Help Wanted: You Choose My Theme Month

Every month, I choose the silent films I cover in my weekly reviews based on a theme. Well, this November, I would like you to choose for me!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Leave a comment with your theme month suggestion(s)
  2. That’s it!

I’ll select the theme months that work for the films I own and the amount of research time I have and then put it to a vote in the next few weeks. The top vote-getter will be the theme!

The themes can be general (Asian films, Comedies) or specific (shopgirl rom-coms). They can be serious or silly. They can revolve around a specific performer, director, cinematographer, etc. Be as imaginative as you like.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions, I truly value them!

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19 Replies to “Help Wanted: You Choose My Theme Month”

  1. I recently watched Tumbleweeds starring William S. Hart, so I am thinking of character actors like Lucien Littlefield. How about writing about sidekicks, the buddies of heroes, or, more formally, comedic supporting characters?

  2. Not an imaginative suggestion, but maybe by November you could have a Part II of Jewish-themed silents?

    Or maybe films from or about the Scandinavia/Finland? I’m thinking especially of “Laila”…

  3. Maybe featuring those who were active in silents but whom we might have first seen in sound films or as guest stars on TV shows in the 50s and 60s. I’m thinking of my first encounters with Gloria Swanson, Francis X. Bushman, Wallace Beery, William Powell, Dorothy Gish, and a host of others.

  4. I was going to recommend popular Soviet films, but I suppose you covered quite a few of them already a few months ago (still, THE BEAR’S WEDDING is out there somewhere…)!

    What about the films Franz Osten made in India at the end of the 1920s (SHIRAZ, etc.)? Or, assuming any still exist, and assuming then that they are accessible in any format, one of the films starring Annette Kellerman? Oh, one more!: Prometheus Films, the German side of the German-Soviet Mezhrabpomfilm studio?

  5. I would be interested in “playing against type” – actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, designers etc doing a film/films which are different from the main body of their work, or the work for which they are mainly remembered.

  6. How about the comedies with Roscoe Arbuckle, Al St. John, and Buster Keaton? Not exactly highbrow, but each one is packed with ‘classic’ gags that continued to be recycled in 20th century comedies, and even now.

  7. maybe something on silent films with animal stars from strongheart and rin-tin-tin to the rex the wonder horse and dippy doo dads to the early stuff like A Dog’s Love, and maybe some of the more obscure oddball stuff.

  8. Sidekicks sounds good, or generally, supporting character actors who never were big stars, but were never out of work.

  9. I have a couple suggestions:
    1. A look at the wide variety of acting styles in the silent era.
    2. Early works of famous directors who had careers long into the sound era (Ford, Hitchcock, Ozu, Capra, Lubitsch, you name it).

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