Khan Movie Challenge (Century challenge)

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Kublai Khan
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:34 am

As a sequel to my Movie Challenge (one of every genre) thread (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=66595), I've decided to undertake a new challenge. I'm going to watch a movie from every year (from 1900 to today). Why 1900 when film began before that? Because it's a round number.

"Wait!" You might be saying. "Wasn't the first full-feature movie not until 1906?" Well, yeah. I'm going to start by watching a bunch of shorts, then I'll get into proper movies.

Of course, anyone else is invited to do the challenge concurrently or make suggestions as I go.
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Kublai Khan
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:00 am

1900:

Explosion of a Motor Car - Cecil M. Hepworth
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Okay, already I'm loving this challenge. I did not know that such "gory" comedy was on film already.


The One-Man Band - George Méliès
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: These rudimentary effects must have been so cutting edge at the time. Hate the re-done music of this clip. Feels like it destroys the original humor.


Let Me Dream Again - George Albert Smith
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Weird, surreal, and simple gag. And apparently one of the few instances of a focus out to switch from dream to reality. I never know if stuff like those sleeping outfits are common of the time or exaggerated for a gag.


The Enchanted Drawing - J. Stuart Blackton
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Hey, sort of an early animation. Again, the comedic gag is so simple and easily well-done. Feels like someone should be recreating this on Youtube for a ton of views.


Sherlock Holmes Baffled - Arthur Marvin
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Hmm.. The 'disappearing person' joke is already wearing a bit thin. The chase is a little interesting, but already it seems like if the effect is the story, then it's not great.


5 shorts by 5 different directors in 1900 is probably a pretty good start.
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Majiffy
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:25 am

Def gotta do The Jazz Singer then
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:51 pm

In post 2, Majiffy wrote:Def gotta do The Jazz Singer then

Ugh, no. I've seen it already. It's not great and the amount of blackface is off-putting.
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Kublai Khan
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:20 pm

1901:

L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc (Man with the Rubber Head) - George Méliès
https://archive.org/details/LhommeLaTteDuCabinet
Thoughts: I have to admit, I love Melies' love of creating new and fun effects. Here he double exposes the film to make it look like he's inflating and deflating his head.


Circular Panorama of Electric Tower - Edwin S. Porter
Pan-American Exposition by Night - Edwin S. Porter
Spoiler: Youtube


Thoughts: Taken at the Pan-American Exposition about a month after Presidnt McKinley was shot. Very much a "this is the future" showcase, so it makes sense for it to be preserved in early film. Edison's films look rougher than Melies (and other early French films), but this make simply be the harsh outdoor lighting. The nighttime view is pretty cool.


Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre - Frederick S. Armitage
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Oh, a time-lapse. Takes place over 30 days as a theater is painstakingly taken down brick by brick. No controlled demolition, I'm sure they re-used every building scrap.


The Countryman's First Sight of the Animated Pictures - Robert W. Paul
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Huh. This might me the earliest "film within a film" as we watch an audience member reacting to film footage which may be previously released? Maybe this British short is mocking the story of Americans reacting strongly to train footage.


Rêve et réalité (Dream and Reality) - Ferdinand Zecca
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Oh wow. A total copy of "Let me Dream Again" from 1900. Less surreal, slightly different gag (the girl he kisses is hideous). But it's the same setup.

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Nero Cain
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:46 am

Will you be watching birth of a nation?
#banallhydras

Kublai Khan
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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:43 pm

In post 5, Nero Cain wrote:Will you be watching birth of a nation?

Eh.. I've already seen it and the follow-up "Intolerance" (aka "How dare you be intolerant of my racist views?")

And what's with you guys wanting me to watch racist movies? :evil:
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:59 am

1902:

Uncle Josh at the Moving Picture Show - Edwin S. Porter
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Same idea as 1901's "The countryman's first sight of the Animated Picture". I guess I kinda knew that the first movies copied each other, I guess I didn't think I'd see so much of it in just sampling. I remember hearing that the myth of 'Americans freaking out at the moving train movie' was exagerated, if so then I guess its repetition that makes the myth endure.


The Terrible Eruption of Mount Pelee and Destruction of St. Pierre, Martinique - Georges Méliès
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: In 1902, Mount Pelee, Martinique erupted and was one of the worst volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. It killed 30,000 people and destroyed the capital city in minutes. Just about every filmmaker did some sort of recreatation to capture the intrigued public. Melies' model and staging (and hand-coloring!) do a pretty incredible job of recreating the smoke and flow.


What Happened to the Inquisitive Janitor - Ferdinand Zecca
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Janitor peeks into keyholes to spy, hijinks ensue. This is the first time I've seen the keyhole filter on a camera lens.


Enfants annamites ramassant des sapèques devant la Pagode des Dames - Unknown
http://youtu.be/mu8d-UDVvbw?t=3m27s
Thoughts: Yeah, I figured it wouldn't take long to see some turn-of-century racism. This was pretty bad. A documentary film of some well-dressed colonial ladies giving charity (local money) to some village children. They do it by just throwing it out like one would feed birds and the children scramble for it.


The Little Match Seller - James Williamson
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: The story of the Little Match Seller is such a tragic one. I guess it gives comfort to the religious, but it's pretty goddmn brutal. This short does a great job trying to recreate the fleeting visions the girl has.
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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:38 pm

1903:

Life of an American Fireman - Edwin S. Porter, George S. Fleming, James H. White
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: 6 minutes! Clearly technology is improving. This is a pseudo-documentary that shows how fires are fought and people rescued. it's weird that the rescue is shown twice. Once from the point of view of inside the room, then again from outside. And neither quite match-up. Kinda interesting to see firemen had poles way back when.


Electrocuting an Elephant - None listed
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Oof. Yeah. It's an elephant snuff film. I had heard of the story but didn't realize there was film of it. This was a publicity stunt to show the lethality of Thomas Edison's DC. Pretty brutal and not recommended for kids.


A Chess Dispute - Robert W. Paul
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Simple comedy short. Two vaudevillians play chess. One cheats. Other accuses. Seltzer bottle and staged partially off-screen "brawl" erupts. Goofy, but fun.


Illusions funambulesques (Extraordinary Illusions) - Georges Méliès
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: More light-hearted stuff by Melies. It's still generally the same shtick, but he's getting better. The timing is better. The actors freeze in place, the cameras pause, something is changed, the cameras start up and the actors move again. Practical effects magic.


The Sick Kitten - George Albert Smith
Spoiler: Youtube

Thoughts: Two kids take care of a sick kitten. I feel like adorable kids and kittens are a winning combination for film.
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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:04 am

In post 3, Kublai Khan wrote:
In post 2, Majiffy wrote:Def gotta do The Jazz Singer then

Ugh, no. I've seen it already. It's not great and the amount of blackface is off-putting.

Fair. I just mention it because it was the first film with sound iirc
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:30 pm

In post 9, Majiffy wrote:
In post 3, Kublai Khan wrote:
In post 2, Majiffy wrote:Def gotta do The Jazz Singer then

Ugh, no. I've seen it already. It's not great and the amount of blackface is off-putting.

Fair. I just mention it because it was the first film with sound iirc

Well, earlier movies had sound in the form of scores and soundtracks. But Jazz Singer was the first to sync up some spoken dialogue. IIRC, after a song ends, a bandleader then speaks the line "wait a minute folks, you ain't seen nothing yet."

But, as I mentioned, the hero blackfaces himself a lot because he's a jazz singer.

At least later technical advances are showcased in less racist movies (for the most part)...
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Elbirn
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:00 pm

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