Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Film Quarterly - Not Just for Pretentious Gits

The Fall issue of Film Quarterly features an article by Anne Nesbet on University of Chicago Yuri Tsivian's efforts to bring hundreds of films and some rare manuscripts by Dziga Vertov to the 23rd Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Sacile, Italy, in October 2004.

"With his customary dry wit, Tsivian asks, "Can anyone say one really understands Man with a Movie Camera—even if one knows it like the back of one's hand—unless one has seen, say, Kino-Pravda No. 18, or State Kino Calendar No. 47?" Having seen all the rare Kino-Pravdas (Nos. 1-23) except for the still-missing No. 19; about 20 newsreels from 1918 to 1919; four issues of the State Kino-Calendar; all of Vertov's feature-length documentaries from the silent era—and a number of films made by Vertov's rivals, relatives, acquaintances, and admirers—festivalgoers can now try to answer that question."

This issue also features an appreciation by Joanna E. Rapf of the best silent movie comic of them all, bar none, Mr. Harry Langdon.

"Only a public sensitive to the brilliance of surrealism could penetrate into the sleep of the poet, Harry Langdon."

-Ado Kyrou, Le Surrealisme au cinema

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