Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Silent Films Coming Home (National Public Radio)

Image caption: Mabel Normand directed and starred in the 1914 film, Won in a Closet (National Film Preservation Foundation).

A Happy Homecoming for Long-lost Silent Films (4 min 27 sec) This short NPR segment answers some intriguing questions. How did 75 American silent films end up in New Zealand? What formerly lost Clara Bow film is in the collection? Why does film historian Shelley Stamp consider the first reel of director Lois Weber's Idle Wives the gem of the collection?

For additional background information, see the "Women and the Silent Screen" theme issue of Film History (edited by Stamp and Amelie Hastie), and Karen Ward Mahar's Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

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