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  1. Festivals of silent cinema
  2. Texts about silent cinema
  3. Silent cinema, available on internet
  4. Silent cinema on dvd
  5. Television series about silent cinema
  6. Curating silent cinema


  1. Festivals of silent cinema

The festival “Giornate del Cinema Muto” in Pordenone exists since 1981, the festival “Il Cinema Ritrovato” in Bologna exists since 1986. In the nineties emerged more festivals of film heritage, like in Paris (Cinémémoire) and Nottingham (British Silent Cinema Festival, since 1998). In the United States exists since 1996 the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Since 2002 the Museum of Modern Art in New York organises the ‘To Save and Project. The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation’.

Silent Cinema Festivals in The Netherlands:

More references:

  • Marlow-Mann, Alex (ed) (2013) Film Festival Yearbook 5: Archival Film Festivals, St. Andrews: St. Andrews Film Studies.
  • The portal of Moving Image Collections:


  1. Texts about silent cinema


General Introductions to silent film

  • Balshover, Fred J. & Arthur Miller (1967) One Reel a Week, Berkeley/L.A.: University of California Press.
  • Brownlow, Kevin (1968) The Parade’s Gone By…London: Secker & Walburg.
  • Card, James (1994) Seductive Cinema: The Art of Silent Film, New York: Knopf (reprinted by the University of Minnesota Press).
  • Cherchi Usai, Paolo (2010) Silent Cinema: An introduction. London: British Film Institute/ Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Dixon, Bryony (2011) 100 Silent Films, London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Finler, Joel E. (1998) Silent Cinema: World Cinema before the Coming of Sound, London: Batsford.
  • Franklin, Joe & William K. Everson (1959) Classics of the Silent Screen, A Pictorial Treasury, New York: The citadel Press.
  • Napper, Lawrence (2017) Silent cinema: Before the Pictures Got Small. London/New York: Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press.
  • Robb, Brian J. (2007) Silent Cinema, Harpenden: Kamera Books.
  • Robinson, David (1968) Hollywood in the Twenties, London/New York: A. Zwemmer/A.S. Barnes.

Some academic publications about the historiography of silent cinema and musical accompaniment

  • Abel & R. Altman (red.), The Sounds of Early Cinema. Bloomington 2001.
  • Abel, ‘Frame Stories for Writing the History of French Silent Cinema’, in: Studies in French Cinema, vol 2, no 1 (April 2002), pp 5-13.
  • Altman, ‘The Silence of the Silents’, in: The Musical Quarterly80 (1996), pp 648-718.
  • Altman, R. (2007) Silent Film Sound.New York: Columbia UP.
  • B. Anderson, Music for Silent Films 1894-1929: a Guide, Washington: Library of Congress, 1988.
  • Blonde, Les fantômes du muet, Paris: Gallimard, 2007.
  • L. Hanson, ‘Musical Accompaniment to Silent Films’, in: Magill’s Survey of Cinema: Silent Films, pp 84-100.
  • Miller Marks, Music and the Silent Film. Contexts and Case Studies 1895-1924, New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
  • J. Pauli, Filmmusik: Stummfilm, Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 1981.
  • Robinson, ‘Music of the Shadows: The Use of Musical Accompaniment with Silent Films, 1896-1936’, supplement to Griffithiana, vol 13, nr 38-39, October 1990.
  • Seidler (ed), Stummfilmmusik gestern und heute, Berlin: Volker Spiess Verlag, 1979.


  • Dana Linssen (2013) Interview met filmbegeleider Kevin Toma, in: De Filmkrant november 2013, URL:
  • Luc Joris (2017) interview met pianist Hughes Marechal, in: Bruzz, 2 maart 2017. URL:
  • Linssen, C. ‘La Belle dame sans merci. De venijnige kracht van de liefde’, in: Skrien 212 (feb-maart 1997) p. 32-33.
  • Linthorst, G. ‘Georgiërs: Baby Rjazanskije, een gesprek met componiste Ig Henneman, in: de Filmkrant nr 44 (maart 1985) p. 7-8.
  • Merwe, P. van de, ‘Na zeventig jaar eindelijk zoals het hoort. Zwijgende films met geluid’, in: Skrien jrg 35, nr 5 (juni/juli 2003) p.34-35.
  • Bosma, P. ‘The Windin de concertzaal’, in: Skrien jrg 37, nr 1 (feb 2005) pp 46-47.
  • Bosma, P. ‘Componist Maud Nelissen over The Patsy’in: Skrien jrg 37, nr 3 (april 2005), p 29.
  • Bosma, P. Hoe ondersteun je Vrouwenlijdenmet muziek? Vijf studenten compositie buigen zich over een klassiek melodrama’, in: Skrien jrg 38, nr 8 (oktober 2006) p 22-23.
  • Bosma, P, ‘de brugvanuit het perspectief van het programma’, mei 2008, beschikbaar via
  • Bosma, P. ‘Eliso(1928) en het netwerk van Nederlandse poortwachters bij de vertoning van zwijgende films met muzikale begeleiding’, in TMG zomer 2008.

