Tuesday, May 27, 2014
New On DVD: The Max Linder Collection
Chaplin described him as "the great master": Max Linder (1883-1925), the cinema's first star comedian. A new DVD collection of Max' innovative comedy, curated by Lobster Films and Serge Bromberg, was officially released by Kino Lorber earlier today.
Along with André Deed, he was an accomplished movie headliner in France as the 20th century began, back when Méliès and Zeeca were cranking out 1-reelers, when Edwin S. Porter was about the only American experimenting with movie cameras - and a couple of years before D.W. Griffith started his film career as Biograph's producer-director-chief.
Linder, the dapper, top-hatted Parisian boulevardier, headlined comedy short subjects as early as 1905-1906.
Max pre-dated U.S. comedians Ben Turpin, John Bunny, Mack Sennett, Fred Mace and "Keystone Mabel" Normand, as well as his equally inventive filmmaker-comedian countryman, Marcel Perez.
Max' daughter Maud, an infant at the time of his death, discovered his films in college and spent much of her life restoring his legacy as a moviemaking and comedy innovator. She produced the following documentary, The Man With The Silk Hat.