERE’S FAN

Tumblr:

kinodrome:
1. The Big Parade 2. Strike 3. The Gold Rush 4. Body and Soul 5. Seven Chances 6. Master of the House

Celluloidfire:
1. Variety 2. The Gold Rush 3. The Phantom of the Opera 4. Seven Chances 5. Battleship Potemkin 6. The Big Parade 7. Go West 8. Strike 9. The Freshman 10. Grass: A Nations Battle for Life

WordPress: 

Peter Labuza (Author of Approaching the End, host of The Cinephiliacs, contributor to Variety, etc.):
The Big Parade (Vidor, USA), Faces of Children (Feyder, France), Seven Chances (Keaton, USA), Stage Struck (Dwan, USA), Kentucky Pride (Ford, USA), Master of the House (Dreyer, Netherlands), Orochi (Futagawa, Japan), Chess Fever (Pudovkin, USSR), The Freshman (Lloyd, USA), Battleship Potekmin (Eisenstein, USSR)

Travis Clark:
The Gold Rush, Seven Chances, The Phantom of the Opera, The Big Parade, The Freshman, Variety, Battleship Potemkin, Strike, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Chess Fever

Steven Venn:
Battleship Potemkin, The Gold Rush, Phantom of the Opera, Seven Chances, Tartuffe, Unholy Three, The Merry Widow, Dark Angel, The Freshman, Lady Windermere’s Fan

Adam K. (rl friend):
The Big Parade, Phantom of the Opera, Battleship Potemkin

Calling All Submissions for the Top Ten By Year: 1925 Poll


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I’m in the final third of my research for Top Ten By Year: 1925 (I’ve got about 13 viewings left). With 19921958, and 1978 I conducted a poll with all you fellow film lovers, asking what your choices would be. It has been such a success so far, and it’s become the inaugural kick-off for festivities in the Top Ten By Year Project. Next month, be on the lookout for 1925 coverage; I already posted my Movie Poster Highlights of 1925 and coming up will be a What I’ll Remember post, the Top Ten, and of course the Poll Results.

Order doesn’t factor in for results, but you are more than welcome submit them that way. If you’ve only seen a handful of films from 1925, don’t merely a list of what you’ve seen. I only want submissions for films you consider favorites. If that means it’s only 1 or 2, that’s perfectly fine! I don’t want 10 for the sake of 10 or even 5 for the sake of 5. Only the ones you love. 

Leave your lists in the comments section. Voting is open for the next seven days.

Movie Poster Highlights: 1925


During the last pass through the Top Ten By Year project, 1978, I introduced a new tradition during all my round-up coverage; the Poster Appreciation post. I’m about 60% finished with my latest year, 1925, and figured, why not establish the poster post as an early prelude to the festivities to come? So here we are. This has been, to put it frankly, a shitty time for me. The distraction of this project has been a help, and then it wasn’t, and now it is starting to be again.

In most cases I have unfortunately been unable to identify or give credit to any artists who contributed to or created these pieces. There is not a lot of easily accessible documentation regarding artist credit so sadly I don’t have much to offer on that front.

So let’s start with posters for lost films. In culling together a watchlist for 1925, there were numerous posters I’d see that would have me longing to see a film right away. And of course it was often accompanied by discovering that the film was not available and considered lost. But at least we can still ogle at the advertisements and use them as a romanticized launching pad for our idealized versions of what might have been.

All survival statuses provided by the Progressive Silent Film List.

Swedish poster for Madame Sans-Gêne (lost)
Swedish poster for Madame Sans-Gêne (presumed lost). I get such a Shelley Duvall vibe from this illustration.
Danish poster for Madame Sans-Gêne (lost)
Danish poster for Madame Sans-Gêne (presumed lost). Whereas this is reading as 100% Gloria, sultry sneer and all.
Swedish poster for New Lives for Old (lost)
Swedish poster for New Lives for Old (status unknown)

The Morgan Lithograph Company was one of the top poster lithographers in the early years of cinema. Here are three Paramount posters handled by them.

Poster for the short Cupid's Victory (to my knowledge, lost)
Poster for the short Cupid’s Victory (to my knowledge, lost). Made by the Morgan Litho Company. Such an atypical color scheme for a poster!
Poster for Miss Bluebeard (print exists; 16mm). Made by the Morgan Litho Company
Poster for Miss Bluebeard (print exists; 16mm)
Poster for Wild, Wild Susan (status; unknown).
Poster for Wild, Wild Susan (status; unknown). Made by the Morgan Litho Company

Almost all of Bebe Daniels’s silent films are considered lost, which is such a shame because look at this!”Susan’s mania was speed”?!?! She looks completely indifferent as she whizzes down a big yellow arrow. She’s so over the adrenaline. There’s no way the film would live up to this image, but every Bebe Daniels poster I see makes me mourn the fact that I can’t experience most of her filmography.

half_way_girl_xlg
Poster for The Half-Way Girl (status unknown)
Poster for The Masked Bride
Poster for The Masked Bride (status unknown). What a striking shade of red, not to mention Murray’s editorial look. Girl’s checking to see if her nails have dried.

 

Poster for The Scarlet Saint (status unknown). This is like a romantically luscious Christmas card.
Poster for The Scarlet Saint (status unknown). This is like a romantically luscious Christmas card.

Here’s a few featuring the work of Boris Bilinsky! If you want to read more about him or see more of his work, here’s a great article on MUBI for you.

PrinceCharmant_Bilinsky
Le prince charmant (status unknown). Artist: Boris Bilinsky
The Telephone Operator (Das Fräulein vom Amt) (status unknown). Artist: Boris Bilinsky
French poster for The Telephone Operator (Das Fräulein vom Amt) (status unknown). Artist: Boris Bilinsky
French poster for Joyless Street (Die freudlose Gasse). Artist: Boris Bilinsky
French poster for Joyless Street (Die freudlose Gasse). Artist: Boris Bilinsky

Speaking of Joyless Street, here are two other posters for Pabst’s film:

US poster for Joyless Street (artist unknown)
US poster for Joyless Street (artist unknown)
Russian poster for Joyless Street (artist unknown)
Russian poster for Joyless Street (artist unknown)

Renowned and versatile artist Alexander Rodchenko created some masterworks of graphic designs with his movie posters. Here are a few for 1925 films:

Poster for Луч смерти (US title; The Death Ray). Artist: Alexander Rodchenko
Poster for Луч смерти (US title; The Death Ray). Artist: Alexander Rodchenko
Poster for Луч смерти (US title; The Death Ray) Artist: Alexander Rodchenko
Poster for Луч смерти (US title; The Death Ray) Artist: Alexander Rodchenko
Poster for Battleship Potemkin. Artist: Alexander Rodchenko
Poster for Battleship Potemkin. Artist: Alexander Rodchenko

Here is another amazing poster for Battleship Potemkin. This one by the Sternberg brothers. Another MUBI article for your pleasure.

Poster for Battleship Potemkin. Artist; the Sternberg brothers
Poster for Battleship Potemkin. Artist; the Sternberg brothers

The last two posters may be my favorites because I can never get enough of illustrations of dark-lipped sexy women framed by a pop color.

Swedish poster for A Woman of the World. Artist unknown
Swedish poster for A Woman of the World. Artist unknown
lady of the night
Swedish poster for Lady of the Night. Artist: Eric Rohman