Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Great Directors Tournament: Silent Era Bracket—Round One

One of these contests, you'll probably have an opinion about; the other—well, even I'm not so big a fan of silent movies as to think very many people know the films of Louis Feuillade. Two years ago, I hadn't even heard his name. Now I'd rank him as one of the most influential directors who ever lived, the man who directly influenced Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang and Luis Buñuel, and I would guess is indirectly responsible for the likes of, say, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight).

Anyway, do the best you can. Ideally, you'll rush out and buy Fantômas, Les Vampires and Judex on DVD, have them overnighted to your house and then spend seventeen straight hours watching them.

Hey, you might—you don't know.

The Tale of the Tape

D.W. Griffith
Born: January 22, 1875 (LaGrange, Kentucky)
Directorial Debut: The Adventures of Dollie (short) (1908)
Academy Awards: honorary Oscar (1936)
Silent Oscars (for direction): 3 wins—The D.W. Griffith Biograph Shorts (1909), Intolerance (1916) and Broken Blossoms (1919)
Three More To See: Judith Of Bethulia, Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm

Louis Feuillade
Born: February 19, 1873 (Lunel, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
Directorial Debut: Un coup de vent (1906)
Academy Awards: none
Silent Oscars (for direction): 1 win—Les Vampires (1915)
Three More To See: Fantômas, Judex and Tih Minh

Charles Chaplin
Born: April 16, 1889 (London, England)
Directorial Debut: Kid Auto Races at Venice (short) (1914) (uncredited)
Academy Awards: 4 nominations (none for direction), 1 win—Limelight (Best Original Score), two honorary Oscars
Silent Oscars (for direction): 1 win—The Chaplin Mutuals (1917)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—The Circus (1927-28), City Lights (1930-31) and Modern Times (all for Comedy/Musical)
Three More To See: The Kid, The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator

Buster Keaton
Born: October 4, 1895 (Piqua, Kansas)
Directorial Debut: The Rough House (short) (1917)
Academy Awards: honorary Oscar (1960)
Silent Oscars (for direction): 2 wins—Sherlock, Jr. (1924) and The General (1926)
Three More To See: Our Hospitality, The Navigator and Steamboat Bill, Jr.

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