MOVING PICTURE WORLD

A fantastic new resource for researchers and teachers of early cinema has just appeared online. The first twelve years of Moving Picture World have been digitized and added to the Media History Digital Library’s “Early Cinema Collection.”  From the MHDL:

Moving Picture World was one of the most influential trade papers of the early motion picture industry and the period film historians call cinema’s “transitional era” (lasting roughly from 1908 to 1917). During this era and inside the paper, you can watch the transition from short film programs to feature films and witness the transition from the dominance of Edison’s Trust to the rise of the “Independent” film companies that ultimately became the Hollywood studios. 

The first issue includes some “novel uses for cinema,” instructions for making latern slides, a review of The Teddy Bears (Edison, 1907), and a full-page ad from the Miles Brothers (mentioned just last week): “Conversation gets you nothing.  Real Johnny-on-the-spot service is what you want!”

The project was funded, in part, by Domitor and its members.  For those who are interested in contributing, MHDL is still raising funds to digitize MPW through 1927, its last year of publication.

SUMMERTIME IN SCOTLAND

July was a month of endless rain, many deadlines, and one fantastic screening of early film fragments at the Woodend Barn in Banchory.  The highlight of the evening was Melancholia, a rescoring and reimagining of a film from the Miles Brothers by Ross Whyte (electronics) and Richard Craig (contrabass flute).   The film captures a trolley ride through Main Street, San Francisco, just days before the 1906 earthquake.  It is filled with remarkable (audio and visual) moments.  Keep yours eyes peeled for the child in the back of a horse-drawn carriage who pulls back the curtain and magically appears.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/46316708  w=575&h=400]