Saved From The Flames - 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896 - 1944
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Flicker Alley proudly presents SAVED FROM THE FLAMES, a unique and wonderful collection of 54 rare and restored short films from the inflammable years of cinema. Movies were once made on nitrate film stock, which has a chemical composition similar to gunpowder and is highly vulnerable to fire and decay. This remarkable seven-hour anthology, organized in eight thematic groups over three DVDs, presents amazing treasures from the vaults of Lobster Films in Paris and from the Blackhawk Films Collection, rescued during half a century of gathering movies from the nitrate era.
NEW BEGINNINGS: Seven films including the early cinematic experiments of Lumière, Georges Mendel and others, featuring Cyrano De Bergerac from 1900, believed to be the first color and sound film. MAGICAL MOVIES: Five early fantasy and trick films, including a previously-unseen trick film by Georges Méliès, hand-colored films from Segundo de Chomon and Gaston Velle, and astonishing stop-motion animation from 1911. SEEING THE WORLD: Among the ten films in this section: A transatlantic crossing in a Zeppelin dirigible, a stencilcolored trek through the Belgian Congo in 1925, Parisian street kids in Montmartre during the first World War, a 1916 visit to Los Angeles, 1927 sound film of Charles Lindbergh embarking on his New York-Paris flight, an early 1930s portrait of New York s Coney Island, and a film promoting Josephine Baker s revue at the Folies-Bergère.
DISC TWO LAUGHING LIKE WE USED TO: Seven comedies, including four restored from turn of the century Italy and France, a recently-discovered nitrate negative of Chaplin's first appearance in his tramp attire, a frenetic Mack Sennett gag fest with tin lizzies galore, and The Pest, starring an early Stan Laurel (before Hardy). DRAWINGS AND MODELS: Six works of animation: Gaumont's Fantasmagorie (1908), three cartoons from the Fleischer Studios Cartoon Factory (1924), Ain't She Sweet (1932), and Play Safe (1936) Ub Iwerks' Balloonland (1935) featuring a new color restoration made from the original negatives, and a filmed performance by puppetry pioneer Tony Sarg. GRACE NOTES: Rare musical performances: Django Reinhardt with Stephane Grapelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Duke Ellington and the Cotton Club Orchestra, Louis Armstrong, and the Utica Jubilee Singers.
DISC THREE PERSUADE ME: Eleven films designed to influence, including vintage promotional films featuring Laurel & Hardy (dubbed in French), Michel Simon and Jacques Tati, puppet animation by George Pal, three WW-II era musical shorts, two political campaign films, and Master Hands, a paean to the 1936 Chevrolet, selected for the National Film Registry. TELL ME A STORY: Narratives from 1912-1913 by D.W. Griffith (For His Son), Lois Weber (Suspense), and Thomas Ince (The Heart of an Indian), all mastered from beautiful 35 mm film elements.
SAVED FROM THE FLAMES Booklet: An illustrated history and comments on each film in the collection, written by David Shepard and Serge Bromberg.
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If you have a region-free DVD player, I can also highly reccommend Flashback Collection ( aka Retour de Flamme ) - the original French series from which this set appears to be culled (check Amazon France for better deals).
Also check out Treasures From American Film Archives and especially More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931 for more of the same
Second, The content of these disks is astounding and unique... Even the titles I thought would not be very interesting I was captivated by. If you enjoy the film road less traveled then this set is for you. They are also transferred well to DVD.
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