Chaplin at Keystone

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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Joined: September 6th, 2005, 3:06 am

August 3rd, 2010, 3:09 am #1

Flicker Alley has just announced a 4-DVD, 35 film set--Chaplin at Keystone. This appears to be the BFI restored set that we have been waiting for.

The release date is set for October 26, 2010.
IT CAME FROM THE BOTTOM SHELF! is a movie recommendation site, focusing on forgotten classics, lesser-known gems, and oddball discoveries. https://www.bottomshelfmovies.com
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The Batman
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The Batman
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August 3rd, 2010, 2:06 pm #2


Iggy, you have made my day! Thanks!!

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Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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August 7th, 2010, 7:20 am #3

Flicker Alley has now posted an official press release, and I posted an item (with a link to that press release) on my Website, boozemovies.com:

http://www.boozemovies.com/2010/08/booz ... se-of.html
IT CAME FROM THE BOTTOM SHELF! is a movie recommendation site, focusing on forgotten classics, lesser-known gems, and oddball discoveries. https://www.bottomshelfmovies.com
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panzer the great & terrible
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panzer the great & terrible
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August 7th, 2010, 2:52 pm #4

As I mentioned on another thread, I've seen a few of these restorations and I suspect they'll never be topped. Beware imitations. I have cheaper versions of all the Chaplins and they're not worth a cent of your money or a minute of your time.

While we're on the subject of Flicker Alley, Their releases of The Italian Straw Hat (René Clair's best film) and Chicago belong in every collection. The Georges Melies set is pricy, but fascinating, and they've already issued a much cheaper sequel to fill in some of the blanks. My guess, there may be yet another down the road. If there's anybody out there who doesn't know, Melies was a French magician who made the first movies that told a story cinematically, if you define the word "story" kind of loosely. Some of his surviving films exist in hand-colored prints that the set restores, with eye-popping results. The films are short and I only watch a few at a time: three or four seem about right. I've had the set now for a month and have watched a quarter of the first disc, with mounting interest.

I went ahead and ordered the Chaplin set yesterday. They're offering it at a good pre-release price. Their website is interesting (see Ignatz's post above for address).
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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The Batman
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August 9th, 2010, 3:01 pm #5

panzer the great & terrible wrote:As I mentioned on another thread, I've seen a few of these restorations and I suspect they'll never be topped. Beware imitations. I have cheaper versions of all the Chaplins and they're not worth a cent of your money or a minute of your time.

While we're on the subject of Flicker Alley, Their releases of The Italian Straw Hat (René Clair's best film) and Chicago belong in every collection. The Georges Melies set is pricy, but fascinating, and they've already issued a much cheaper sequel to fill in some of the blanks. My guess, there may be yet another down the road. If there's anybody out there who doesn't know, Melies was a French magician who made the first movies that told a story cinematically. Some of his surviving films exist in hand-colored prints that the set restores, with eye-popping results. The films are short and I only watch a few at a time: three or four seem about right. I've had the set now for a month and have watched a quarter of the first disc, with mounting interest.

I went ahead and ordered the Chaplin set yesterday. They're offering it at a good pre-release price. Their website is interesting (see Ignatz's post above for address).
Got 'em all, Mr P. Flicker Alley is fast becoming a favourite around the Batcave.

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The Batman
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August 9th, 2010, 3:03 pm #6


For those who would like to go directly to the Flicker Alley site announcement for the Chaplin Keystones:


Chaplin Keystone Collection

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Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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October 21st, 2010, 4:10 am #7

I received my pre-order from Flicker Alley today. It's absolutely beautiful, and the print quality is (comparatively) outstanding. Here's a link to a review of the set:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/dvd_revi ... ystone.htm

I echo the strong recommendation for these DVDs!
IT CAME FROM THE BOTTOM SHELF! is a movie recommendation site, focusing on forgotten classics, lesser-known gems, and oddball discoveries. https://www.bottomshelfmovies.com
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panzer the great & terrible
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October 21st, 2010, 4:33 pm #8

Watching them chronologically.

"Making a Living" was the first film Chaplin did at Keystone. Instead of the Tramp he plays a dandy/rotter who wants to become a reporter but spends his time trying to snake director Henry Lehrman's girlfriend. According to Chaplin's Autobiography, Lehrman was jealous and cut Chaplin's best comedy bits. "(He) confessed years later that he had done it," wrote Chaplin, "Because, as he put it, he thought I knew too much." Nevertheless, some of the Chaplin genius shines through. The print is the best I've seen.

"Kid Auto Races at Venice, California" was the first the public saw of Chaplin as the Tramp. Sennett sent a crew to film a soapbox derby and Chaplin went along. It's all improvised. Chaplin keeps getting in front of the camera, and we see the audience at the event gradually catch on that he's deliberately being funny. Lucky people! Excellent print.

"Mabel's Strange Predicament" was directed by Mabel Normand, who gave Chaplin a chance to stretch out. His first appearance is 75 feet long, looking forward to such brilliant long takes as the clock scene in "The Pawnbroker."

Mabel is the girl who gets locked out of her hotel room in her pajamas, Chaplin is a drunken masher, and there's an older couple across the hall complete with jealous wife. In other words we're in the land that Thelma Todd would some day rule, but Mabel is fetching too, in a 1914, well-fed sort of way. Near the very end of the film is a few hundred feet from what may be a dupe negative, and it's spectacular stuff. In all, it's the first watchable version of this film I've seen.

Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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The Batman
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October 21st, 2010, 6:06 pm #9


Sooo jealous, guys! But I will be picking my set up on Sunday. Can't wait!

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Ignatz Ratzkywatzky
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October 22nd, 2010, 3:06 am #10

panzer the great & terrible wrote:The very end of the film is a few hundred feet from what may be a camera negative, and it's spectacular stuff. In all, it's the first watchable version I've seen.
Chaplin's makeup is quite different in "Mabel's Strange Predicament" than in future films. His darkened cheeks make him look gaunt and unshaven. I'd never noticed this before, but as you said, this is the first watchable print of the film.

I skimmed through a few of the Keystones to sample the print quality, and I noticed missing footage and inter-titles that had been reinserted, as well as corrections in the sequencing in some scenes. I think this set will hold lots of surprises. I can't wait to start watching the films chronologically this weekend.

This is my pick for the DVD release of the year.
IT CAME FROM THE BOTTOM SHELF! is a movie recommendation site, focusing on forgotten classics, lesser-known gems, and oddball discoveries. https://www.bottomshelfmovies.com
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