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2020-02-12 05:33:16
Group of thirty-six program leaflets for silent film theaters in St. Petersburg, Russia
1910. Various sizes, mostly single folded leaves with [4] pp. of text, attractively set in a variety of decorative typefaces. Occasional tears; a few programs with larger nicks and losses to margins. This collection of thirty-six advertising programs for silent film theaters in St. Petersburg/Petrograd captures the vibrant and changing film culture of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Typical for the period, the programs offer a mix of science films (Expedition of the millionaire Vanderbilt to Alaska; Life of Bees; Seaweeds), comedic sketches (featuring Max Linder), newsreels (The Turkish war, Pathé Journal of current events), travel films (Japan, Scenes of Turin, Olive groves of Sicily), as well as adventure serials and melodramas in a single evening, in the manner of a variety show. The earliest programs from 1910 still include live musical numbers with star performers in addition to the films. Film historian Tom Gunning writes: "The period from 1907 to about 1913 represents the true narrativization of the cinema, culminating in the appearance of feature films which radically revised the variety format" (The Cinema of Attraction: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-Garde, p. 68). The later programs show fewer films in one evening, and emphasize narrative serials such as "Cleopatra Queen of the Nile: a tragedy in six acts" and "The Devil's Likeness: a drama in four parts." The later programs also focus on individual film stars such as the Italian melodrama queens Francesca Bertini and Esperia Santos, the French comedic actor Max Linder, and the domestic star of the silent peri … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Bernett Penka Rare Books [United States]
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