Chaplin at Keystone from Flicker Alley

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silentfilm

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Chaplin at Keystone from Flicker Alley

PostThu Jul 15, 2010 9:27 pm

http://www.flickeralley.com/fat_chaplin_01.html

Chaplin at Keystone from Flicker Alley

Charles Chaplin came to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios as an unknown, and after a year, had not only established his character, but also achieved public recognition as a star comedian so that standees of his likeness outside theatres sufficed to attract audiences. Most of the original Keystone negatives were simply printed away and the survival of all but a few of these films depends upon a few original prints, a larger number of reissue prints, and some duped prints from later years. That all but one of the films exists is, of course, due to Chaplin’s enormous subsequent popularity.

With the support of Association Chaplin (France), 35mm full aperture, early-generation materials (with only a few exceptions) were gathered on almost all the films in this international collaboration and were painstakingly pieced together by the National Film and Television Archive of the British Film Institute, L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive; then digitally refurbished by Lobster Films in Paris.

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BrianG

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PostFri Jul 16, 2010 8:17 am

Is there a release date? I didn't see one listed.
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PostFri Jul 16, 2010 12:07 pm

35 films...

Can this mean that we're getting A THIEF CATCHER in addition to the usual 34?

Or did Shepard & Co. find HER FRIEND THE BANDIT in Sennett's fruit cellar?
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PostSun Jul 18, 2010 1:34 pm

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urbanora

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PostSun Jul 18, 2010 3:45 pm

Luke's covered this in his blog...


I have? I know no more of the exact contents of the DVD than anyone else - but A Thief Catcher isn't going to be there (nor Her Friend the Bandit, alas). Surely...
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PostSun Jul 18, 2010 6:50 pm

Well, I wonder what the 35th film is then...

Probably a misprint.
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PostSun Jul 18, 2010 8:08 pm

Hope fully it will include the restored "Tillie's Punctured Romance."
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BrianG

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PostSun Jul 18, 2010 8:43 pm

One of the Edna sites lists the 35 restored Chaplin's that will be shown at the Chaplin Conference in Ohio this October. Her Friend The Bandit is one of the 35 restored. A Thief Catcher is not listed.
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PostMon Jul 19, 2010 11:26 am

That must have been a hell of a restoration job on HER FRIEND THE BANDIT, restoring it out of thin air like that.
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Ken Winokur

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PostMon Jul 19, 2010 11:58 am

Tillie's Punctured Romance, the painstakingly restored version by UCLA, will be included in the collection. The Lobster Films folks have taken the restoration one step further and have done an amazing job of smoothing over the abrupt changes between sections of film that came from different sources.

My ragtime band, Tillie's Nightmare, recorded our score for the disk.

I don't have an exact date, but I've heard it will be out in October.

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CoffeeDan

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PostMon Jul 19, 2010 12:20 pm

Does the lack of a release date indicate that Flicker Alley is trying to include the newly discovered Keystone comedy A THIEF CATCHER in the set?

Just wondering . . .
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Rodney

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PostMon Jul 19, 2010 12:46 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:Does the lack of a release date indicate that Flicker Alley is trying to include the newly discovered Keystone comedy A THIEF CATCHER in the set?

Just wondering . . .


It may be also because some of us haven't finished all of our scores yet... :oops:
Rodney Sauer
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PostMon Jul 19, 2010 9:05 pm

I e-mailed Flicker Alley and they responded the set "is currently scheduled to ship on or before October 26, 2010."
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silentfilm

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PostMon Jul 19, 2010 9:41 pm

Yes, Jeff Masino of Flicker Alley has confirmed the October 26th date.
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PostTue Jul 20, 2010 8:46 pm

Jeff and David Shepard will announce the complete contents of the set the first week of August.
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PostMon Jul 26, 2010 6:57 pm

Great to see this is on the way - just pre-ordered it.
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PostMon Aug 02, 2010 6:14 am

I'm in the UK, so I emailed the British Film Institute to ask when they will release the set. I got a very nice response. The BFI set comes out on 6th December. There will also be releases in France, Italy and Germany - dates not mentioned. Content will be the same in all editions (not specified).
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Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films Collection proudly pre

PostFri Aug 06, 2010 9:48 pm

Contact: Jeff Masino, 800 - 936 -1115, jeff(at)flickeralley.com

Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films Collection proudly present
Chaplin At Keystone, an international collaboration of 34 original films.

