shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass

9.07.2004

want. lubitsch. peep. show.

Not necessarily in that order.

In 2000 the National Film Preservation Foundation released "Treasures From American Film Archives," a three-disc collection of rarities preserved by film archives ranging from the Library of Congress to regional historical societies. The follow-up volume, "More Treasures From American Film Archives," which arrives in stores today, is even more impressive than the dazzling first effort. This collection of some 50 films from 1894 to 1931 covers the evolution of American film from peep show novelty to an art form of the highest sophistication.

Though the new volume contains several features - including the Museum of Modern Art's magnificent preservation of Ernst Lubitsch's 1925 "Lady Windermere's Fan," one of the supreme achievements of silent film - the collection aims to expand beyond narrative filmmaking, including newsreels, industrial films, early experiments in color and sound, avant-garde shorts (like Robert Florey's L├ęger-like portrait of Manhattan, "Skyscraper Symphony") and home movie clips.

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