TCM will begin airing the 15-part documentary THE STORY OF FILMtonight. It’s a fascinating ride through the history of film by historian Mark Cousins, and you’ll end up with a long, long list of movies on your watch list.
I loved the first episodes the best. From my Home Projectionist blog posts about the series: “During the first two hours of THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY, I learned that the first real movie star, Florence Lawrence, committed suicide with ant poison, that the first close up in cinema featured a sick kitty, and there was some hot erotic dancing going on in the silent movies.”
One of my favorite experiences was discovering Asta Nielsen‘s dance from The Abyss (1910).
Cyprus Film Archive (Photo credit: Cyprus Film Archive)
When I think of state-of-the-art vaults stacked with films, I think of the studios and a variety of university and film museum archives. It turns out that there’s a government bunker in Virginia that houses a whole lot of movie history.
The U.S. created the film copyright designation 100 years ago — on August 24, 1912. Just weeks after the film copyright system was created, films were being submitted for copyright protection, and they are still coming in. The Library of Congress’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation is a “Noah’s Ark effort” to save America’s treasure chest of film history.