The Silent Era Through to Sound

Move musings on the dawn of cinema, the forgotten founders of film and the coming of the talkies

In Review: A Night at the Cinema in 1914

by Maryann O'Connor 1 August 2014

At a time when feature films were rare, short film was King [or Queen] and mainly focused on short documentary, news items and comedy. This selection from the BFI National Archive has 14 films to inform and amuse, curated by Bryony Dixon and accompanied by a lovely new score from composer and pianist Stephen Horne.

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Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival showcases Paris Exposition film collection from 1900

by Maryann O'Connor 30 January 2014

Fans of cinema history are in for a very rare treat at this year’s eight annual Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham (20-30 March 2014), for they will be able to see a restoration of the collection of films shown at the 1900 Paris Exposition, coming to the UK for the first time.

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My First Date with Buster: The General (1926)

by Amanda Keats 28 January 2014

I am new to the world of silent films, having previously only seen The Artist (2011). Despite being familiar with the names of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, I had somehow never managed to look into those original films where it all began. So, I felt it was definitely time to become acquainted with Mister […]

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Inside Issue 10: A Sneak Preview

by Helen Cox 30 May 2013

Issue 10 is now available to order.  As our magazines sell out within weeks of going on sale we recommend ordering to avoid disappointment. Our theme this issue is Time in Film and consequently you’ll be able to read up on how plausible film time travel techniques actually are, the role of stopped clocks in […]

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The Immortals: Florence Lawrence – The Star System Is Born

by Martyn Conterio 23 April 2013

Florence Lawrence is largely forgotten today even among established icons of the early years. Yet she deserves hallowed status. Miss Lawrence was the first of a well-known kind: the movie star. She was both a pioneer and a subsequent victim of Hollywood. That such a path could unfold from the off is almost spooky. A […]

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The Immortals: Rudolph Valentino in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

by Martyn Conterio 28 March 2013

Was Italian-born screen sensation, Rudolph Valentino, the original metrosexual? According to a vehement tabloid attack by Chicago Tribune, in July 1926, Rudy’s appreciation of cosmetics and fashion were tantamount to the fall of masculinity. The report notes masculinity all but ended when dudes quit the straight razor for the new-fangled type with a safety guard. […]

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Issue 9: Now Available For Order

by Helen Cox 6 March 2013

What would happen if King Kong went on a dating show? Now you know thanks to our talented cover artist Dan Havardi.

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Issue 7: Our Horror Special – order yours today!

by Helen Cox 23 October 2012

What do Linnea Quigley, Bette Davis and killer telephones have in common? All three appear in our spooky horror special which is out at the very end of October. Other treats for readers include an exclusive interview with Richard Bates Jnr on his new psychological horror: Excision, an exposé on the role of distributors in […]

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Issue 6.1 Is Here!

by Helen Cox 22 October 2012

The second digital edition of the year is here! Our front cover is illustrated by Rory Mitchell and inspired by the unforgettable body horror: Videodrome. New Empress Magazine’s Minema  titles are a mini-digi-dose of film commentary, interviews and flashbacks. Inside this issue our writers have examined the way brands, TV, music and other elements of […]

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In Review: Blackmail, the silent cut

by Helen Cox 2 August 2012

Adapted from the play by Charles Bennett, Blackmail (1929) was a picture produced on the cusp of the sound revolution. Hitchcock, sensing the shift towards sound, sneakily shot a version with dialogue alongside his silent feature. Critics generally agree that the silent feature is the most engaging of the two cuts and certainly no dialogue is required […]

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In Review: Martyn Jacques: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

by Helen Cox 26 July 2012

Last night a full house gathered around the basement stage of the Soho Theatre, brimming with anticipation. A preview screening of the canonical horror The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) was soon to commence and the film would be accompanied by Martyn Jacques – an Olivier award winner and founding member of the punk-cabaret band […]

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