Some catalogues of Silent Cinema

  • Franklin, Joe, Classics of the Silent Screen. A Pictorial Treasury, New York: The Citadel Press,1959.
  • Suraviec, Catherina A. (ed.), The Lumière Project. European Film Archives at the Crossroads, Lisboa: Guide Artés Gráficas, 1996.
  • Kroniek van de Stille Film, Koninklijk filmarchief, Brussel (1993-1995).
  • La Persistance des images. Images, sauvegardes et restaurations dans la collection films de la cinemathèque Française, Paris, 1996.
  • Reijnhoudt, Bram & Martin de Ruiter (eds) Dutch Silent Cinema, Amsterdam: Nederlands Filmmuseum, 2000.
  • Daams, Erik & Peter Bosma (eds) Programmabrochure Stomme Sovjets, Rotterdam/Den Haag: Lantaren/Venster & Filmhuis Den Haag, 2005.

Recommended reading about Film Archives

  1. Cherchi Usai, Paolo, 2000, Silent Cinema: An introduction. London: British Film Institute (2edruk).
  2. Gracy, Karen F., Film Preservation. Competing Definitions of Value, Use and Practice, Chicago: Society of American Archivists (, 2007.
  3. Edmondson, Ray, Audiovisual Archiving Philosophy and Practice, Paris; Unesco, 2004.
  4. Fossati, Giovanna, From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition, Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2009.
  5. Loiperdinger, Martin (ed), Celluloid Goes Digital. Historical-Critical Editions of Films on DVD and the Internet. Proceedings of the First International Trier Conference on Film and New Media, October 2002, Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2003.
  6. Houston, Penelope, Keepers of the Frame: the Film Archives, London: BFI, 1994.
  7. Cere, Rinella, Museums of Cinema and their Audience, London: Routledge, 2009.
  8. Read, Paul & Mark-Paul meyer (eds) Restoration of Motion Picture Film,Newton: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000.
  9. Smither, Roger (ed) This Film is Dangerous: A Celebration of Nitrate Film, Brussels: FIAF, 2002.
  10. Nissen, Dan (eds) Preserve Then Show, Copenhagen: Danish Film Institute, 2002.

Film archives on the internet


  1. Silent cinema, available on internet

‘Silent Film Democracy’( has put many silent films on line, often with music, but always in a series of short fragments. Like in the early days the films are divided in ‘reels’ of 10 minutes.

Examples, among others: Waxworks (Paul Leni, 1924) and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau,1927) and Der müde Tod (Fritz Lang, 1921) and Toll of the Sea (Chester M. Franklin, 1922). Toll of the Seawas shown on 3 februari 2008 in the Dutch Filmmuseum, with music of Puccini, performed by Gilbert den Broeder (piano), Jan Koomen (violin) and Pien Straesser (soprano). This film starred Anna May Wong, also known for her performance in Piccadilly (Dupont, 1929).

‘Oldtimecoolness’ has uploaded at YouTube among others The Living Corpse(Otsep), a sad story, exceptionally told, where Pudovkin excels as a Kafkaesk figure trapped in a nightmare of insulting bureacracy and religion. URL:

The Phantom Carriage, URL: The silent film The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1921) was known only in a limited circle of experts. The dvd release in 2007 could change this. One of the earliest fans of this film was director Ingmar Bergman (Sjöström performed in Wild Strawberries). The Swedish site www.ingmarbergman.secontains valuable information about the work of Bergman and his sources of inspiration. Filed under the lemma of Wild Strawberries (1957) one can read the following statement: “As mentioned, one obvious cinematic influence is Sjöström‘s The Phantom Carriage, the film which, according to Bergman, was: the film of all films. I saw it for the first time when I was fifteen; to this day I see it at least once every summer, either alone or in the company of younger people. I clearly see how The Phantom Carriage has influenced my own work, right down to minute details.”

