The Story of Film, Part 4: The Arrival of Sound

Continuing our journey through Mark Cousin’s The Story of Film, we’ve now reached the first full decade of talking pictures. Though silent films would still be made into the mid 1930’s (with some made in both silent and sound versions for a time), by the end of the decade “talkies” would be the industry standard and Hollywood would be entering its “Golden Age.” It was in this decade that Hollywood would inaugurate four genres that continue to this day.

We begin with the horror genre. While Tod Browning’s film adaptation of Dracula had been the first successful sound horror movie, it was James Whale’s version of Frankenstein that would be more influential. While Browning’s film was brightly lit with theatrical staging, Whale’s film featured sets and lighting patterned after German expressionist films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Whale’s later films, The Bride of Frankenstein (the start of the first horror film franchise) and The Old Dark House would also reflect his sense of humor, bringing a dark, comic feel to the proceedings. Continue reading “The Story of Film, Part 4: The Arrival of Sound”

August Literary Holidays

August may have few nationally acknowledged holidays, but if you appreciate literature I’ve got a few things you can celebrate.

Kicking off the month we have National Book Lover’s Day taking place on August 9th. On this day celebrate by enjoying the smell of books, visit the library, drop literary references into casual speech, or just enjoy a favorite book.  Here are a couple book-themed books to help with the day:

Reading Lolita in TehranReading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi is the author’s memoir from her time in Iran when she started an underground book club with seven girls reading western books outlawed by the government.

Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine depicts an alternative history where the Great Library of Alexandria still exists and it is illegal to own books. Continue reading “August Literary Holidays”

It’s ALIVE! Celebrate Frankenstein’s 200th Birthday with us!

Spooky MoonThis coming June 16 is a big deal. Astronomers have confirmed that it was some time between 2 and 3 a.m. on this date two hundred years ago that a girl of eighteen had a dream, under the influence of which she unleashed upon the world a ghastly and prophetic nightmare from which we have yet to awaken. Continue reading “It’s ALIVE! Celebrate Frankenstein’s 200th Birthday with us!”