Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum and sees THE MATRIMANIAC

But first, a couple of shorts

THE DUMB-BELL (1922): Snub Pollard stars in a behind-the-scenes satire on the movie business. Shoot, I've already given away the big twist. Anyway, it's pretty darn funny, especially the way dumb-bell actors drive directors crazy. That's even funnier if you know the director was comedy genius Charley Chase.

THE SURF GIRL (1916): Raymond Griffith and a cast of what seems like thousands in this breakneck paced comedy from Keystone. I couldn't exactly follow the plot, but it played by the standard Keystone formula--throw random gags in there so fast that it doesn't matter if you don't get one, there's another one coming up in a few seconds.

Then a brief intermission. Since we were short-staffed last Saturday night (a lot of the regular staff were in Chicago at the site of the original Essanay studio) I got to do tours of the projection booth, which is always fun. And then back for the feature.

THE MATRIMANIAC (1916): Douglas Fairbanks, before he was a swashbuckler, made a series of "social" comedies. In this one, he's planning to elope with Constance Talmadge despite the objections of her father and his rival suitor. The rival suitor, especially, is a total dick--he shoves a priest off the train and spends most of the movie "wooing" Talmadge in a manner that starts to have a really rapey vibe to it (not exactly rapey, just sort of a 'you need to be owned by some man, so I think it should be me' vibe--which for my money is close enough to rapey.) Which is fine, just makes me root for Fairbanks more. Fun, and kind of shows off a bit of the athleticism he would soon be famous for.

Total Running Time: 89 minutes
My Total Minutes: 299,404

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