Piccadilly (Dupont, 1929) – On You Tube you can retrieve a promotional video of the accompaniment of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra to Piccadilly (Dupont, 1929, starring Anna May Wong), composed by Frank Vaganée (2006). The British Film Institute released a dvd of this film in juni 2004: “Piccadilly has now been beautifully restored by the BFI National Film & Television Archive, complete with amber and blue tinting copied from an original 1929 silent release print. The BFI also commissioned a new score from Neil Brand, internationally acclaimed as a master of improvised silent film accompaniment. Following its worldwide premiere at the New York Film Festival last autumn, Piccadilly received its UK premiere at the Barbican in March with the score performed live by Brand and some of the UK’s leading jazz players.” (Source:

The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928) – Director King Vidor explains how he made a complex tracking shot in The Crowd (1928), in a interview in 1973 with Richard Schickel, for the series “The Men Who Made the Movies”. URL: The first scene of ´The Crowd´ with a new score by Bjarni Biering Margeirsson is available at You Tube (“The Crowd King Vidor new Music, length = 6:13). One could compare this with the score by Alex Marenga (also known as AMPTEK), made for a Italian dvd (“Music for The Crowd”, length = 2:06)

It (…. 1926/27) – of It (1926/27, starring Clara Bow). Dutch composer Maud Nelissen presented in 2009 her score for this film (See also

The Last of the Mohicans(1920, directed by Clarence Brown & Maurice Tourneur) –

Berlin, die Sinfonie der Grossstadt(Ruttmann, 1927) – You Tube – “Filmconcert: Berlin die Sinfonie der Grossstadt”: Dutch pianist Yvo Verschoor offers a short fragment (2.56) of his accompaniment, performed at 16 March 2008 in filmtheatre De Uitkijk (Amsterdam). See also: Google video: “Berlin die Sinfonie der Grossstadt (sulac)”, a short fragment of the opening of the film (1:52).

Nosferatu (Murnau 1922) – print of the Cinematheque Francaise was used, a weird score with synthesizers and elektric guitars was added).

La Roue (Abel Gance, 1922) –– Kristin Thompson and Kevin B. Lee on La Roue (1922, directed by Abel Gance)

European Avant garde:

  • Lichtspiel Opus 1  – Walter Ruttmann (1921)
  • Filmstudie, Rhytm 23 – Hans Richter (1923)
  • Entr’acte (René Clair & Francis Picabia (1924, score: Eric Satie)
  • Ballet Mécanique – Fernand Léger (1924, compositie: Georges Antheil)

Chess Fever (Pudovkin & Shpikovsky, 1925) – (with piano accompaniment, Russian print)

S.M. Eisenstein:

Some recommended archival websites for silent cinema


  1. Silent cinema on dvd

William B. Parrill (2011) European Silent Films on Video: A Critical Guide

Some dvd-labels

  • Lobster Films (F). For example: the six dvd set of ‘Retour de la Flamme’ and also the box of l’Atlantide
  • Moskwood (NL). For example: The Man with the Camera (three soundtracks), Odna (score by Shostakovitsj) and New Babylon (score by Sjostakovitsj).
  • Milestone (VS). For example: Beyond the Rocks (score by Henny Vrienten)
  • Arte (F/D)

Some compilations of silent cinema, released by the Dutch Filmmuseum

  • Het fantastische luchtschip 1904-1908, six films of Georges Méliès, with a score by Marc van Vugt (Filmmuseum video, series Sphinx Cultuurprijs 1998)
  • De wereld rond met Pathe 1910-1915(Filmmuseum video, series Sphinx Cultuurprijs 1998, later also on dvd).
  • Exotic Europ
  • Van de kolonie niets dan goeds

Niche market: Rock bands, Big Bands and other Music Ensembles as accompaniers of silent cinema

  • Sunrise(Murnau, 1927) was accompanied in 1996 by the Belgian rock band Moondog Jr. (shortly afterwards renamed as Zita Swoon. This filmconcert toured the Dutch and Flemish clubcircuit).
  • Sunrisewas accompanied by the American band Lambchop at the opening night of the Crossing Border festival in 2004 (The Hague, 11 november 2004).
  • Willem Breuker made in 2003 a jazz score for Faust(Murnau 1926). The Willem Breuker Kollektief made an extensive tour with this film concert and released also a dvd.
  • The French ensemble Art Zoyd accompanied Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926) at the Salzburger Festspiele of 2001. They toured with this film concert, and played among others at Lantaren/Venster on 11 June 2005, as part of the Opera Dagen Rotterdam. October1993 they accompanied Nosferatu(Murnau, 1922) at the 20th Flanders International Film Festival Ghent. In 1993 they made also a score for Faust (Murnau 1926).
  • The Flemish Big Band ‘Flat Earth Society’ ( presented in 2006 their score for Die Austernprinzessin (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919), played live on 12 november 2006 at lantaren/Venster (Rotterdam). They released also a dvd.
  • The Alloy Orchestra has built a reputation with their accompaniment of silent films, both live and on dvd (The Man with the Cameraof Vertov, among others). See their website:
  • AIR (Nicolas Godin & Jean-Benoit Dunckel) accompanied the restored version of Le voyage dans la lune (George Méliès, 1902), presented at Cannes 2011 and other festivals, including IFFR 2012.
  • The Flemish Hermes Ensemble presented The Fall of the House of Usher(Jean Epstein, 1928, with a score of Italian composer Ivan Fedele, 1995), performed among others at Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ at 20 April 2012. They also accompanied The Lodger(Hitchcock 1927, with a score of Joby Talbot, 1999) and Paris qui Dort(René Clair 1924, with a score of Yan Maresz, 2005).
  • Matti Bye Ensemble

Some You Tube research in this field:

  • In their videoclip ‘Tonight Tonight’ The Smashing Pumpkins made a hommage to ‘Le voyage dans la lune (Meliès, 1902).
  • Madonna used imaginery of Metropolis (Fritz Lang) in her videoclip of ‘Express Yourself’ (1989) and ‘Bedtime Story’ (1994).


