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Film 11919

Yale has so much on offer all the time, and yet I miss some of th ebest things, since I can only be on campus most weeks for a single day, or a night and a day. The Whitney Humanities Center now has a huge retrospective of European films made in the the year following the end of World War I. I have heard of almost none of these, though many famous directors are named -- Victor Sjostrom, Louis Feuillade, Carl Dreyer, Abel Gance. (I've actually seen a clip of his anti-war film "J'Accuse", but here it is complete and newly restored.)

The one I most would like to see is the Feuillade, a 1919 serial (all 357 minutes of it) called Tih Minh -- I've never heard of it -- it certainly sounds like it has something to do with Vietnam, or Indochine as it was then, but I can't find out anyhting about it. My experience of Feuillade's complete Les Vampyrs at the NY Film Festival 30+ years ago was one of the most thrilling in all my filmgoing, and the film still stands as one of my personal ten-greatest (even though -- or perhaps because -- it was without its intertitles.) Two others much affected by that titanioc screening that I know of were Tom Disch and Edward Gorey (obvious when you think about it.)

(Tried to put the rest behind the cut but my attempts have failed)

After the Great War: European Film in 1919

A conference hosted by the European Studies Council at Yale University

December 3-5, 2009

Yale University, Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT

All films screened on restored or archival 35mm prints (except where noted) at appropriate silent speeds,

with accompaniment and English intertitles where possible. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, December 3rd

4:00 -11:00 pm Special Event

- Tih Minh (Louis Feuillade, 1919, 357 minutes plus two intermissions)

o Accompaniment by Philip Carli and Donald Sosin

o Introduction of silent film musicians by Richard Suchenski (History of Art and Film Studies, Yale), Introduction of film by Richard Maxwell (Comparative Literature and English, Yale)

Friday, December 4th

9:30 am-12:30 pm Great Britain

- Introduction by John Reed (National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales)

- The Life Story of David Lloyd George (Maurice Elvey, 1918, 150 minutes) [North American premiere screening]

Accompaniment by Philip Carli

1:30-4:30 pm Russia/The Soviet Union

- Introduction by John MacKay (Film Studies and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale)

- Proekt inzhenera Prayta (The Project of Engineer Prite, Lev Kuleshov, 1918, 31 minutes, DVD)

- Tovarishch Abram (Comrade Abram, Alexander Razumni, 1919, 18 minutes, 35mm)

- L’angoissante aventure (The Agonizing Adventure, Yakov Protazanov, 1919/1920, 82 minutes, 35mm)

o Accompaniment by Philip Carli or Donald Sosin for all films

- Panel: Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale), Laura Engelstein (History, Yale), John MacKay

5:00-7:00 pm Postwar Germany

- Introduction by Katie Trumpener (Comparative Literature and English, Yale)

- Documentary Footage of November Revolution (12 minutes, DVD)

- Die Austernprinzessin (The Oyster Princess, Ernst Lubitsch, 1919, 64 minutes, 35mm)

o Accompaniment by Donald Sosin

- Panel: Anthony Kaes (German and Film Studies, University of California Berkeley), Adam Tooze (History, Yale), Katie Trumpener

8:00 -11:00 pm The First World War

- Introduction by Annike Kross (Nederlands Filmmuseum)

- Newsreels (15 minutes, DVD)

- J’Accuse (Abel Gance, 1919, 161 minutes, 35mm) [Special screening of new restoration by Netherlands Film Museum]

o Accompaniment by Philip Carli and Donald Sosin

Saturday, December 5th

9:30-11:30 am Danish Cinema

- Discussion of silent film music with Donald Sosin and Philip Carli

- Præsidenten (The President, Carl Dreyer, 1919, 89 minutes, 35mm)

o Accompaniment by Donald Sosin

12:30-3:45 pm Towards a New Film Culture

- Introduction by Richard Suchenski

- Rose-France (Marcel L’Herbier, 1918, 60 minutes, 35mm)

- La Fête Espagnole (Spanish Fiesta, Louis Delluc and Germaine Dulac, 1919, 8 minute fragment, 35mm)

