Richly illustrated from the Library of Congress's extensive collection of posters, paper prints, film stills, and memorabilia-most of which have never been in print-SILENT MOVIES is an important work of history that will also be a sought-after gift book for all lovers of film.
Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture, is an illuminating celebration by Peter Kobel and the Library of Congress. With a foreword by passionate film preservationist Martin Scorsese, and an introduction by noted film historian Kevin Brownlow, this lavish book also boasts more than 400 imagessome never before seen in print.
Writing with accessible scholarship, Kobel explores historic milestones (the French get credit for first projecting films publicly, but Americans turned the new art form into a business), technical triumphs, the great films and their filmmakers and the dawn of the star system. The big names are hereGarbo, Pickford, Valentinoas well as some you may not know/remember, including child star Baby Peggy and even Rin-Tin-Tin. (At the height of his fame, the "Dog Wonder of the Screen" received 10,000 fan letters a week.)
Kobel also reveals how the various genres took shape (for instance, earliest depictions of American Indians showed them to be tragic heroes) and looks at often bypassed arenas, such as animation, the so-called "race" movies and even (who knew?) silent experimental films. An impressive work, the book has been published in tandem with a traveling film series of restored silent titles. Pass the popcorn, please.