My silent list

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Wed, 5 Jun 2002 10:02:02 -0700 (PDT)

Ok I said I was not going to do this but I can't resist. There is a
difference between what I think are the ESSENTIAL titles for a library
collection and my personal favorites but some are the same

ESSENTIAL FILMS

1.BIRTH OF A NATION!!!!!
While I largely agreed with Dennis list I could not disagree more about
Birth. I think it is THE FIRST TITLE FOR ANY FILM COLLECTION ( Before Kane
Oz or ANYTHING ELSE) It is THE MOST IMPORTANT Film ever made, Film as Art,
Commerce , Politics and History pretty all had their biggest leaps forward
in this one film. If you are worried about offending people than I hope you
don't carry the Bible, Koran, Uncle Tom's Cabin etc. Also this is a title
where you must be VERY VERY careful what "version" you buy. With all due
respect right now the Kino Video and Image DVD are the best ( we will have
a DVD out soon which is more or less the same) There are copies out there
that I have seen IN LIBRARIES which are TOTALLY bowdlerized ( racism what
racism) and run about 90 minutes ( runs around 3 hours)

2. Early Cinema so yes again to be selfish the Kino Movies Begin
series but if you choose just one go for either Vol. 1 ( Great Train
Robbery) or Lumiere Bros First films

3. Early features. Here is where I agree with Dennis and would go
with THE CHEAT though I also like REGENERATION

4 Silent Documentaries, I cede this to Dennis, between GRASS & SOUTH

5 POTEMKIN

6 CABINET OF DR.CALIGARI ( I take this over NOSFERATU if you only pick one)

7 CHAPLIN , I might take the GOLD RUSH but complications keep the "real"
version unavailable so go for MODERN TIMES AND at least one compilation of
shorts

8 KEATON Buy the whole set but if you can only buy one I prefer SHERLOCK JR
but THE GENERAL seems to be everyone else's Choice

9. FAUST Best German Silent Feature currently available

10 Silent Comedy shorts Really some of the best stuff of course I
recommend the Kino SLAPSTICK ENCYLOPEDIA ( which is in fact released by
IMAGE on DVD) but there are probably other good compilations out there
Forget BIG BUSINESS and find something with CHARLIE CHASE

11. THE WIND One of my favorites .

12 SHOW PEOPLE

13 ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED Essential Early Animation and or
THE CAMERAMAN'S REVENGE, WINDSOR MCAY ( All Milestone)

14 DOCKS OF NEW YORK. One of 5 silents that Paramount has had in print
for 20 years bless them ( 5 more than Fox & Universal) One of the great
silent films BETTER THAN SUNRISE and why it never gets mentioned I don't
know

15 MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA or BERLIN SYMPHONY OF CITY. Need some
Avant- Garde Cinema

16 BLACK PIRATE actually I prefer WILD & WOOLY but I don't know of good copy
of this Fairbank's Western/Comedy so I will stick with PIRATE

Now I don't have any Westerns which is bad but there is not a single
one out there that I think is ESSENTIAL but COVERED WAGON and TOLL GATE
would make a good basic western

Now as for some of my Favorites NOT on the list

BROKEN BLOSSOMS
THE LOVE LIGHT
WEDDING MARCH
TOl'ABLE DAVID
THE CAMERAMAN
ETERNAL LOVE
BIOGRAPH SHORTS VOL 1
TRAFFIC IN SOULS
THE LODGER ( If there is good copy and it ain't likely legal but rights
holder has not done anything to enforce their copyright under GATT)
FLESH & THE DEVIL

Alas many of my favorite are not our on Video or DVD and I am not holding my
breath for them to be released as most are controlled by the studios

Jessica

-- 
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com