Landmarks of Early Film

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Barth, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 21, 2000
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    My brother asked me today what I wanted for Christmas, so I started to think about discs that I had thought of picking up at one time or another but never had.
    I was wondering if anyone here has the 2 volumes of Landmarks of Early Film and would like to share an opinion on them? In particular, (1) do they have much replay value? (2) Do they function well in a stand-alone sense, i.e. if I know very little about the making of / history behind / innovations embodied in these shorts, will the DVD itself be sufficient to educate me?
    I have similar questions about the Treasures from the American Film Archives, but unless I hear that set blows these discs away, I think I'd rather get the less expensive Landmarks series first, just in case it turns out for some reason I don't like silent shorts. Plus I don't think my brother is looking to spend that much [​IMG]
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

    Feb 22, 2000
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    I only have volume 1 but I can recommend a purchase. It covers a lot of the bases of early film, Kinetoscope, Melies, Edison on up to Great Train Robbery and an early Griffith. The quality is sometimes poor but that is to be expected with film of this vintage.
    I think it has a high rewatchability factor. You are seeing some of the first images committed to film.
    "It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen"
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  3. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Jul 29, 1999
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    Los Angeles
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    I own the first volume, too, and I highly recommend it also, for many reasons, not the least of which is the amazing film footage of the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. My God, it looks like a matte painting -- tall buildings collapsed with only one side standing -- but it's absolutely real. Also the long shot taken from a boat coming up the North River in New York in 1903, I think, are incredible as well, as is brief footage of President McKinley shot in 1897.
    I also have "The Lumiere Brothers' First Films," which I highly recommend as well. The prints for the Lumiere films are better than their counterpars in "Landmarks," and it has the ORIGINAL footage of the workers exiting the Lumiere factory on March 19, 1895 (the traditional shot from "Landmarks of Early Film" was a re-shoot filmed some time later).
    Here are two reviews:

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