arts·meme friend Jeff Masino alerts us that next Sunday evening, April 3, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), cable’s outstanding classic film channel has an unusually interesting broadcast line-up. It’s a long evening starting at 5 pm LA time, 8 pm in NYC, so stock up on wine and cheese.
Two “clips” programs of rarely seen early cinema will be viewable on television, er… on your computer monitor, your telephone, or your wristwatch, whatever!
First up, “Fragments: Surviving Pieces of Lost Films,” with segments from films that have otherwise been lost to history, as well as interviews with people involved in making and preserving these films. Produced by Flicker Alley, the program features nine thematically arranged segments and case studies of clips preserved by leading film archives.
On view in “Fragments,” among others:
- John Ford’s The Village Blacksmith (1922) – final reel
- Emil Jannings in The Way of All Flesh (1927), the only Oscar®-winning performance in a lost film.
- Cleopatra (1917), starring Theda Bara
- The Miracle Man (1919), with Lon Chaney
- He Comes Up Smiling (1918), starring Douglas Fairbanks
- an early lost sound film, Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), filmed in early Technicolor®
- the only color footage of silent star Clara Bow, Red Hair (1928).
Then follows a special 10th anniversary presentation of “Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant Garde Film 1894-1941,” a 2 ½-hour collection of 16 experimental, mind-bending works from the early days of cinema.
Now, pay attention, because there’s dance in this one:
- pagan dance sequence from Peer Gynt (1941), starring a 17-year-old Charlton Heston
- Annabell Dances and Dances (1894-97), a pioneering attempt to capture dance on film
- dream sequence from Beggar on Horseback (1925), featuring popular character actor Edward Everett Horton
- Carousel – Animal Opera (c.1938), a visual symphony by artist and sculptor Joseph Cornell
- Ballet mécanique (1923-24), Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy’s abstract collage of machines, objects and shapes set to a radical George Antheils score reconstructed by Paul Lehrman.
Friend of arts·meme Bruce Posner is behind this one. So watch it. I can’t wait to see that dance footage, especially the ballet mecanique, which as I recall does not feature dancers per se but dancing gears and machines.