Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Mid-week is proving pressing for yours truly, so just a short update this time. Just links, in fact, but good ones.

Here's a YouTube clip of a gentleman playing a Wurlitzer organ (three keyboards). The Wurlitzer's musical range and capacity for sound effects (listen to it imitate a train whistle, among other things) made it perfect for accompanying silent films in their heyday.

I've always been ambivalent about the Wurlitzer sound, I admit. To me, it embodies the antique, and removes the dynamism from silent films that might otherwise be able to capture modern audiences' attention. But of course, that's not the organ's fault, it's ours. Enjoy the clip (and if you liked The Bourne Ultimatum, you'll appreciate the camera-work).

Second link is to a recent post by Luke McKernan, of the always-excellent Bioscope blog. My next featured film will be an adaptation of the Bard, so I encourage you to read this piece ahead of time. McKernan, as usual, provides a great summation of the history behind, and scholarship surrounding, his subject: in this case, silent Shakespeare.

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