J'accuse (1919) Director: Abel Gance J'accuse is the first great war epic film by the master director of epic silent film. Like his other silent films, J'accuse is a long film. In the modern edited down version, it lasts nearly three hours, but the original was 14 reels long and Gance shot much of the harrowing footage … Continue reading J’accuse

Stachka (Strike)

Stachka (1925) Director: Sergei Eisenstein Stachka (Strike) is the first feature film of the master Soviet propagandist, Sergei Eisenstein. The Battleship Potemkin, his masterpiece, was made later that year in 1924-1925. After production for Stachka was complete he wrote an influential essay called "Montage Of Attractions" that appeared in a Soviet journal. In it he argued for … Continue reading Stachka (Strike)

The Smiling Madame Beudet

The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922) Director: Germaine Dulac The Smiling Madame Beudet (or La Souriante Madame Beudet) is a moody but beautifully painted impressionistic short French film. Germaine Dulac, a woman, had developed a taste for the avant-garde and surrealist cinema, and later scholars have dubbed it a "feminist" film, though that label is debatable. Dulac certainly was a progressive feminist writer … Continue reading The Smiling Madame Beudet

Les Vampires

Les Vampires (1915-1916) Director: Louis Feuillade Les Vampires is a series of French short serials that were released in the early days of pioneer film-making. They are silent episodic films (10 episodes in total) and last over 400 minutes long. Curiously enough, the episodes are not about actual vampires, and instead they are about a gang of evil people, … Continue reading Les Vampires

People on Sunday

People on Sunday (1930) Director: Robert Siodmak, Edgar Ulmer "Menschen am Sonntag" is a short German silent film released in 1930, lasting slightly longer than one hour. It is a film largely without a plot, filmed over several Sundays in and around Berlin. All the actors were daily workers in Berlin -ordinary people enjoying their … Continue reading People on Sunday

Anna Christie

Anna Christie (1930) Director: Clarence Brown "Garbo Talks!" as the advertisements displayed for the first film starring silent film's most popular asexual and mysterious actress. She was the Swedish actress and with Anna Christie she secured her first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She was well-celebrated for starring in other films like Flesh … Continue reading Anna Christie