Silent Weekends — 8 Comments

  1. Jim, I've seen Napoleon, but never on the big screen and in the atmosphere(s) that you have. While I can't agree with your comments about Napoleon the man (years and years of study forbid it), I do agree that Gance did a stunning job with this. It is too bad that there is no complete version.

    As for Wings, I haven't seen the new renovation, but if it's much better than the old version I saw it will be a delight. The fight scenes (both in the air and on the ground) are a sight to see.

    I hope more people read this post!

  2. I bow to your Francophilia, Kim, and agree to disagree about the Corsican Upstart. No disagreement about Wings, though: a sight to see indeed, even in that "old version".

  3. High praise indeed for two silent landmarks. Hyperbole on your part? Absolutely NOT! Today's entry makes many valid points: the value of a film's collective audience experience, the important of proper presentation to enhance enjoyment, the never-ending (but greatly appreciated and worthwhile) efforts of preservation, and the ability of art (in any form) to transcend time, tastes, and generations.

  4. Jim, my 15-year-old daughter and I have taken a look at silent films on TCM in recent months. When I mentioned to her that you were writing about the silent films NAPOLEON and WINGS, she couldn't resist adding, "They're cops!" 🙂 But all kidding aside, she's been intrigued, so I can hardly wait for her to take a look at your fascinating post about these films and the discussion of the restored versions! I quite agree with your remark: "Frankly, I think this production/
    artistic-quality-of-production dichotomy
    might be worth bringing back.)" Amen to that! Great post, Jim, as always!

  5. Jim,
    I haven't seen Napoleon but from the sounds of it that's okay.
    I'm quite envious that you can watch Wings on such a large screen. I do have a large flat screen but I don't have a great copy of Wings nor a projector setup.

    I would love the chance to see it in the theater at least once.
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Page, don't give up on Wings. I don't know exactly where you're located, but it does turn up on big screens from time to time; a pity TCM can't organize a one-night-only showing of the new restoration, like they did for Casablanca (and will again tomorrow, 4/26/12) — but then, it's a Paramount picture, so why would TCM care?

    As for Napoleon…well, all I can say that hasn't already been said is that you'd be amazed how quickly those five-and-a-half hours fly by.