The September 2014 issue of Sight & Sound unveils the magazine’s Greatest Documentaries of all Time poll. I voted in the poll and contributed a few words on one of the top 10: Nanook of the North (1922). Also, I reviewed Christina Rice’s hugely enjoyable biography of the fascinating Ann Dvorak, Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel
To mark the release of Lav Diav’s Norte, the End of History, the BFI website collated a list of 10 great really long films. Or 10 really great long films, or what have you. My contribution was on Fritz Lang’s monumental silent, Dr Mabuse, the Gambler (1922). You can read the full piece here.
In this month’s Sight & Sound, I have written a feature about what it was like to go to the cinema 100 years ago, ahead of the theatrical release of an archive compilation called A Night at the Cinema in 1914. Also, in the Primal screen column, I expand on a subject close to my heart – female film-makers of the silent era, and a commendable new website that celebrates them, the Women Film Pioneers Project.
For the June 2014 issue of Sight and Sound, I reviewed David Robinson’s new book about the making of Charlie Chaplin’s final film, Limelight (1952). Excitingly, the book also contains Chaplin’s previously unpublished novella Footlights, which formed the basis for Limelight.
A great honour to be asked to speak on the opening night of the Toronto silent film festival. It’s just a pity that geography was against us. But the speech was recorded ahead of time, and looked very smart, thanks to a colleague in the multimedia department generously helping me out – Andy Gallagher shot, produced, edited and did absolutely everything except sit on that blue chair. I spoke about intertitles – the often unsung heroes of silent cinema.
Shortened to #hippfest on social media, the Hippodrome festival of silent cinema is one of the most welcoming and charming events on the silent movie calendar – not to mention one of the most ambitious. I travelled to Bo’ness, Falkirk for the weekend to visit the festival, then came home and wrote this report for the Guardian film blog.