Best Movie of 1915?

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CJBx7

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostThu Mar 19, 2015 11:55 am

I still need to see a lot of these films. My personal favorites from this year, though, are Regeneration and The Italian. I like the realism of Regeneration very much, as well as the warmth and expressiveness of The Italian. Carmen was good too, mostly for the dynamite performance of Geraldine Farrar and her chemistry with Wallace Reid.

BOAN often gets listed as the first quality American feature film on websites, which isn't the case, but I believe it was the first true American epic feature film, and the first blockbuster success. I do admire several aspects of the film, particularly where Griffith poignantly shows the human cost of war in the first half, and the realistic interaction of the familes. I like Miriam Cooper's performance here the best; she's just stunningly natural in her performance, soulful, unaffected and hauntingly beautiful. I think her performance is beyond time, still fresh and moving. On occasion I've watched clips where Cooper appears, but I can't watch the whole film again for the same reasons that other people have. I won't deny its importance though.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostThu Mar 19, 2015 3:16 pm

If Filibus wasn't the best film of 1915, it was certainly one with very good posters:

Image

Image
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Nosferatu

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostFri Mar 20, 2015 5:36 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Anyway, my first choice would be Maurice Tourneur's Alias Jimmy Valentine, which I have on laserdisc and was out on DVD in the long-out-of-print Origins of Film set from the Smithsonian. It's a stage melodrama about a safecracker who goes straight, with a crackerjack ending, and Robert Warwick— a familiar 40s character actor who at this point is young and as handsome as George O'Brien— plays it for all it's worth, but Tourneur also makes it cinematically effective through his use of composition and lighting. Here's a little visual essay somebody put on YouTube:



Unfortunately this doesn't show the most strikingly abstract moment of the film, in which Tourneur shows the layout of a crime scene from above as if it were a blueprint, so you can see exactly how the crime takes place, the sort of thing you might have found innovative in a crime movie like Rififi 40 years later. It's also, in its own way, oddly reflective of the matter of factness and abstraction of crime in one of 1915's other most celebrated titles— Les Vampires.



I'm not sure how legal this site is, but I actually obtained this movie from this website some time ago and I really enjoyed it. To anyone interested, don't be put off by the short length of the feature:
http://allcluesnosolutions.com/index.php?productID=1389" target="_blank
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JLNeibaur

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 11:47 am

Here is my writeup on Birth of a Nation

https://www.cineaste.com/articles/embirth-of-a-nationem

It is the best movie of 1915

JN
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Tastypotpie

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 12:04 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:If Filibus wasn't the best film of 1915, it was certainly one with very good posters:


I'd just like to say, I love this movie. Filibus is pretty much a female Phantomas...but Filibus is a way, WAY better film.
It's absolutely nuts! Go watch it if ya haven't seen it!
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boblipton

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 1:20 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:If Filibus wasn't the best film of 1915, it was certainly one with very good posters:

Image

Image


Love the submarine hanging from the balloon. Funniest thing since someone in a Feuillade film had to mail a letter so they took a balloon to the post box. Is this serial available any place.

Bob
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 2:26 pm

boblipton wrote:Love the submarine hanging from the balloon....
Bob


That's nice, too, but what I love is the lesbian hanging from the submarine. Go, Butch, go!

http://butch-in-progress.tumblr.com/pos ... 15-filibus" target="_blank
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boblipton

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 3:00 pm

Hot Dang! It also shows up easily enough by going to Youtube, where I am more practiced with the size adjustment controls and typing "Filibus Silent". I wish the titles were clearer.

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 1:28 am

Christopher Jacobs wrote: ...although I've got THE GOLDEN CHANCE as my number one title from 1915, I'll put in a strong plug for YOUNG ROMANCE, a highly entertaining rom-com with a touch of melodrama smoothly directed by George Melford from a William C. DeMille play, with delightful and generally underplayed performances and some striking camera effects. Amazingly, it was a January release, having been shot in late 1914, whereas THE GOLDEN CHANCE is certainly Cecil B. DeMille's most polished of his dozen or so 1915 productions but was also his last one of the year, with screenings in late December but not going into general release until January 1916.

The Golden Chance
Young Romance
Regeneration
The Italian
The Children of Eve
The Birth of a Nation
Carmen
The Cheat
A Fool There Was
The Coward


Kindling
On the Night Stage
Alias Jimmy Valentine
The Fairy and the Waif
The Second in Command
The Cub
The Moonstone
The Stolen Voice
The Disciple
Old Heidelberg


Other interesting 1915 productions (in alphabetical order)...

Alice in Wonderland
The Captive
The Case of Becky
Chimmie Fadden Out West
The Darkening Trail
Enoch Arden
The Girl of the Golden West
How Molly Malone Made Good
The Hypocrites
The Lamb
Madame Butterfly
The Magic Skin
The Martyrs of the Alamo
A Submarine Pirate
Trilby
Les Vampires
The Warrens of Virginia
The Whirl of Life


Watching YOUNG ROMANCE the other night, I would heartily agree with its inclusion in the list. Although not 'important' in one sense, it was a thoroughly delightful and well-made entertainment which was a very worthwhile discovery.
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Red Bartlett

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 11:47 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:
drednm wrote:The Birth of a Nation hands down.

