“Why We Need to Keep Searching for Lost Silent Films”

At Smithsonian Magazine, Fritzi Kramer writes about the importance of recovering lost silent films. Read it here. “These lost films have a resonance beyond film history. They might offer historians an opportunity to see historical figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Teddy Roosevelt. They might feature real settings, capturing little moments of history in amber: a detail of fashion, a type of automobile, a shot of a long-gone street. They might help modern viewers better understand how people of the silent era walked and dressed and their views of then-current events and politics. Take the recently discovered silent film Something Good–Negro Kiss (1898), the first known depiction of black people sharing a kiss on film, which New Yorker’s Doreen St. Félix used as a launching point to discuss Barry Jenkins’s new adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk.”

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