This 4-Disc DVD boxed set makes its debut on Tuesday, October 26th


Charles Chaplin came to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios late in 1913 as a little-known British vaudevillian, and after a year, had not only established his Tramp character, learned to write and direct his own films, and also achieved public recognition as a star comedian. Although Keystone did not publicize its performers by name, standees of Chaplin's likeness outside theatres sufficed to attract audiences. Some of the films, especially Tillie's Punctured Romance, remained in theatrical distribution for decades.

The fact that all but one of the Chaplin Keystones exist is due, of course, to the star’s enormous subsequent popularity. Most of the original Keystone negatives, however, were simply printed away and the survival of all but a few of these films depends upon a very few original prints, a larger number of reissue prints, and some duped prints from later years. With the support of Association Chaplin (Paris), 35mm full aperture, early-generation materials were gathered over an eight year search on almost all the films from archives and collectors around the world, and were painstakingly pieced together and restored by the British Film Institute National Archive, the Cineteca Bologna and its laboratory L’Immagine Ritrovata in Italy, and Lobster Films in Paris. Most are now clear, sharp and rock-steady, although some reveal that their source prints are well-used and a handful survives only in 16mm. While admitting these limitations, one can now understand Chaplin's meteoric rise, for it is possible for the first time in generations to see clearly what clever and imaginative films he made at Keystone.

Flicker Alley is proud to present the world debut of Chaplin at Keystone, a 4-DVD boxed set. These editions feature all-new musical settings by outstanding practitioners of silent film accompaniment Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola, Frederick Hodges, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Ethan Uslan, and Ken Winokur's band Tillie’s Nightmare with the UCLA Film and Television Archive restoration of Tillie's Punctured Romance.

Chaplin At Keystone also includes several fascinating special features. An extensive booklet provides an overview of the importance of the Chaplin Keystone comedies and detailed notes on the individual films by film historian and author Jeffrey Vance (Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema). Inside the Keystone Project is a short documentary detailing the international restoration efforts; historian John Bengtson takes a "then and now" look at several Keystone film locations in a 10 minute filmed tour based on his book Silent Traces. There is also a short excerpt from A Thief Catcher, recently-discovered by Paul E. Gierucki, with Chaplin as a Keystone Cop; along with the animated Charlie's White Elephant, and a gallery of rare photographs.

Chaplin At Keystone is the thirteenth DVD release from the partnership of Film Preservation Associates’ Blackhawk Films Collection and Flicker Alley, following Discovering Cinema, Saved From The Flames, Georges Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema (1896-1913), Abel Gance’s La Roue, Perils of the New Land: Films of the Immigrant Experience (1910-1915), Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer, Under Full Sail – Silent Cinema on the High Seas; Bardelys The Magnificent / Monte Cristo, George Méliès Encore, Miss Mend, The Italian Straw Hat and the original 1927 version of Chicago.


ABOUT THE BLACKHAWK FILMS COLLECTION
Blackhawk Films was founded in 1927 as a producer of film advertising for merchants and as a distributor of regional newsreels. The company made its mark as a nontheatrical distributor with the advent of 16mm sound film in 1933, establishing several regional offices before WWII. In 1947, Blackhawk expanded into sales of used film and soon thereafter began distributing new 8mm and 16mm prints of Laurel & Hardy comedies from Hal Roach Studios as well as titles from such other suppliers such as Fox Movietone, Killiam Shows, and National Telefilm Associates. David Shepard joined Blackhawk as Vice President (1973-1976) and after founding Film Preservation Associates in 1986, acquired the Blackhawk Films library which now comprises some 5,000 titles.