- La Belle Dame Sans Merci (The Beautiful Lady Without Pity, Germaine Dulac, 1919/1920, 85 minutes, 35mm)

o Accompaniment by Philip Carli for all films

- Panel: Charles Musser (Film Studies and American Studies, Yale), Francesco Casetti (Humanities and Film Studies, Yale), Richard Suchenski

4:00-7:00 pm German Expressionism

- Introduction by Brigitte Peucker (German Studies and Film Studies, Yale)

- Torgus (Hans Kobe, 1920, 62 minutes, 35mm)

- Von Morgens bis Miternacht (From Morn to Midnight, Karl Heinz Martin, 1920, 65 minutes, 35mm)

o Accompaniment by Donald Sosin and Philip Carli (one film each)

- Panel: Noam Elcott (History of Art, Columbia University), Mikhail Iampolski (Russian and Slavic Studies, New York University), Brigitte Peucker

8:00-11:30 pm Swedish Cinema

- Introduction by Dudley Andrew (Comparative Literature and Film Studies, Yale)

- Herr Arnes Pengar (Sir Arne’s Treasure, Mauritz Stiller, 1919, 106 minutes, 35mm)

- Berg-Ejvind och Hans Hustru (The Outlaw and His Wife, Victor Sjöström, 1918, 96 minutes, 35mm)

o Accompaniment by Donald Sosin and Philip Carli (one film each)

With special thanks to Donald Sosin, Philip Carli, the

Cultural Services of the French Embassy,

Cinémathèque Française,

National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales,

National Center for Jewish Film,

Nederlands Filmmuseum,


Danske Filminstitut,

Deutsches Filminstitut,

Svenska Filminstitutet, and the

LOGO-ARCHIVES-noir copie


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the plug
Hi, looking forward to meeting you this weekend, the films are great, and in fact Phil and I haven't seen all of them either, so it will be discoveries for all of us. TIH MINH is terrific, as well as OYSTER PRINCESS and J'ACCUSE, among others. Many great hours of viewing await us.

All best wishes,

Donald Sosin
Nov. 30th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Fascinating program. The only ones I've seen are The Oyster Princess (which is indeed a completely anarchic delight), and Sir Arne's Treasure and The Outlaw and His Wife, which are both also outstanding. I'd love to see Tih Minh. I've seen Feuillade's Les Vampires and Fantomas films, which are truly great. The surrealists loved Feuillade. I've long wanted to see From Morn to Midnight as well, which is supposed to be high Expressionist territory.

Well, the whole program looks topnotch, with many films that aren't available on Region 1 DVD. I'd love to see all of it.
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd be interested. Still time to book a flight on the redeye...
Dec. 1st, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
Is the Feuillade complete? I've always seen it listed as 418 minutes, and I know that a complete copy has been elusive, though apparently Jonathan Rosenbaum has one.
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday (thread hijack...)
Thanks to the good folks at the Writer's Almanac, I learned it was your birthday. Enjoy the day and many happy returns!
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday! Garrison Keillor had you on The Writer's Almanac this morning, with a lovely quote from Harold Bloom:
So perpetually fresh is this book, changing each time I reread it, that I find it virtually impossible to describe, and scarcely can summarize it. I pick it up again at odd moments, sometimes when I wake up at night and can't fall back asleep. Though it is a good-sized volume, I think I remember every page. Little, Big is for readers from nine to ninety, because it naturalizes and renders domestic the marvelous.
He also said the book is coming out at last in February. True?
Dec. 2nd, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
Great publicity!
I heard it while driving today. That was a great plug, and I hope it does increase sales of all your available writings. Both my daughters are now reading Little, Big. Word is spreading generally in the little college burg of Bellingham, and many here listen to NPR radio and Garrison's mellifluous meditations.
Dec. 1st, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
happy birthday
Garrison Keillor's biographical discussion is so intimate I presume you and he are well acquainted; if not, I wonder who he talked to. I hope Ron Drummond is properly ecstatic at the highly specific mention of prices and availability for the anniversary edition, for which he has obviously studied the website.

I didn't hear the Writer's Almanac today and had failed to notice what day it was. I am so happy another LJ friend did.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )