At the turn of the last century, Mary MacLane wrote of her life in Butte, Montana, but she was no Laura Ingalls Wilder. Instead of comforting tales of a tough life, she instead imagined herself conversing with the Devil, and she could come across like "an off-kilter Walt Whitman with odes to her red blood, her sound, sensitive liver." Her first diary was originally titled I Await the Devil’s Coming, but her publisher re-titled it The Story of Mary MacLane, released to much (publisher-stirred) flurry and attention (Google books preview). Thanks to her book, she was able to move to Chicago. She wrote two more books, a variety of news paper columns and even a movie entitled Men Who Have Made Love to Me (Google books), which she wrote, directed, and starred in, directly addressing the camera at times. But for all the attention and publicity of the era (she was commemorated in a drink recipe, paid $500 for her likeness to be used on cigar boxes, and a Butte baseball team took her name as the team name), she has largely faded away, in part thanks to a public who turned from intrigued to mocking. Recently, Mary MacLane has found a renewed interest, thanks to the re-publishing of her original diary under its original name, as well as an anthology of her writing with additional notes (Google books preview). [more inside]
Before The Pleasure Garden (Alfred Hitchcock's directorial debut) was released in 1925, Hitchcock's worked on a numerous silent films as both an assistant director and an art director. Now recently recovered and restored footage from one of his oldest, long-lost films, 1924's The White Shadow, has been released online, and you can watch it now at Film Preservation. (Via io9). Running time: About 43 minutes.
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
The earliest surviving Charles Dickens film, thought lost since 1954, has been re-found in the British Film Institute's archive. The Death of Poor Joe (YouTube HD, IMDB, Wikipedia), a one minute-long silent film based on an episode in Dickens' novel Bleak House, was filmed in 1901.
YouTube user deb4tlj has uploaded seven out-of-print titles to YouTube: three silent films starring Lon Chaney -- The Penalty (1920), The Unknown (1927), and Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928); two films starring Bela Lugosi -- Island of Lost Souls (1932) and Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932); and two films starring Boris Karloff -- The Ghoul (1933), and The Walking Dead (1936). [Notes inside] [more inside]