Agreed.
This fictional story about friendship and romance, caught up in a nation at war certainly is much more than a terrible racist film.

It begins by saying Slavery in America (originally everywhere) planted the first seed of disunion. The beginning of the story establishes that 'Union' is more important than 'State's Rights.' Next comes the Union Victory as it celebrates Lee's surrender...the end of State's Rights. I'm always puzzled when others claim this film was about the Southerner's perspective?
Griffith's film shows how Lincoln hoped reconstruction would bring the nation back together as brothers, and then recreated Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre.

The racist part is based on fact.
Democracy in America was put on hold for a dozen years when Republicans "wrought a veritable overthrow of civilization in the South in their determination to 'put the white South under the heel of the Black South.'"
They divided the South into Five Military Districts, installing mostly Black leadership while preventing Black men in the North from voting. Only Blacks in the five Military Districts down South were permitted to vote and they did, under the careful guidance of the Republicans. Later, when it was discovered the majority of White voters had not voted for President Grant, Congress quickly passed the suffrage amendment to the Constitution providing Black men throughout the country the right to vote and insuring continued domination in Government by the Republicians.

Yes it's a racist film but the time it represents was even more racist.

To me, a lot of the modern-day reaction to BoaN is as flagrantly flamboyant as a lot of the arm-waiving acting of that period was. So many great films depict and glorify abhorrent people, mindsets and all the rest -- and rarely do people who love film feel the need to perform a southern-belle fainting routine. I'm certainly wise to our societal sensitivity on the subject and the notion that if one doesn't gesture in protest, then somebody might think one actually agrees with it -- which is utterly preposterous.

The (excellent) BFI blu-ray includes a painful little round-table discussion along these lines, which exhibits how nonintellectual intellectualism can sometimes become -- and how it can dangerously creep right back over the line it portends to abhor.

While I haven't seen enough films from 1915 to even pretend to weigh in on the topic, I do feel comfortable in saying BoaN -- regardless of its subject matter -- is an incredible film. And it's one I enjoy watching. Preposterous, isn't it!?
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 12:03 pm

Red Bartlett wrote:While I haven't seen enough films from 1915 to even pretend to weigh in on the topic, I do feel comfortable in saying BoaN -- regardless of its subject matter -- is an incredible film. And it's one I enjoy watching. Preposterous, isn't it!?

No.
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Saint-Just

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 9:13 pm

BOAN is overrated, noxious tripe - there are better acted, directed, and edited films from this year, and Griffith is surely the most overrated director of the era. The scene with Walthall and Lillian and the dove is lovely, the silhouette of the klan riding on the hillside is still being copied to this day - the rest is basically a total loss. And that's not even to address it's egregious lack of a true historical basis - it's fantasy of the 'wronged south' variety. I've frankly had more than enough of the historical revisionism of the film itself and of Griffith as some master super director - he was well passed by even before BOAN and his players, under his direction, gave generally stagey and overly affected portrayals. Enough said.
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostSat Sep 02, 2017 7:02 am

Saint-Just wrote:BOAN is overrated, noxious tripe - there are better acted, directed, and edited films from this year, and Griffith is surely the most overrated director of the era. The scene with Walthall and Lillian and the dove is lovely, the silhouette of the klan riding on the hillside is still being copied to this day - the rest is basically a total loss. And that's not even to address it's egregious lack of a true historical basis - it's fantasy of the 'wronged south' variety. I've frankly had more than enough of the historical revisionism of the film itself and of Griffith as some master super director - he was well passed by even before BOAN and his players, under his direction, gave generally stagey and overly affected portrayals. Enough said.

Why don't you just say what you mean? Let it out...let it all hang out...(signed, Sir Percy Blakeney)
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Red Bartlett

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Re: Best Movie of 1915?

PostTue Sep 05, 2017 7:49 am

Saint-Just wrote:BOAN is overrated, noxious tripe - there are better acted, directed, and edited films from this year, and Griffith is surely the most overrated director of the era. The scene with Walthall and Lillian and the dove is lovely, the silhouette of the klan riding on the hillside is still being copied to this day - the rest is basically a total loss. And that's not even to address it's egregious lack of a true historical basis - it's fantasy of the 'wronged south' variety. I've frankly had more than enough of the historical revisionism of the film itself and of Griffith as some master super director - he was well passed by even before BOAN and his players, under his direction, gave generally stagey and overly affected portrayals. Enough said.

Lol! Do you seriously believe that or are you just having a bad day? It's fine either way but, speaking of revisionism, I don't believe that that opinion is an historically accurate view either. At best, it seems like there are some films that show some similar advances but no one film comes close to the bredth and epic scale of Birth of a Nation.

As I was saying, people love to hate (or have a hard time liking) this film for the obvious reason of its subject matter. It's unfortunate that the first epic masterpiece of film functions as a warped propaganda piece -- but so were many of the propaganda films coming out of communist Russia a decade later. I just have a sense that people are hung up on the wrong things sometimes.
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