Gallery of Mastheads

Comments related to the operation of NitrateVille.
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Mike Gebert
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Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:06 am

When I cobbled the look of this site together I was happy just to have an image that stood for our enjoyment of the classic film era up at the top of the page. That was this publicity photo of Buster Keaton, from The Navigator, which went up when the site was created on December 15, 2007:

Image

I always started my Univ. of Kansas film series' season with Buster (a native Kansan) and it seemed a good luck charm for NitrateVille, too. But looking at anybody, even Buster, would get dull after a while and so, drumroll please, for February 2008 (a few days early because it's a short month), I inaugurate the monthly changing of the masthead with another Kansan, Louise Brooks, reading the magazine that sums us up:

Image

I'll keep a running gallery of past images here for posterity's sake. Thanks to Dr. Macro for both images. If you're not seeing Louise at the top of the page yet, hit reload once or twice and the old image should clear from your cache.

UPDATE: you can see all the mastheads here, though of course you won't see the explanations and discussions that are in this thread. Still, it's kind of cool.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Jim Roots » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:28 am

Both pictures are beautiful. Both stars are sexy. What's not to like?

Jim

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Unread post by silentfilm » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:54 pm

Yes, both mastheads are wonderful. I can't wait until Snitz Edwards or Gale Henry is the star of the month!

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:03 pm

Anything could happen...
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by James Bazen » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:58 pm

Hey great photo of Louise. I think that will be a great feature here. A sort of star of the month. Perhaps we could even have a discussion thead each month specifically about the featured performer.

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:16 pm

That's a great idea. Go for it!

P.S. Here's the link to our first "star of the month" thread. I'll link those in the future when the mastheads are posted here, too, although considering some of the pictures I've pulled for future use just because they were fun pictures from the time, I'm not sure we're always going to have a lot of discussion...
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:39 pm

Stars of the month for March are three of James Agee's four great silent comedians... wait a minute, scratch that... three members of the Sons of the Desert, Mr. Laurel, Mr. Hardy and Mr. Chase:

Image

I've started a thread on this trio here. Thanks again to Dr. Macro for the image.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:35 pm

Anybody can identify Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn. But you know you're a NitrateVillain when you instantly recognize this pair of lesser-known 30s female stars. In honor of the Kay Fwancis Cwub, this month's stars are the duo paired in Trouble in Paradise, Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins, in an image of feathers and fur which for me sums up the wonderful preposterousness of 30s glamor in all its lavish, soft-edged, black and white nitrate glory. (You can see a bigger version in the thread on this pair which starts here, and really soak in it.) Thanks to Bruce Calvert's site for the image.

Image
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by silentfilm » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:40 pm

I wish I could take credit for this lovely photo, but it is not from my website. I don't have any photos of either Kay or Miriam.

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:43 pm

Oops, it was Doctor Macro again. Sorry, Doc!
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by larrys66diner » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:41 am

Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing, Mike? :lol: :lol:

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:59 am

You know, I pulled a bunch of photos early on that looked like good candidates... and then realized I should have kept track of where I got them... :roll:
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by rudyfan » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:58 am

Well, if ya ever need a Valentino, I think I can help you out
http://www.rudolph-valentino.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://nitanaldi.com" target="_blank" target="_blank
http://www.dorothy-gish.com" target="_blank" target="_blank

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:23 pm

May's stars make a little bit of a tribute to Cinevent-- it's Gary Cooper and Colleen Moore on the set of Lilac Time, which Cinevent showed a few years ago, and they'll each have a starring film playing at this year's convention, The Virginian for Cooper and Orchids and Ermine for Moore. (Oddly enough, the third person in this image originally was Sir Thomas Lipton, inventor of the teabag, paying a visit to the set for some unknown reason.) I started a Colleen Moore thread by reposting my Her Wild Oat review here.

Image
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Jim Roots » Sun May 25, 2008 7:00 am

I love both Cooper and Moore, but for some strange reason, I got tired of their masthead rather quickly. This didn't happen with any of the previous mastheads (I could look at April's every day for the rest of my life and be happy).

I know one reason: Cooper is wearing more makeup than Moore. I'm, er, not into that sort of thing. Colleen looks nice except for the hat, which is way too babyish even for her perpetual-youth on-screen persona.

Looking forward to June's masthead, whatever it might be. How about Nazimova in one of her Salome show-all veils?

Jim

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon May 26, 2008 8:00 pm

I wonder if it's because you're used to seeing what he in particular looks like without silent movie makeup, so it really exaggerates the effect. Where a silent star, you'd take it in stride (Doug Fairbanks is made up like a cabaret singer in The Black Pirate, but it doesn't seem unnatural).

Anyway, new one soon...
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue May 27, 2008 6:35 am

Mike Gebert wrote:I wonder if it's because you're used to seeing what he in particular looks like without silent movie makeup, so it really exaggerates the effect. Where a silent star, you'd take it in stride (Doug Fairbanks is made up like a cabaret singer in The Black Pirate, but it doesn't seem unnatural).
Gosh, you make it sound like I'm a newbie to silents!

