Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSat Jun 24, 2017 1:02 pm

Last week I went to the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper VA, for the annual three-day Mostly Lost film identification workshop. (June 15-17.) This was my fourth annual visit, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m a lifer.

As most of you reading this probably already know, the event came about a few years ago rather casually, as an impromptu substitution for another festival which was canceled at the 11th hour. It was decided that attendees for that event, which was also in the area near DC, could instead go to Culpeper and view some rare silent films that hadn’t been identified. And instead of watching in reverent silence, viewers were encouraged to call out when they recognized an actor, or a location, or anything that might suggest the year or time period when the film was made. Thus, Mostly Lost crowd-sourcing was born.

In addition to the I.D. sessions there are presentations, and we enjoyed an especially good batch this year. A gent named Mike Zahs spoke about an early 20th century movie showman (and aeronautics pioneer) named W. Frank Brinton who traveled around the Midwest circa 1904-08, showing movies. The guy left an amazing treasure trove of a collection, including a Méliès short, on 35mm nitrate, which was not known to exist elsewhere. A documentary has been made on this topic entitled Saving Brinton—we were shown a trailer, but not the film itself—and it looks terrific. Other presentations included one on music accompaniment to silent films, one on missing horror films of the silent era, another on some of the mishaps that have caused the destruction of so many nitrate prints, such as the explosion of the Fox film vault in 1937 (a presentation which, while fascinating, was greeted with many sighs and groans), and one on William Fox.

And there were, as always, evening screenings of recently restored films. (During those events we have to retrain ourselves not to yell out things; these films are fully identified!) This year we saw an eclectic group, including Corporal Kate (1926), which was produced by Cecil B. DeMille, Rogues and Romance (1920), starring June Caprice, several horror-related titles, such as The Devil (1915), The Were-Tiger (1925), a very weird movie called The Stolen Play (1917), and, perhaps most enjoyable of all, the 1910 Frankenstein, newly restored, and looking about as good as it’s ever going to look. And we also saw the newly recovered fragment of Now We’re in the Air (1927), featuring Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, and, all too briefly, Louise Brooks. The segments came from the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th reels of what was originally a 6-reel feature, so we were given a pretty fair idea of what the complete film must have been like. It’s a tantalizing glimpse, and we all wanted to see more of Miss Brooks, but certainly better than nothing.

In sum, it was a great time. Lots of interesting stuff to see, and interesting people to chat with. As long as they keep doing these things, I’ll keep going.
-- Charlie Morrow
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telical

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

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David Denton

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSun Jun 25, 2017 12:13 am

I echo Charlie's sentiments. Mostly Lost is my favorite film event of the year. At night you see films you would not see anywhere else, with great musical accompaniment. During the day, in addition to the always interesting presentations, you get to participate. Anything you know, or think you know about the film, you can call out; actors, locations, fashion styles, cars. All are important. Pretty amazing when you see someone who thinks they can't contribute, get excited when their observation leads to another and possible identification. The LOC staff is great and one thing yet to be mentioned, some young folk have started to come as well. If we want our silent film community to grow, getting someone excited about film when they're young is a great way to start. Rob Stone and Rachel Del Gaudio, projectionist Dave March, their bosses and LOC peers who volunteer their time before and during Mostly Lost deserve much appreciation. The accompanists as well.
And it is always great to see my East Coast friends (and sometimes West Coast friends I don't see too often out here).
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSun Jun 25, 2017 7:36 am

David Denton wrote:Rob Stone and Rachel Del Gaudio, projectionist Dave March, their bosses and LOC peers who volunteer their time before and during Mostly Lost deserve much appreciation. The accompanists as well.


I second that! Anyone who has ever organized a large-scale event, involving lots of inter-departmental coordination, and hosting dozens of visitors, many of whom journey from all over the country (along with a few international travelers), knows all too well that it ain't easy. It can be very stressful, and frustrating at times. But the crew at LoC's Packard Campus manage to make this event look easy, and maintain remarkably cheery, friendly, upbeat attitudes. Mostly Lost is great fun for attendees, and feels like a party. I salute everyone who works so hard behind the scenes to make this possible.
-- Charlie Morrow
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Jim Roots

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSun Jun 25, 2017 7:47 am

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote: (snip) ... and, perhaps most enjoyable of all, the 1910 Frankenstein, newly restored, and looking about as good as it’s ever going to look.


How did they manage to pry it out of Al Detlaff's cold, dead hands?

Jim
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSun Jun 25, 2017 8:54 am

Jim Roots wrote:
Wm. Charles Morrow wrote: (snip) ... and, perhaps most enjoyable of all, the 1910 Frankenstein, newly restored, and looking about as good as it’s ever going to look.


How did they manage to pry it out of Al Detlaff's cold, dead hands?

