Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Silent (Movie) Night

by Suzanne on December 22nd, 2010

For the past few days, Rob (site back up very soon) and I have been watching our weary little eyes sore at the countless episodes of Louis Feuillade's 1915 masterpiece Les Vampires (with the ever hypnotic Musidora as spicy Irma Vep) so I decided I'll take this opportunity to share three totally unrelated silent films with you that you might not have seen yet. Because there's beauty in chaos and structure in the random. Okay, no, I just made that up, but nevermind.

First up is what I believe is the actual proof that the Tree Octopus myth was not actually an internet hoax from the 90s, but a much older cinematic deception by Jean Painlevé who shot this "rare footage of a tree octopus" in 1928. Do close your eyes when the doll appears for I swear, this traumatising scene will scar your retinae and souls for good. BUT I'VE WARNED YOU. OH, HOW I HAVE!

(La Pieuvre des arbres by Jean Painlevé, 1928 - via Sang Bleu)

Next up is Aelita: Queen of Mars from 1924 (hey, I said they have NOTHING to do with one another!).

Directed by Yakov Protazanov and based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name, it's a Sovieto-Martian sci-fi tale with very futureproof outfits.

Watch the entire film in 9 parts on YouTube.

Aelita: Queen of Mars (excerpt) from Tom Hill / Origamibiro on Vimeo.

Aelita by Yakov Protazanov, 1928 - with new soundtrack by Tom Hill - via Sense of Cinema

In mildly related silent movie news, if you're a lover of early 20th century serpentine and butterfly dances, may I also invite you to check out some of the titles shown at Barbican's Dreams of Darkness and Colour screening during this year's Fashion in Film festival?

For those unfortunate ones of you who have never seen the inspiring Loie Fuller perform, let's open the 114-year-old curtains once more:

A serpentine dance performance by Loie Fuller, recorded in 1896.

And that's that.

Anta… Odeli … Uta.