Monday, March 15, 2010

The Camera Speaks

If you want to see some interesting early cinema footage, look for the short The Camera Speaks, which is coming up on TCM today after Dark Victory, at around 7:45 PM ET.

The framing story is that of a night watchman at a movie studio who falls asleep with a camera in the room. Much like in A Christmas Carol, a spirit comes out of the camera, reminding the old watchman of the things that camera has seen. It's not much of a story, but this is really a short to watch for the old clips, which include one of William Jennings Bryan (I'd guess from either the 1900 or 1908 presidential campaign); a 1906 short of firemen parading in Newburgh, NY; and a few silent features including one with Gloria Swanson.

I'm not quite certain why this one got made, but it's nice to see that this archive footage got saved.

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