It recently dawned on me that people can now watch films that were released over 100 years ago.
The history of film is generally understood to have started around 1895 with pioneers such as the Lumière brothers, but at first, cinema was very much an experimental art form, and it would take a couple of decades until it became mainstream and interesting to a general audience.
The oldest film I've ever seen (I think) was Charlie Chaplin's 1921 The Kid, which premiered over 102 years ago. But overall, I've seen very few pre-WW2 films—it's time!
1923 films watchlist
So in 2023 I plan to watch a selection of films from 1923. Incidentally that's also the year that the original HOLLYWOODLAND sign was put up on the hills on Santa Monica. A good year to start this project!
Here's my list, containing 5 feature films and two short1:
- Safety Last! by Harold Lloyd
- Our Hospitality by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone
- The Pilgrim and A Woman of Paris by Charlie Chaplin
- The Ten Commandments by Cecil B. DeMille
- Felix in Hollywood (short) by Otto Messmer
- Alice's Wonderland (short) by Walt Disney
I selected themes by reading up on 1923 in film2 and picking some releases that (1) seemed interesting and (2) seemed available (many films of that era were lost). I'm not very happy with it in its current state (no women directors, only Hollywood stuff) so I'll probably be adding to it in the next few months. Suggestions welcome!