In which prizes are offered, silhouettes are shot and I update you on the Russia in Classic Film Blogathon


It’s just a little while longer until the Russia in Classic Film Blogathon. I thought I would take this opportunity to issue a few reminders, updates and to festoon the post with GIFs. (You can read the full roster here.)

The Giveaway

In addition to sponsoring the event, Flicker Alley has generously arranged for a movie giveaway. Here are the complete rules and the link to sign up.

Grand Prize: The House of Mystery 3-disc DVD Collection (full retail value, $44.95 USD)

First Runner-up Prize: A DVD copy of Aelita, the Queen of Mars (full retail value, $19.95 USD)

Second Runner-up Prize: A DVD copy of Bed And Sofa with Chess Fever (full retail value, $19.95 USD)

These prizes will ship after their release date (April at the earliest but possibly later). And since I know many of you online and some of you in real life, Flicker Alley will be handling all aspects of the contest and winner selection.

This drawing will be open to readers and participants alike but entry will be limited to residents of the United States and Canada only. Entering is easy. Just follow this link, sign on to the newsletter and you’re in like Flynn! The contest closes on the last day of the blogathon, March 10. If you are the winner, Flicker Alley will contact you via email within 30 days. Break a leg, kids!

Here are the complete rules:

Open to residents of the United States and Canada only. Void where prohibited. Contest ends March 10, 2015. Winner will be chosen at random by Flicker Alley, LLC. The winners will be notified by email within 30 days of the closing date. If the winners cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. By submitting this form, you are granting: Flicker Alley, LLC,, permission to email you. You can revoke permission to mail to your email address at any time using the SafeUnsubscribe SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email.

To the Blogathon Participants

When it starts:

The event will launch Sunday, March 8 at 9:00 a.m. PST. (I am in California.)

When to post:

I am not assigning days. Post any day during the event and then send me a link via comment, Twitter or email. You may send me your link early, if you wish.

Can you still join?

Yes! And remember, Flicker Alley will be reposting select reviews on their official blog. Here is the complete list of titles that will be considered for reprint. (The “no duplicates” rule is lifted for the Flicker Alley choices. Any reposts will only be made with your permission and you retain the rights to your work.)

If you have changed your choice:

I am a bit behind in updating the roster. Many apologies. So please don’t worry if you see that your old subject of choice is still listed.

Show and Tell

I am going to be covering The House of Mystery. As it is not yet available on DVD (it has a ship date of 3/31/15) I wanted to give you another taste of what’s in store. (My previous preview is here.)

It’s a French production with a majority Russian cast and crew. It may be called a serial but it has more in common with a fine television series than it does with Flash Gordon and Pearl White. It’s all about family, romance, conspiracies and wrongful convictions.

To be sure, there are traditional serial elements. For example, the hero (Ivan Mosjoukine) is both athletic and a master of disguise, as demonstrated in the opening credits.


However, the filmmakers were self-aware and they poke a little affectionate fun at the expected serial action. Take the delightfully goofy escape that Mosjoukine effects.


I told you he was athletic:


While it has a great sense of humor, the serial also knows how to tone things down and give their performers room to explore the darker sides of their characters. (“I’ve made friends in prison! Good lord, I’ve made friends in prison.)


The production has moments of unexpected beauty. Take a gander at this wedding scene!



(This was made in 1921-1922, several years before The Adventures of Prince Achmed.)


My full review will post on the first day of the blogathon. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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