Friday, September 3, 2010

Telluride Film Festival Review: TCM's Moguls and Movie Stars

Just got out of a great preview of the upcoming documentary from Turner Classic Movies on the beginnings of Hollywood's major studio system up through the 1970.

Wow, the first two parts were fascinating and haven't even got to the "talkies" yet! The first episode go way back to the beginning of Europe's intrigue with light shows when literally the source of light was candles and handpainted glass plates.

Also discussed is the evolvement of all the inventors like Thomas Edison and how it was not that great of a leap from one invention to the next, like using the drum of the phonograph to feed the film through the camera- the film coming out of Eastman Kodak's development for still photography.


Eadweard J. Muybridge, is a french photograoher who on a bet to figure out if a horse ever had all its feet on the ground in a run, figured out the bases of motion pictures, when he set up a whole row of still camera and again thanks in part to Edisons invention, had developed an quick electric switch to set off the camera's as the horse raced by.

Episode 2- still in the silent era, deals a lot with how it was as the Telluride program guide states- how " outsiders-immigrants, Jews and women"...

shaped Hollywood and the movie industry, where women were not only actresses,

but also did a lot of the writing and directing, since the majority of the audiences were women and children in the Nickledeons, which is derived from the words "Nickle" how much a movie cost which were usually about fifteen minute long and Odeon(from Wikipedia- from the Ancient Greek which meansliterally "building for musical competitions."

There was a wonderful Q and A after the preview, where John Wilkman chatted with the audience. The most profound thing he said and I think is really true is that we are where they were turn of the last century- we don't know what all this new stuff- ditigial, internet is going to do with Story- they were grappling with the same question and is was a while before movie makers even thought to bring what was happening on stage into movies in their own way and tell a story!
Wilkman also told us that as TCM shows the seven episodes, of Moguls and Movie Stars through November and December of this year, the channel will also be showing in full lengths the movies that are being featured! And there will be a DVD set. Makes me look forward to wintery nights, popcorn of course and a crackling fire!

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