Distributing Silent Film Serials: Local Practices, Changing by Rudmer Canjels

By Rudmer Canjels

Tracing the overseas intake, distribution, and cultural significance of silent movie serials within the 1910s and Nineteen Twenties, Canjels presents an exhilarating new knowing of the cultural measurement and the cultural transformation and circulate of media kinds. in particular, he demonstrates that the serial movie shape is going a ways past the well known American two-reel serial―the cliffhanger.

Throughout the booklet, Canjels focuses at the largest manufacturers of serials, the US, France, and Germany, whereas imported serials, corresponding to these within the Netherlands, also are tested. This study bargains new perspectives at the serial paintings of popular administrators as D.W. Griffith, Abel Gance, Erich von Stroheim, and Fritz Lang, whereas foregrounding the significance of lesser recognized administrators akin to Louis Feuillade or Joe May.

In the early twentieth-century, serial productions have been continuously present process swap and weren't in simple terms allotted of their unique shape upon import. As adjusted serials have been found in huge amounts or faced diverse social areas, nationalistic emotions and perspectives motivated via the unrest of worldwide struggle I and the increasing American movie might be integrated and hooked up to the serial shape. Serial productions weren't in basic terms adaptable to neighborhood discourses, they can actively stimulate and have interaction besides, influencing reception and extra movie construction. by way of analyzing the distribution, reception, and cultural contexts of yank and eu serials in numerous international locations, this cross-cultural study makes either neighborhood and international observations. Canjels therefore deals a hugely correct case examine of transnational, transcultural and transmedia family members.

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Additional info for Distributing Silent Film Serials: Local Practices, Changing Forms, Cultural Transformation

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The constant need for one-reelers made it hard for producer and exhibitor to deviate from that format. The standardization of the single-reel format also had given exhibitors a large measure of control over how and when films were consumed, a form of control exhibitors were not eagerly giving away. 16 The General Film Company, the national distribution network of the MPPC, released Biograph films with two separate reels a week. The General Film Company had the habit of breaking down multiple-reel fi lms into single reels in order to fit the one-reel distribution pattern of the program.

42 The audience was thus left in suspense about Mary and what she might do in the next episode. Mary Fuller played Mary, who had been abandoned as a child and had to prove who she really was in order to secure an inheritance. In this effort she had all sorts of adventures. The serial was billed as the centerpiece of a short-reel variety program. , this time in six episodes. The production thus boosted the mechanism of seriality as has been seen with Vitagraph’s and Biograph’s individually released multi-reel productions.

20 Only four episodes and two solutions to them were made, none of which unfortunately has survived. From 1915 on, more and more Monopol-series were put on the market. By that time there was a Suzanne Grandais series, a Maria Carmi series, a Mia May series, a Valdemar Psilander series, a Hedda Vernon series, but also series existed for directors, like the Ernst Lubitsch series or the Richard Oswald series or for fictional characters like the Joe Deebs series. Famous names were exploited as brands in order to secure a whole production line.

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