A silent film surfaced nearly 100 years after it disappeared - The Point

The containment has been for many the period is ideal for sort one's business. The archives of the film in Chicago have not been the exception. At the time whe

A silent film surfaced nearly 100 years after it disappeared - The Point

The containment has been for many the period is ideal for sort one's business. The archives of the film in Chicago have not been the exception. At the time when the epidemic struck the United States, its employees are stumbled by accident on a silent film dating from 1923, which had disappeared for nearly 100 years, tells The Independent. Titled " The First Degree ", this film is a rare piece. Approximately 25 % of silent films have disappeared over the last century.

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The five reels, highly flammable, have been found entirely intact. "It's incredible ", according to The Independent Olivia Babler director of the Chicago Film Archives, since they were near a water heater in a closet. This "melodrama rural" was directed by Edward Sedgwick, famous for having shot The cameraman in 1928 with Buster Keaton. This is the story of a banker who became a politician and sheep farmer, who finds himself subjected to the blackmail of his half-brother and has to hide the truth to his village.

A projection arranged after the coronavirus

At the time of the film's release, critics were more than enthusiastic. "In photography, the image stands out as something unusual, being particularly bright and clear. The stage consolidates the story well and keeps the interest, the suspense is maintained until the end ", wrote Variety at the time. The performance of the main actor, Frank Mayo, had been widely acclaimed. Discoveries during the confinement, the coils had up to then been kept in a box that had been found in 2006 by filmmaker Stephen Parry and the archivist Carolyn Faber in Illinois.

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But before June 2020, the box was kept closed. "We still have a mountain of processing and cataloguing to do - and with the pandemic, we've had a lot more time for us to focus on our collection," says Olivia Babler. The film has been digitised and will soon be available to the general public. A screening could even take place on the screen, once the crisis of the coronavirus passed.

Updated Date: 05 August 2020, 14:33

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