Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum for some early Universal City

Just got back from a business trip to Germany last Friday. I was still badly jet-lagged, but I put in a full afternoon volunteering at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and then came back in the evening for this program.

Big thanks to Bob Birchard for presenting this program, who also did a brief slide show and book signing in the afternoon.

First up was BEHIND THE SCENES (1915): As it suggests, a behind-the-scenes look at work in Universal City. Includes scenes with a crowd that was there for the "official" opening of Universal Studios (it was actually something like the 4th opening, but the one that Universal still claims to this day).

HE MARRIED HER ANYHOW (1914): Okay, so I mentioned I was jet-lagged. Well, I slept through this one. Sucks, because apparently this was long-lost and only discovered recently. But I have no idea what happened in it.

Then an intermission and the feature presenation:

THE GOOSE WOMAN (1925): Louise Dresser stars as Marie de Nardi aka Mary Holmes aka The Goose Woman. In her youth, she was a famous and beloved opera singer. However, when her son was born she lost her voice. Missing the spotlight, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol, which makes her a pretty terrible mother to her now grown son (that and she doesn't hide the fact that she blames him for destroying her fame). But she sees an opportunity to get back in the spotlight when a murder occurs near her home and the police and the news converge on the neighborhood. She decides to become an important witness, but it turns out her story ends up implicating her son. Eventually (finally) maternal instincts do take over. A pretty wild melodrama.

And that was last Saturday in Niles.
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