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A complete celebration of cinema: The Films of 1921
#1
There's two that I want to start this one off with.

Destiny. Which I will expound on later when I watch it. I'll either edit this post or just make a new one. 

But the real star of the show thus far is:
The Phantom Carriage
   

Directed by and starring Victor Sjostrum, this is a movie worthy of Dickens. About a man who has a family and kids but becomes a hard drinker and louse and loses his family. And seems to be ok with that. Until an accident causes him to meet the phantom carriage driver, who is a repentant figure from his past. The driver takes him in spirit form to visit the scenes of all the sorrow his selfish and drunken behavior has wrought. The driver informs him that he still has time to atone for his actions, lest he become the driver of the carriage of death for the next 365 days. 

The Criterion blu ray of this film is extraordinary. As is the film itself. It's rather dynamic for its time. Flashbacks within flashbacks and special FX that are still special. If you're at all interested in silent cinema, this is a must own. One of the best silent films ever in my opinion.

Please chime in with others from 1921 that I haven't mentioned..
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#2
Yeah, Phantom Carriage is fantastic. There's a great feature on the Criterion Channel exploring its story structure.

1921 was also the year of THE KID, which might be my wife's favorite Chaplin movie. Jackie Coogan is flippin' adorable.

I recall reading that Hitchcock named DESTINY as one of the most influential films for him...Fritz Lang was incredible. (and he also may have murdered his first wife!)
I was in a horror-comedy called BLACK HOLLER. It's now on Prime Video. Check it out!
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#3
Whoa. That's crazy. I'd always read that Fritz Lang was kind of an insane person but I didn't know that. I need to check out The Kid. I've seen far too few of Chaplin's films..
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#4
For a full education in film technique, you could do worse than to study all the Sjöström you can find. Just be sure to have plenty of silly comedies handy, for balance.

I mentioned Orphans of the Storm (1921) previously. This is one of the more accessible Griffiths, and the final shot of the Gish sisters goofing around is just magical.

1921 is also when Buster Keaton starts to get really ambitious and technically adventurous with his short films. Check out the complex split-screens that enable him to portray every character in the opening sequence of The Playhouse:



"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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#5
Ok that's cool. Thanks Hammerhead. I like to get as much history of the year in here as possible. I usually just start out with my own personal films of the year that I like/bought and hope the thread will grow from there..
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#6
(07-04-2019, 03:00 AM)hammerhead Wrote: For a full education in film technique, you could do worse than to study all the Söjström you can find. Just be sure to have plenty of silly comedies handy, for balance.
I remember reading that Sjostrom's THE WIND was the film that inspired Bergman.

Re: Keaton, I always wondered if he had seen the Melies films and learned from him. Someone posted this gif comparing a Melies short to Keaton's scene in THE PLAYHOUSE - https://external-preview.redd.it/HTK6qJB...370db53281
I was in a horror-comedy called BLACK HOLLER. It's now on Prime Video. Check it out!
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#7
Please, by all means, mention anything and everything of note cinema related in the year relevant to the thread. Any movie. Any country. Good. Bad. Ugly. Anecdotal. Anything. My "in" into doing this is the film or two from the thread's year that I like/own. But I read somewhere a bit ago that the US produced more than 630 films in 1921! And the two I started this off with aren't even American. Well...one of them for sure isn't. That's a lot of stuff. Most of it likely lost. But still. I figure the further this goes, the more conversation we'll have. There's a lot of ground to cover..
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#8
Another big deal in 1921 is the rise of Rudolph Valentino. He did The Sheik and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse this year.

While his lasting image is tied indelibly to the former, the latter is the superior film, and probably more influential in its day. He helped popularize the tango in America.



"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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