Jim


Good question. I'm not sure how that print found its way from Al's vise-like grip to the vaults of the LoC. Couldn't find any info about it online, but here's an amusing piece about the man himself, and what a colorful guy he was:

https://patch.com/new-jersey/fortlee/ed ... commission" target="_blank
-- Charlie Morrow
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSun Jun 25, 2017 10:58 am

This should be a traveling show.....
Ed Lorusso
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https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
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maliejandra

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostMon Jun 26, 2017 7:04 am

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:
Good question. I'm not sure how that print found its way from Al's vise-like grip to the vaults of the LoC. Couldn't find any info about it online, but here's an amusing piece about the man himself, and what a colorful guy he was:
https://patch.com/new-jersey/fortlee/ed ... commission" target="_blank" target="_blank


:lol: :roll: :lol:

He certainly was. I heard about his request for a million dollars for the print, and read that he sold DVD copies with "Property of Alois Dettlaff" watermarked on every frame.
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostWed Jul 26, 2017 5:44 pm

Here’s a quick update on this summer’s Mostly Lost. This afternoon, ML6 participants received an email from Rachel Del Gaudio, one of the key organizers. She tells us that out of 178 films shown this year in the I.D. workshops, 52 were identified by the end of the three-day event, while an additional 19 have been identified in the period since, making a total of 71: a 40% success rate. No doubt more of the films will be identified in the weeks ahead, as attendees dig into files, look at photos, examine other print sources, etc.

In an earlier message, we were given some additional stats. Last year, out of 142 films shown, 32 were identified during the event and an additional 22 in the year since. And the year before that, out of 125 films shown, 33 were identified during the event and 25 have been identified since.

As you’ll notice, more and more of these unidentified films and fragments are shown each year. There would seem to be an almost inexhaustible supply!
-- Charlie Morrow
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostWed Jul 26, 2017 10:24 pm

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:
Good question. I'm not sure how that print found its way from Al's vise-like grip to the vaults of the LoC. Couldn't find any info about it online, but here's an amusing piece about the man himself, and what a colorful guy he was:

https://patch.com/new-jersey/fortlee/ed ... commission" target="_blank" target="_blank


The Library of Congress acquired the entire Detlaff collection from the family. They are still going through the large collection of prints, which includes a number of otherwise heretofore-lost silents on nitrate. That weird comedy short that was a bad knock-off of HATS OFF that was screened and identified during ML6 was part of Al's big stash.

Ben
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostThu Jul 27, 2017 4:53 am

I'm several weeks (or more) behind in updating the Silent Feature Film database, but here are some silent feature films some folks consider "lost" which have turned up at LC or other archives, via the Detlaff Collection (LC) or other sources. Some are complete, some are not. These should hopefully be in the online database by Labor Day, along with about 75 other more modest updates.
Sinews of Steel (1927), Pagan Passions fragment (1924), Broadway Billy (1928), Broadway Gold (1923), Dancer and the King (1914), Dark Angel (1925), Double-Fisted (1925), Earth Woman (1926), Enemy of Man (1925), Man Made Women (1928), Eye of Envy (1917), Pursued (1925),Devil's Claim (1920), Foreman of the Bar-Z Ranch (1915), Secrets of the Night (1924), Between Dangers (1927).
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silentfilm

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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostThu Jul 27, 2017 11:05 am

Image
Dark Angel (1925) with Vilma Banky and Ronald Colman! That is a major find.
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostThu Jul 27, 2017 11:20 am

Unfortunately, Dark Angel is one of the incomplete finds. Just reel 2 I believe
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostThu Jul 27, 2017 11:23 am

Well, that's one more reel than we had before Mostly Lost...
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostFri Aug 18, 2017 3:04 pm

Also survives: Two Lovers (1928) 7 reels of 10
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 2:08 am

Melbourne/Australia's Regent Theatre opened on March 15 1`929 The feature film at the opening was "Two Lovers", with Ronald Coleman, Vilma Banky and Noah Beery. There was also an orchestra of 35 and a ballet of 20 performers. The orchestra was reduced after talking films arrived at the Regent about a month later. [Thiele, John, "Remembering the Regent', SA TOSA News, TOSA (SA), Adelaide, November, 1983, p. 4] Also has a Wurlitzer as did the Plaza Theatre in the basement that became a Cinerama Theatre during that phase of film formats.

I guess this was one of the non-Gary Cooper films made as Silents by Sam Goldwyn that his wife had cleared out of the vaults. For the reasons of this once great theatre I would love to see a complete version available but that is a forlorn hope, I guess. The theatre, on city owned land, is much reduced in seating and operates as a live theatre and Love Never Dies was filmed here. A long history of floods and fire is worth reading elsewhere. The father of Frank Thring snr was head of Hoyts Theatres then and he started his own film company at this time in what became the last around 5 years of his life.
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Re: Mostly Lost 6 in Culpeper VA

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 12:03 pm

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