The latest in 1910’s-era diving gear via Pearl of the Army (1916, dir. Edward José)
William V. Ranous as Bottom and Florence Turner as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1909, dir. Charles Kent, J. Stuart Blackton)
What visions have I seen! Methought I was enamour’d of an ass.
Lillian Gish as “The Eternal Mother” & The Fates in Intolerance (1916, dir. D.W. Griffith) (via Museum of Modern Art Film & Media Collection exhibition catalog)
Her hand on the cradle of humanity—eternally rocking.
“I often heard [D.W. Griffith] say that he would rather have written one page of Leaves of Grass than to have made all the movies for which he received world acclaim.
It is said that some twelve to fifteen years before [filming Intolerance], Griffith was walking with Wilfred Lucas, when they were both working in a road show, when Lucas caught sight of a woman rocking a cradle, and reminded Griffith of Walt Whitman’s poem from Leaves of Grass: ‘Out of the cradle endlessly rocking’ & ‘Endlessly rocks the cradle/ Uniter of Here and Hereafter.’
…We went back to the studio and did some shots of Lillian Gish rocking a cradle, all to the tune of Walt Whitman’s poetry, which Griffith recited with great feeling and surprisingly good delivery, considering how outstandingly lousy he was as an actor. It must have been one of his good days.
Griffith placed the symbolic figures of the Three Fates behind Lillian Gish. Upon hearing the sound of the spinning wheel and the creak of the Fates’ shears as they cut the thread of life, Griffith exclaimed: “Gahhd! If we could only get that sound!”
-excerpted from Karl Brown’s Adventures With D. W. Griffith (1973)
The Impossible Voyage (1904, dir. Georges Méliès)
The explorers crash inside the sun, where they fear they will die from the heat. Good thing the flying space train had a giant ice tank!
In The Impossible Voyage (1904, dir. Georges Méliès), a group of intrepid explorers fly into outer space in a rocket-train hybrid, only to accidentally fly straight into the yawning mouth of the rising sun (this film, like most of Méliès’s color films, was hand painted by a team of women in a production-line method - the coloring was done frame by frame)
A Trip to the Moon (1902, dir. Georges Méliès)
“That same evening everything was ready; the crowd was beginning to arrive, the public was crowding in front of the big moon, but the poster, while it made people laugh, was greeted with all kinds of wisecracks. ‘It’s a joke, it’s trickery! Do they think we’re idiots around here? Do you imagine they could have gone to the moon to photograph it? They’re pulling our legs!’ The audiences of that day imagined that it was impossible to photograph anything but real objects.”
-Méliès, on public reaction to his poster for A Trip to the Moon, which featured the scene from the film in which a rocket ship lands on the moon’s eye (via)
Jinnie Frazier is kidnapped in [spoiler!] Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest (1908, dir. Edwin S. Porter) (via)
The Red Spectre (1907, dir. Segundo de Chomón, Ferdinand Zecca)
The narrative of the film involves a competition between a demonic magician & a female conjurer. They perform a series of magic tricks, including trapping miniaturized people in bottles (the scene above is online here).
The film was shot in black-and-white, and colors were later applied using stencils, a mechanical process that replaced the more labor intensive hand-tinting.