Theme Month! August 2022: Our Ancestors Were Weird… Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That

Whew! I know I am posting this in September but August has been a month, believe me. So, instead of a theme month preview, we will be doing a little theme month roundup. Yeehaw.

The purpose of this month was to celebrate the delightfully daft films that were made in the early days of cinema and to appreciate how well their strangeness has aged.

We started things off with The Thieving Hand, a surreal comedy about a prosthetic limb once owned by a thief and its continued crime spree with a new owner. These themes would be revisited in a more serious manner in multiple body horror films over the years.

Next, The Countryman and the Cinematograph, which portrays a bumpkin fleeing in terror before an oncoming onscreen locomotive. I delve into the history of this myth and why we probably can conclude that it didn’t really happen.

The Man with the Rubber Head showcases the skills of Georges Méliès and how he incorporated historical stage magic and trick still photography into the new motion picture technology. He definitely deserves his title of Wizard of Cinema!

We closed things out with Dog Factory, an Edison comedy from Edwin S. Porter that is a more innocent spin on the popular mechanical butcher comedy genre. No dogs were harmed in the making of this picture but a would-be dogfight organizer was.

So, there we have it! Four strange movies reviewed and contextualized. Thank you for reading and enjoy what I have in store for September!

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