shannonwong (irigaraysw) wrote in silent_films,
shannonwong
irigaraysw
silent_films

Calling ALL "old technology" technophiles AND FANS of STRONG FEMALE LEADS in silent cinema

I'm currently working on a dissertation that involves the development of mechanical, electric, and eventually digital technologies in the United States and STRONG FEMALE LEADS. So far, it's been a wild ride and an amazing endeavor to start on my own. TO START, I'd love to communicate with a community of people who share my interests of silent film of the early 20th century. If you want to discuss a little on how these films were made and to what desired effect, that is an added bonus!

I've been watching silent films mostly from early opera singers and other women actresses who worked in Hollywood such as Geraldine Farrar and Mary Garden. I'm also looking into early talkies of figures, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. So far I'm intrigued with how early cinema developed with some of these great films as a young Cecil B. DeMille's Carmen, and Von Sternberg's films of Dietrich.

I plan to watch a series of films (out of sequence in year) and comment on them here. Please feel free to watch them alongside me. I can provide clips for the pivotal scenes if I can find them on Youtube. The one I'm starting with is Carmen by Cecil B. Demille. Released 1915, starring the most famous woman of the stage at the time, the Met's favorite prima donna Geraldine Farrar. There is an especially riveting scene with Farrar in this film in the "fight scene" where she attacks the writer Jeannie Macpherson, who was left bloody, shaken, and crying after the scene. This was quite a shift from the "prima donna" style of acting that was typically much more controlled and refined than this style of realism. It was considered one of the most important accomplishments for cinema to date, because of a young Cecil B. DeMille's skills as a director, and the star appeal of Geraldine Farrar. But also because film was not considered reputable for public consumption yet in the United States. This film helped convince the public and the critics...Stay tuned.
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