Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On DVD April 5: Formerly Lost FIlms Preserved by The Library of Congress

These times we live in, while treacherous in many ways, are filled with miracles. One is long-lost films getting transferred via state-of-the-art equipment to DVD.

The latest is Found at "Mostly Lost" - 11 Rare Uncirculated films from 1914-1940, which will be available exclusively on on the date of Bette Davis' birthday, April 5th.

The annual Mostly Lost film identification workshops at The Library of Congress' National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA are a magnet for classic movie scholars, archivists and students interested in film preservation. The Library of Congress began hosting the free three-day workshops identifying film rarities starting in 2012. The workshop is open to the public and screens movies from all genres which, as the press release described, are "unidentified, under-identified or misidentified."

This DVD features eleven movie rarities which were identified during the Mostly Lost conferences held in 2012-2014 and preserved by the Library of Congress. Among them: Ventriloquist, a 1927 short subject featuring the vaudeville act of William Frawley - yes, THAT William Frawley, a.k.a. Fred Mertz.

There are also silent comedies featuring slapstick mainstays Snub Pollard, Hank Mann, Monty Banks, Jimmie Adams, George Ovey and Bud Duncan. The Found at "Mostly Lost" - 11 Rare Uncirculated films from 1914-1940 treasures from the Library of Congress' vaults include:

The Nickel Snatcher (1920) - Hank Mann - 9 mins
Fidelity (1911) - Pathé drama - 10 mins
The Paperhanger's Revenge (1918) - Bud Duncan - 11 mins
A Brass Button (1911) - Reliance drama - 12 mins
Jerry's Perfect Day (1916) - George Ovey - 11 mins
One Million B.C. [test footage] (1940) - 7 mins
Ventriloquist (1927)** - William Frawley - 9 mins
Fifteen Minutes (1921) - Snub Pollard - 8 mins
In And Out (1920/21) - Monty Banks - 12 min
Grief (1921) - Jimmie Adams - 8 mins
The Joyride (1928)** - George LeMaire and Joe Phillips - 10 mins

All films silent except where noted by **.

Silent films on the disc feature new piano scores by silent film accompanists Philip Carli, Ben Model and Andrew Simpson, the guys who tickle the ivories with panache at all Mostly Lost screenings.

Much enjoyed reading the enthusiastic Trav S.D. review of Found at "Mostly Lost" and will enjoy watching the DVD.

No comments: