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A gorgeous, lavish history of silent movies - with more than 400 amazing images - captures the birth of film and icons like Chaplin, Garbo, Clara Bow, and Valentino.
Drawing on the extraordinary collection of The Library of Congress, one of the greatest repositories for silent film and memorabilia, Peter Kobel has created the definitive visual history of silent film. From its birth in the 1890s, with the earliest narrative shorts, through the brilliant full-length features of the 1920s, SILENT MOVIES captures the greatest directors and actors and their immortal films. SILENT MOVIES also looks at the technology of early film, the use of color photography, and the restoration work being spearheaded by some of 's most important directors, such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.
Richly illustrated from the Library of Congress's extensive collection of posters, paper prints, film stills, and memorabilia-most of which have never been in print-SILENT MOVIES is an important work of history that will also be a sought-after gift book for all lovers of film.
For decades, silent films have been disintegrating in warehouses or lost to indifference. Director Martin Scorsese, who wrote the foreword to this book, has spearheaded the preservation movement, warning with every foot of film that is lost, we lose a link to our culture. Kobel, longtime writer about movies, demonstrates the power of silent movies in this spectacular compilation of stills, promo materials and breathtaking posters from the Library of Congress's memorabilia collection. The visual artistry is stunning. Kobel uses these evocative images as a foundation to examine the international film industry from 1893 to 1927. Instead of a chronological treatment, he examines genres such as horror, westerns and comedy, while paying homage to the superb work of art directors, cinematographers and directors. Understandably, a significant section is devoted to actors. As Norma Desmond neatly observes in Sunset Boulevard, We had faces then. Although early producers were loath to highlight specific actors, fearing their popularity would translate into higher salaries, fans were hungry for information about them. In this treasure trove for film buffs, Kobel details the press campaigns that created stars like Theda Bara and Rudolph Valentino, while fan magazines and newspapers deemed them American royalty.