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Selections from the BFI's collection of early cinema

The British Film Institute's YouTube channels offer a staggering amount (previously) of content on historical cinema, shorts, and discussion. Some short selections from the early and silent period of note - The Sick Kitten (1903) - How Percy Won The Beauty Competition (1909) - Tilly The Tomboy Visits The Poor (1910) - Suffragette Riot In Trafalgar Square (1913) - The Fugitive Futurist, in which a man on the run shows a device that can see far into the future (1924) - Vaudevillian legend Billy Merson Singing 'Desdemona'. Widely considered Britain's first sound film - (1927) Charley In New Town - part of an animated series from the Central Office, this one explaining the need for "New Towns." (1948) - Growing Girls, a filmstrip guide to puberty for young women (1951).
posted by The Whelk on May 2, 2013 - 5 comments

That is easily enough to fracture multiple facial bones, and is probably going to knock you out cold.

So, how badly injured were the burglars in Home Alone, really?
posted by The Whelk on Dec 20, 2012 - 48 comments

Annotated Filmography of Charlie Chaplin

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]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 17, 2012 - 35 comments

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

A Horror Film that will Stiffen You with Laughter! The jungle is jumping, with gals, gags, and goofs! And a gorilla! It's not the set-up for an awkward joke, but an honest to goodness motion picture, starring Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist, and nightclub comedians Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo as themselves, though in roles approximating Martin and Lewis. It was the comedy duo's only movie (possibly due to the cease and desist request to Sammy Petrillo from Jerry Lewis), and was one of Bela Lugosi's last movies. Some classify this movie as a z-grade budget film, while others claim it to be staggeringly unfunny. But don't take their word for it. You can watch it all online, or download it from the Internet Archive.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 12, 2009 - 17 comments

We don't care, we don't care, we'll get braver, and more courageous than the lion

"I am Russian so, obviously, I like this film. It has typical Russian humor, it is a farce, so do not look for higher meanings in the jokes, it makes fun of the social standards of the Soviet regime as well as the people who served it so well. It features some of the best Russian actors that we love seeing and acting; they sing in the movie and it is lovely as well. If you are a tough judge of movies, then please make sure you know Soviet history a bit and understand that the humor differs from what you see in American movies before you call it crap." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 1, 2009 - 18 comments

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