Saturday, September 23, 2017

Oh! Doctor -- September 23, 2017

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
Roscoe Arbuckle appeared with his nephew Al St John and his friend Buster Keaton in "Oh! Doctor," sometimes listed as "Oh Doctor!," a Comique production released by Paramount.

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
 Buster Keaton is not mentioned in the review. 

Moving Picture World, 01-September-1917

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Zentralpalast-Kino, Vienna -- September 21, 2017

Vintage Graphic Design and Poster Art, Facebook
A wonderful poster for the grand opening of the Zentralpalast-Kino in Vienna, around 1920.  "Only First-Class Programs," "Outstanding Music."  I wish I could go there. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jake Lamotta, RIP -- September 20, 2017
Former Middleweight champ Jake Lamotta has died. My wife's first comment was "I thought he was already dead." He wasn't a great human being while he was a fighter, but he was a relentless fighter with a concrete jaw and a powerful killer instinct. Today he would probably be forgotten by everyone but fight fans if not for Martin Scorsese's movie Raging Bull, which starred Robert De Niro as Lamotta.

Lamotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times and won only the first fight.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Camera Obscura and Hat Camera -- September 19, 2017

From The Young Folk's Cyclopædia of Games and Sports by John Denison Champlin and Arthur Elmore Bostwick, 1890. 

 CAMERA OBSCURA. To make a rough camera, take a little pasteboard box (Fig. 1), like those in which pens are sold, and make a pinhole in the middle of the cover, working the pin about to enlarge the hole a little. Remove one end of the cover, and in the corresponding edge of the box cut a notch just large enough to see through into the box when the cover is on. On a sunny day, hold the box with the pinhole toward any bright object and look down into the end through the notch, holding the eye close, so that no light can get in except through the pinhole. A picture will be seen on the back of the box, inside, in which the bright parts of the landscape can be easily distinguished. The picture will grow clearer as the eye becomes accustomed to the light. By moving the box so that the pinhole turns in a different direction, the picture will change. The smaller the pinhole is, the less blurred the picture will be, but it will be also less bright. With a hole about 1/16 of an inch in diameter the picture will be quite bright, but so blurred that it is hard to tell different objects from each other. The box should not be more than an inch deep, as the farther the back is from the pinhole, the less distinct the picture will be. In the evening, such a camera will give an excellent picture of a lamp or candle, and even of a person's face held very near a bright light. The way the picture is made may be understood by looking at Fig. 2, where the lines represent rays of light from different parts of an object passing through the pinhole and striking the back of the box. When the cover is taken from the box, rays from all parts of the object strike every part of the box at once and are mixed together, hence there is no picture, but only a white blur.

A camera which will make the picture bright without blurring it may be made by using a glass lens (See Lenses, Experiments With). These experiments show how a lens will throw a picture, and the picture can be seen to better advantage if the lens be fixed in a hole in the side of a box. The observer may work at the picture through a hole in the top of the box, or the back of the box may be made of thin white paper, so that the picture will show on the other side. There is a certain distance from the lens for every object, where its image will be plainest, so it is a good plan to make the back of the box so that it can be slid in and out. Find the distance at which the lens makes the plainest picture of near objects before choosing the box, and then select one of the right depth. Remove the back, and saw off the edges so that it can be made to slip in as far as desired. Nail a stick to it to serve as a handle by which it may be pulled in and out.

Hat Camera. A camera can be made also from a stiff felt or silk hat, if it have a ventilating hole in the top of the crown. If there are more than one of these holes, all but the central one may be stopped with paper. A piece of thin paper is then pinned over the bottom of the hat, which is held with the top toward the part of the landscape to be observed. A black shawl is thrown over the hat and the observer's head, but care must be taken that it does not hang over the ventilating hole.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Discard Your Troubles, Book Them Now! -- September 17, 2017

Moving Picture World, 01-September-1917
Billy West closely imitated Charlie Chaplin in a long series of comedies for different studios.While Chaplin was making the excellent Mutual comedies, West was making imitations of Chaplin's Essanay comedies.

Moving Picture World, 22-September-1917
 "You Can't Lose if you Draw to This Pair of King-Bee Comedies." 

Moving Picture World, 22-September-1917
"Billy is seen as the star boarder in a boarding house, in which most of the other boarders are pretty girls.  But there are janitors, cooks, cows and lots of other things around the house..."

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
After stating that the Billy West company was moving from Jacksonville, Florida to Los Angeles.  "While on the coast the King-Bee will make in conjunction with their two-reel comedies a special five-reel feature entitled 'King Soloman,' with the inimitable Billy West in the title role." 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton, RIP -- September 16, 2017
Harry Dean Stanton has died.  He was in a lot of good movies and he kept working until just recently.
John Huston's Wise Blood is one of my favorite Harry Dean Stanton movies. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

And the New One Reel Rolin Comedies Featuring Harold Lloyd -- September 15, 2017

Moving Picture World, 22-September-1917
Harold Lloyd had been successfully appearing in the Lonesome Luke comedies for Hal Roach's Rolin since 1915.  He felt dissatisfied with the unrealistic Luke, who had started as an imitation of Charley Chaplin, and looked for a new character.  Lloyd came up with what he called the "Glass Character."  "Over the Fence" was the first film with the glass character.  In what may have been a unique arrangement, Lloyd appeared in two-reelers as Lonesome Luke and one-reelers as the glass character.  Lloyd reasoned that the new character would get more exposure in the shorter films, which could be released more frequently. 

Moving Picture World, 01-September-1917
"The two-reel pictures are Lonesome Luke Comedies and the one-reelers will be known as Harold Lloyd Comedies.  These will altername with the Luke two-reelers till further notice..."

Moving Picture World, 08-September-1917
"On September 9 comes the first of the new one-reel Harold Lloyd comedies." 

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
"Lonesome Luke Comedies are in two reels -- the Harold Lloyd Comedies in one.  Each produced by Rolin.  Each the best of its kind."  I like the photo of Harold as Lonesome Luke.