The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Friday, January 13, 2017
WHAT STICKS FROM '26: So... 2006:
check. 1996: check. 1986: check. 1976: check. 1966: check. 1956: check. 1946: check. 1936: check. And now 1926:

1. The General
Directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton
Written by Bruckman, Keaton, Al Boasberg, Charles Henry Smith, and Paul Girard Smith

Forget D.W. Griffith. This is the great American Civil War movie.

2. Now You Tell One
Directed by Charley Bowers and Harold L. Muller
Written by Bowers, Muller, and Ted Sears

Fake news.

3. A Page of Madness
Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
Written by Kinugasa, Yasunari Kawabata, Banko Sawada, and Minoru Inuzuka

It reminds me of Eraserhead, which probably isn't what you expect from a 1920s Japanese drama.

4. The Overcoat
Directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg
Written by Yury Tynyanov, from stories by Nikolai Gogol

The FEKS crowd made the most anarchic art of the early Soviet Union, in that brief period when the early Soviets tolerated anarchic art. This was their take on Gogol.

5. Ménilmontant
Written and directed by Dimitri Kirsanoff

Modernist murder.

6. Love's Berry
Written and directed by Alexander Dovzhenko

A cheerful little comedy about a man trying to dispose of a baby.

7. Mother
Directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin
Written by Nathan Zarkhi, from a novel by Maxim Gorky

As with a lot of Russian films from this era, the propaganda parts are palatable because they're about the evils of the old order, not the alleged glories of the new one. If you'd like, you can even pretend that red flag at the end is another color. The movie's in black and white, after all.

8. The Adventures of Prince Achmed
Written and directed by Lotte Reiniger

Somewhere between a cartoon and a puppet show.

9. Mighty Like a Moose
Directed by Leo McCarey
Written by Charley Chase and H.M. Walker

In which a man cheats on his wife with a woman who turns out to be his wife, and his wife cheats on her husband with a man who turns out to be her husband. Come for the gags, stay to puzzle out whether this qualifies as adultery.

10. Le Voyage Imaginaire
Written and directed by René Clair

Clair's comedies and his avant-garde experiments collide.

Of the films of 1926 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in By the Law, The Devil's Wheel, and So This Is Paris?


posted by Jesse 9:59 AM
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