Ep. 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes • TCM Film Festival

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Mike Gebert
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Ep. 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes • TCM Film Festival

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon May 07, 2018 7:44 am



NitrateVille Radio Episode 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes at MOMA • TCM Film Festival with Nora Fiore • Ben Model on Undercranking and Alice Howell

The TCM Classic Film Festival ran April 26-29 in Los Angeles and we've got two reports on it, plus a retrospective of very hard to see films at MOMA.

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Nitrate Diva Nora Fiore at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival

(01:52) First up, Nora Fiore of the popular Nitrate Diva blog and Twitter account returns to give us her usual lively breakdown of what she went to and who she saw at this year's fest.



(20:11) NitrateVille member Ben Model (who we talked to in this episode) was there as part of Club TCM's version of Mostly Lost (which we talked about in this episode). He gave a talk on the use of undercranking in silent film, which he's also turned into a series of videos at his YouTube channel, and we talk about that.

Ben's latest Kickstarter project is this Alice Howell comedy DVD set (we talked about Alice Howell with Steve Massa here), so we talk about that as well.

Here's Ben's Undercrank Productions label. To keep up with his Kickstarters as they happen, subscribe to his email list here.

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I Am Suzanne (1933)

(42:36) Fox lost much of its history in a famous vault fire in 1937, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York helped save its remaining heritage in the 1970s. Now MOMA is restoring many of the early Fox films using new digital tools, and William Fox Presents: Restorations and Rediscoveries from the Fox Film Corporation is the first part of a two-part retrospective of the studio in its pre-20th Century days, with eye-opening silents and Pre-Codes from the likes of Frank Borzage, John Ford, Howard Hawks, and the forgotten William K. Howard. It runs May 18-June 5.

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I talk with Dave Kehr, curator of film at MOMA, about what made Fox so interesting in this period—from the greater mobility of Movietone over the better-known Vitaphone to a certain lunatics-running-the-asylum atmosphere. (Of course, the bio he talks about at the beginning is Vanda Krefft's; I spoke with her here.) The music and clips in this segment come from 1931's Bad Girl, directed by Frank Borzage, which is available on blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

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Re: Ep. 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes • TCM Film Festival

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Tue May 08, 2018 10:29 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Ben's latest Kickstarter project is this Alice Howell comedy DVD set (we talked about Alice Howell with Steve Massa here), so we talk about that as well. NOTE: The podcast says the Kickstarter is over, but if you hurry and pledge by Tuesday night, you can still help it reach the goal of 340 backers that makes some digital work possible!
I brought the backers up to 348, looking forward to seeing these rare shorts! I've only seen a couple of Howell comedies up to now, so this set will be quite a treat when it's completed.
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Re: Ep. 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes • TCM Film Festival

Unread post by boblipton » Tue May 08, 2018 10:33 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:Ben's latest Kickstarter project is this Alice Howell comedy DVD set (we talked about Alice Howell with Steve Massa here), so we talk about that as well. NOTE: The podcast says the Kickstarter is over, but if you hurry and pledge by Tuesday night, you can still help it reach the goal of 340 backers that makes some digital work possible!
I brought the backers up to 348, looking forward to seeing these rare shorts! I've only seen a couple of Howell comedies up to now, so this set will be quite a treat when it's completed.
She was in seven movies with Chaplin, so that seems unlikely.

Bob
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Re: Ep. 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes • TCM Film Festival

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:10 am

boblipton wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:Ben's latest Kickstarter project is this Alice Howell comedy DVD set (we talked about Alice Howell with Steve Massa here), so we talk about that as well. NOTE: The podcast says the Kickstarter is over, but if you hurry and pledge by Tuesday night, you can still help it reach the goal of 340 backers that makes some digital work possible!
I brought the backers up to 348, looking forward to seeing these rare shorts! I've only seen a couple of Howell comedies up to now, so this set will be quite a treat when it's completed.
She was in seven movies with Chaplin, so that seems unlikely.
So she was! I've definitely seen Tillie's Punctured Romance, Laughing Gas, The Knockout and Caught in a Cabaret. But as for shorts where she is the featured star, I'm way behind.

I'll be curious to see if the set includes any biographical details, would love to know more about why she quit the movies just as sound was coming in.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!

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Re: Ep. 23: Dave Kehr on Fox Precodes • TCM Film Festival

Unread post by BenModel » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:55 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:
boblipton wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:
I brought the backers up to 348, looking forward to seeing these rare shorts! I've only seen a couple of Howell comedies up to now, so this set will be quite a treat when it's completed.
She was in seven movies with Chaplin, so that seems unlikely.
So she was! I've definitely seen Tillie's Punctured Romance, Laughing Gas, The Knockout and Caught in a Cabaret. But as for shorts where she is the featured star, I'm way behind.

I'll be curious to see if the set includes any biographical details, would love to know more about why she quit the movies just as sound was coming in.
There's info on her life and work in Anthony Slide's book on Howell She Could Be Chaplin?, and in Steve Massa's Slapstick Divas, and also on the Women Film Pioneers website.

The only starring film of Alice's that's been available for viewing is CINDERELLA CINDERS, which was sold by Blackhawk in 16mm and 8mm. I scored it for AllDay's American Slapstick vol 2 and for ReelclassicDVD's release of ELLA CINDERS, and there are schmeary dupe-eriffic uploads on the 'net, all sourced from older 16mm prints. This title is not currently slated for the DVD set.

Ben
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