Monday, December 3, 2007

Wednesday Dec 3

Home & movies


Matt's Notes

Papa doesn't say what movie he saw, but he had a few newcomers to choose from:

  • Isn't Life Wonderful, directed by the already-legendary D.W. Griffith. This serious effort about the struggle of Germany's poor to feed themselves met with good critical response when it was released and is still considered by film historians to be one of Griffith's landmark efforts. Still, Time Magazine correctly predicted
    that "the film will not be popular."

    Here's a bit of it on YouTube:
  • Sundown, a Western of no apparent merit, at least according to the New York Times. Interestingly, the scan of this article in the Times archive also includes a snippet about Abraham Goldberg, an important figure in the Zionist Organization of America who Papa had met earlier in the year. Apparently, Goldberg spoke out of turn about the Z.O.A.'s positions on private investment in Palestine while visiting Germany, and the Z.O.A. disavowed his comments. This article also makes reference to the "Brandeis-Mack break," a shakeup in the Z.O.A. that Papa had previously discussed.
  • Romola, an adaptation of George Eliot's novel starring Lillian Gish and directed by Henry King. (King also directed The White Sister, which brought Papa to tears earlier in the year.) Its lavish production values and Florentine settings drew praise from both the New York Times' and Time Magazine's critics, as did Gish's performance. The scan of this article in the Times also contains a blurb about Thomas Edison's interview in that week's Collier's in which Edison predicted the perfection of the helicopter.
  • The Roughneck, an action-adventure story dismissed by the Times as "a boy's idea of adventure with plenty of scenes of George O'Brien's biceps and ankles."

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