ABOUT FLICKER ALLEY

Flicker Alley, LLC was founded in 2002 by Jeff Masino. Each Flicker Alley project is the culmination of hundreds of hours of research, digital restoration, and music production. Flicker Alley has partnered with Turner Classic Movies on several historic cable broadcasts including three previously unavailable silent films produced by Howard Hughes, three rarely seen Rudolph Valentino films and new digital editions of J’Accuse and La Roue, by Abel Gance. The Flicker Alley brand has grown to enjoy national and international critical acclaim and is regularly featured in annual "Best Of" lists. Twice, the company has been honored with the prestigious Il Cinema Ritrovato DVD Award: In 2008 for George Melies - First Wizard of Cinema, and again in 2009 for Douglas Fairbanks - A Modern Musketeer. In 2009, the company was a Heritage Award recipient from the National Society of Film Critics.
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PostSat Aug 07, 2010 1:28 am

Wow, thanks for posting that. And we'll even get an excerpt from THE THIEF CATCHER; I wasn't expecting that at all. I've only seen a handful of these films, mostly in awful prints with awful scores (Paul Gierucki's nice release of THE ROUNDERS in the Arbuckle set excepted). This rabid Chaplin fan can't wait to get his hands on it. I hope there are many others out there like me, and that this will fly off the shelves and become Flicker Alley's best seller so far. Bravo and THANK YOU to all those involved in getting these neglected treasures into our living rooms. Surely this is one of the most important classic film releases in home video history.
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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 9:06 pm

FWIW, Deep Discount DVD is offering this for 60.96 with free shipping.

http://www.deepdiscount.com/index.cfm/f ... d56db4592/
" You can't take life too seriously...you'll never get out of it alive."


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Gaucho

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PostThu Sep 02, 2010 7:40 pm

Or you can order it for about $1 cheaper (shipped) from Flicker Alley themselves and support the folks who need it the most.
http://www.flickeralley.com/fat_chaplin_01.html
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PostThu Sep 02, 2010 8:05 pm

What are they charging to ship...?

Seriously, just the simple act of purchasing this title benefits FLICKER ALLEY.

Many of us have had a long relationship with David Shepard through purchases
from Blackhawk on 8mm, VHS and supporting his Film Preservation Associates
by purchasing his product on Laserdisc and DVD.
" You can't take life too seriously...you'll never get out of it alive."


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Salty Dog

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PostThu Sep 02, 2010 8:50 pm

I agree, it's great to support Flicker Alley, but also, they do not
charge shipping....


Scoundrel wrote:What are they charging to ship...?

Seriously, just the simple act of purchasing this title benefits FLICKER ALLEY.

Many of us have had a long relationship with David Shepard through purchases
from Blackhawk on 8mm, VHS and supporting his Film Preservation Associates
by purchasing his product on Laserdisc and DVD.
Bill Coleman
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CoffeeDan

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PostFri Sep 03, 2010 1:23 am

I have to say that Flicker Alley does have the best pre-order prices on its own product, plus free shipping. Right now, $59.96 is hard to beat.

But be warned: When you pre-order with FA, they charge you at the time of your purchase, not when they ship.
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BrianG

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PostFri Sep 03, 2010 7:27 am

I always order direct from FA. I wish Kino's prices were as competitive on their DVD's. I'd rather order direct from Kino too, but Amazon, with free 2 day shipping, is almost always the better deal. And why does Amazon already have The Complete Metropolis and Sherlock, Jr for pre-order when Kino's own site hasn't even announced them? Kino needs to take lessons from FA.
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Chaplin at Keystone

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PostMon Nov 22, 2010 10:05 am

Finally had a chance to see some bits and pieces of this set for myself. Since I did not see the entire thing and only spot checked through the discs, I'm hardly in a position to offer a review, but I will chime in with some observations, which should probably be preceded with a couple of disclaimers:

1. There are a lot of Chaplin films among my favorites, but he is not my favorite silent comedian/comic actor.

2. I like very little of Sennett's output (that I've seen, of course) and the earlier the film the less I tend to like it.

That said this is obviously another beautifully produced Flicker Alley release overall. The pictorial quality is mostly better than anything previously seen (be me, at least) on these titles, and the scores I've heard enough of to get an impression seem well done and appropriate to the films.

My take on the transfer rates is that, while leisurely, they are NOT fatally slow. The speeds do allow for better descernment of the facial acting of Chaplin and the others, albeit somewhat at the expense of comic energy. Mileage will vary depending on what is most important to the viewer, but those wanting both (acting analysis and laughs) may feel that the tradeoff has been successful.
Steve Haynes
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PostMon Nov 22, 2010 3:00 pm

Shaynes3 wrote:Finally had a chance to see some bits and pieces of this set for myself. Since I did not see the entire thing and only spot checked through the discs, I'm hardly in a position to offer a review, but I will chime in with some observations, which should probably be preceded with a couple of disclaimers:

1. There are a lot of Chaplin films among my favorites, but he is not my favorite silent comedian/comic actor.

2. I like very little of Sennett's output (that I've seen, of course) and the earlier the film the less I tend to like it.

