I fall in love too hard!"
Another old song title; another exactly perfect as well!
Early 1980's, I had been married about 5 years, had two small boys at home, was either working overtime or laid off; feast or famine as it would be until almost the the turn of the millenium.
There was a little theatre that ran things some might consider obscure and I caught up with one one weekend, having read something about it in a newspaper. I hadn't planned to fall in love, but I did. His name was Harold...
He was a country boy, dressed a bit plainly, a bit wide eyed, yet his enthusiasm and sense of humor made him very special. That he had a couple of fingers missing from an accident didn't bother me even though he worked to keep it hidden from everyone.
The theatre was called "Matinee at the Bijou" and it was a PBS show that specialized in silent film. My ticket was the first VCR we had. The following weeks introduced me to Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks (Senior), Lillian and Dorothy Gish, along with Harold Lloyd (pictured above from "Safety Last").
I started reading as well, and kept seeing this name "Kevin Brownlow" pop up in credits. I found a book by him "The Parade's Gone By" and read even more about this marvelous medium. I started searching out titles I hadn't seen, and found the two top movies on my all time list, though I couldn't rate them as one and two, they are co-equals.
One is "Intolerance" from 1916; the other is "Napoleon" from 1927. "Napoleon" was directed by Abel Gance, and developed techniques that have only been caught up to in the last 20 years or so. Restored by Kevin Brownlow, and scored by Carmine Coppola (Francis Ford's father) it was theatrically released here in the late 80's. I have watched it a dozen times now, and still find it as stunning as I did the first.
Abel Gance directed many other movies, though they don't run on TCM all that often. One of our local "arthouses" used to have a rental desk, but that was closed when they moved to a new theatre, and I have a long list of things I would love to watch, but would like to watch before I buy.
So when John and Noel gave us a two months NetFlix membership for Christmas, the first thing that went on my list was Abel Gance's "Lucrezia Borgia" from 1935. After Dottie went to bed on Saturday night, I had only planned on watching the two short silent movies that were on it. Then I made the mistake of deciding just to peek at the feature to see how good the print was...
I couldn't turn it off.
I will be looking for more of Mr. Gance...
I'd have done NetFlix long ago if I had a card that didn't have a balance on it so I wasn't paying interest on rentals...somehow that just doesn't seem "right".
I am impressed with their catalog and service! I have about a dozen silent movies in queue right now, lol.
Thus my reference to "cinemaphilia" in my last post...
May the rest of the week be kind!