Doug's makeup was ALWAYS perfect and appropriate for his larger-than-life character, both on and off the screen. I won't listen to a word against His Dougness. Frederica, back me up on this!

Plenty of actors in silent films had to wear too much or badly-applied makeup, so it's not strange to see Cooper looking like a kewpie-doll. Given the buckets of stuff the actresses were wearing, though, it's disconcerting to see any actor out-trowelling them.

Besides, I wonder how long any guy wearing that much obvious makeup would have lasted in the army...

Jim

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Unread post by Frederica » Tue May 27, 2008 8:00 am

Jim Roots wrote: Doug's makeup was ALWAYS perfect and appropriate for his larger-than-life character, both on and off the screen. I won't listen to a word against His Dougness. Frederica, back me up on this!
Jim
Doug? Wear too much makeup?? Fie on you, sir, Doug's pancake was never overstated and his blusher but barely highlighted the Dougly cheekbones. I listen not to these vile aspersions cast on The Great Doug's mascara. Hrrrmmmpphhhhh.

Hey, could we get a Doug masthead for next month?

Fred

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue May 27, 2008 8:04 am

Gee, I didn't mean to imply nuthin', Jim, it's just that most of our images of Cooper come from later on, so it really calls your attention to it on somebody like him.

Actually, next month is coordinated with a certain theme already, but in any case I have yet to find a really good pic of Doug or Doug and Mary that works in the format (and isn't something that we've all seen a million times). So if somebody has one, send it to me, I'd be all for it, but I haven't found one yet. (It needs to show people all the way across, in other words, not crop out part of one shoulder.)
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Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Thu May 29, 2008 1:32 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Actually, next month is coordinated with a certain theme already...
June being my birthday month, hopefully it will offer something visually stimulating to a certain Harlett.

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Unread post by Frederica » Fri May 30, 2008 9:43 am

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:
Actually, next month is coordinated with a certain theme already...
June being my birthday month, hopefully it will offer something visually stimulating to a certain Harlett.
Let's settle on George O'Brien.

On second thought: settle, hell. Running leap is more like it.

Fred

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri May 30, 2008 10:42 am

I actually have a George O'Brien one in the hopper, but it won't be next month's. There's a method to June's madness, as you'll see shortly, but other months are certainly open (the only thing in mind is I'd like to find a really good Borzage image for December if that boxset really comes out...)

But I really am open to suggestions, if you have a great still let me know.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Fri May 30, 2008 10:45 am

Frederica wrote:
Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
Mike Gebert wrote:
Actually, next month is coordinated with a certain theme already...
June being my birthday month, hopefully it will offer something visually stimulating to a certain Harlett.
Let's settle on George O'Brien.

On second thought: settle, hell. Running leap is more like it.

Fred
something like one of these?

http://www.briansdriveintheater.com/georgeobrien.html

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sat May 31, 2008 6:39 pm

Well, after all that buildup I fear June's selection may be a little anticlimactic, but it does represent something I find pretty significant, which is, widespread access (at least for US members of this site) this month to an area of silent and early sound film which not that long ago, you hardly even read about-- let alone could watch on TV or buy on DVD at your local Borders/Best Buy/wherever.

Image

That would be Asian silent film, and Asians in western silent film. And this, in case you haven't guessed, would be Sessue Hayakawa and Tsuru Aoki in The Dragon Painter, which our friends at Milestone released and which has been discussed here. It will also be part of TCM's series on Asian images on film, of which more here, which will include films with Anna May Wong (who will surely get a masthead of her own eventually-- there are plenty of candidate images), the Chinese star Ruan Lingyu, and others. And if that's not enough for you, Criterion/Eclipse has released a box set of Yasujiro Ozu silent family comedies, which I plan to review before the month is out. So I hope you'll join me in checking out some of this unexpected bounty of silent film from Asia (and Asians) during June.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:27 am

It's June 2nd, and suddenly the masthead has flipped back to Gary and Colleen. What gives?

Jim

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Unread post by silentfilm » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:38 am

Jim, try refreshing your page. Your computer is probably using a saved version of the masthead. Either that, or Mike has specifically set you up to see Gary Cooper's pasty white face for another month... :wink:

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Unread post by Gaucho » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:24 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Well, after all that buildup I fear June's selection may be a little anticlimactic
Not at all!

My favorite yet - great work, Mike!

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Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:02 am

silentfilm wrote:Jim, try refreshing your page. Your computer is probably using a saved version of the masthead. Either that, or Mike has specifically set you up to see Gary Cooper's pasty white face for another month... :wink:
Ah, that did it!

Thanks.


Jim

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:18 am

Image

I have to change this one a couple of days early to make sure it's up for the fella who was (in one role, anyway) born on the fourth of July... though this isn't from that film but from another delightful, but neglected, slice of Americana (can you name that film and co-stars?) If someone wants to start a Cagney thread, I'll link to it later.
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Unread post by greta de groat » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:53 am

Strawberry Blonde, isn't it? Nice film, much sweeter in tone than the original, One Sunday Afternoon, which i thought surprisingly dark

greta
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