That said this is obviously another beautifully produced Flicker Alley release overall. The pictorial quality is mostly better than anything previously seen (be me, at least) on these titles, and the scores I've heard enough of to get an impression seem well done and appropriate to the films.

My take on the transfer rates is that, while leisurely, they are NOT fatally slow. The speeds do allow for better descernment of the facial acting of Chaplin and the others, albeit somewhat at the expense of comic energy. Mileage will vary depending on what is most important to the viewer, but those wanting both (acting analysis and laughs) may feel that the tradeoff has been successful.


Well said.

After watching some of these films again, once more I am left with the impression that film audiences of 1914 must have thought a swift kick to the derriere was the last word in comedy. I wonder if anyone has logged how many kicks there are in Chaplin's Keystones. I'm sure it must be more than 300.
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martin arias

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More missing bits on the Keystone films

PostSun Nov 28, 2010 4:06 am

I'VE NOTICED THE FOLLOWING:

1) tHERE ARE A COUPLE OF JUMPS AT THE END OF "MY TRYSTING PLACES" WHICH ARE PRESENT ON W.H. PRODUCTIONS COPIES, INCLUDING THE FINAL KISS OF CHARLIE AND MABEL, AND MACK SWAIN SITTING BACK WITH HIS WIFE.

2) THERE ARE MISSING SCENES ON "HIS NEW PROFESSION" ALSO PRESENT ON W.H. PRODUCTIONS COPIES: A COMPLETE SCENE OF CHARLIE AT THE BAR WITH A GAG ON DRINKS FROM WHICH JUST A SMALL FRAGMENT IS PRESENT ON THE CAK VERSION /ALSO A HALF THE SEQUENCE OF CHAPLIN PUSHING THE WHEELCHAIR INTO THE BAR'S ENTRANCE / AND THE FINAL SCENE WITH CHARLIE AND THE GIRL, WHICH IS MISSING FROM CAK.

3) THE FINAL SHOT OF CHESTER CONKLIN FALLING AFTER BEING HIT BY CHARLIE WITH THE MALLET AT THE END OF REEL ONE OF "CAUGHT IN A CABARET" IS MISSING ON CAK BUT PRESENT ON MANY LOW QUALITY DVD COPIES.

TO THOSE YOU HAVE TO ADD THE ALREADY MENTIONED SMALL FRAGMENTS MISSING FROM "THOSE LOVE PANGS" AND "LAUGHING GAS" (THE BEGINNINGS) AND THE BAD PRINT ON "RECREATION" (I KNOW A FINE 35 MM COPY EXISTS AT THE CINEMATECA HEBRAICA IN BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. I'VE SEEN IT PROJECTED ON A MOVIE THEATER THERE SOME 20 YEARS AGO, AND IT WAS USED WHEN A CHAPLIN TV SHOW WAS AIRED THERE IN THE 1990'S).

MARTIN
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Village Voice: What to Buy the Movie Buff Who Has Everything

PostTue Nov 30, 2010 9:29 pm

http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-12-01/ ... verything/

What to Buy the Movie Buff Who Has Everything?
By J. Hoberman Wednesday, Dec 1 2010

The old year ends and, repackaged for holiday gifting, some things seem absolutely new. The fruit of an eight-year, international restoration effort, Flicker Alley’s four-disc box set Chaplin at Keystone is a major work of cultural rehabilitation. Charlie Chaplin’s first movies—the 33 one- or two-reel comedies and the single feature he made for Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios in 1914—are uncanny in their immediacy. The only thing more brilliant than the print quality is the magnitude of the young Chaplin’s scurrilous charisma. The box comes with a helpful booklet and several short documentaries, but the greatest bonus is the frequent appearance of Mabel Normand, Keystone’s reigning star as well as a performer whose physical grace and appealing good nature made her a wonderful foil for the Little Tramp.


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Bruce Calvert
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