  1. Television series about silent cinema

International television series about silent cinema

  • Kevin Brownlow & David Gill – The Unknown Chaplin (UK, 1985);W. Griffith, Father of Film(UK, 1996); Keaton, A Hard Act to Follow (UK, 1987); Cinema Europa: The Other Hollywood (UK, 1995: BBC, ZDF & D.L. Taffner, six parts. Flamish title: ‘Hoezo Hollywood’).
  • Noel Burch – Correction Please, or How we Got into Pictures(UK, 1979); La Lucarne du Siècle / What Do These Old Films Mean?(UK, 1985).
  • The Last Machine (UK, 1994, BBC, presentation by Terry Gilliam).
  • Lange, Eric & Serge Bromberg, Les premiers pas du cinéma. Un rêve en couleur (France, 2004).
  • Bromberg, Serge & Eric Lange, Le voyage extraordinaire (France, 2011).

 Dutch television series about silent cinema and film heritage

  • Simon van Collem, De oude draaidoos (Vpro, 1958-1969), book publication: Uit de oude draaidoos(1959).
  • Maarten van Rooijen, Spreken is zilver, zwijgen is goud (Vpro, 19..).
  • Hans Keller, Over De Brug (Vpro, 1981, 100’, documentary about DE BRUG, Ivens 1928).
  • Peter Delpeut – Cinema Perdu (Vpro, 1995: 40 short programs of ten minutes). Written columns in Vprogids, 1995/1996. Book publication (with videotape): 1997.
  • Peter Delpeut – De tijdmachine, overpeinzingen bij 100 jaar beeldcultuur (Vpro, 1996).


  1. Curating silent cinema

There are already many best practices of curating silent films, especially early cinema. Here follows a list of inspiring examples and also a list of some documentaries about film archivists; fiction films about film pioneers and film archives; and documentaries about films and filmmakers.

Some Best Practices of curating silent films

  • Le retour de flamme (Saved from the Flames), compilations of rare and restored films. A project of the French film archaeologist Serge Bromberg, also managing director of DVD-firm Lobster Films and of the International Animation Film Festival of Annecy.
  • Cento anni fa (Hundred Years Ago), compilations of a wide range of early cinema, grouped together by year. A project of film historian Marianne Lewinsky, in cooperation with the Cineteca Bologna and their archival film festival ‘Il Cinema Ritrovato’ (Cinema Rediscovered).
  • Exotic Europe, Journeys into Early Cinema (2000). In 2000 an exhibition was held at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Berlin). The accompanying DVD ‘Exotic Europe, Journeys into Early Cinema’ (Mark-Paul Meyer / Connie Betz, 2000) aroused the fascination with the splendour of early footage of exotic places. The DVD includes 15 integral films from the period 1905 to 1921, and three short audiovisual thematic essays, titled ‘Pose’, ‘Labor’ and ‘Travel’. They offer a masterfully edited series of clips from a total of circa 40 movies, with a score by Jogi Nestel. The DVD was released with a trilingual brochure. It is the result of a collaboration between the Dutch Film Museum (now Eye Filmmuseum), the Cinema Museum (London), the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv (Berlin/Koblenz) and the Fachhochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (Berlin). This project was supported by the Raphael program European Union. Reviews: Film Criticism (vol. 26, no. 1, Fall 2001); The Moving Image (vol. 1, no. 1, Fall 2001).
  • Ghosting the Images (2008): a thematic programme of the 9thCourtisane Festival, Film, Video and Media Art (April 2008, Ghent), offering a broad historical overview, curated by Maria Palacios Crus and Stoffel Debuysere. URL:
  • Screening the Poor 1888-1914 (2011): a programme of the film museum of München and a DVD, curated by Martin Loiperdinger and Ludwig Vogl-Bienek. Reviews:
  • Found choreography: the dance version of found footage (2014). Guest curator Peter Delpeut compiled a programme for the 13th ‘Cinedans: Dance on Screen Festival’ in 2014. URL: He wrote also a blog, highlighting subjects as his video installation ‘One Hand Clapping’ (2013), the particulars of body movement in the films of Bresson, and the poetics of the dance numbers of Fred Astaire, especially the transition from walking in a daily life setting to the dreamworld of dance. URL:
  • Around the World in 80 films (2014). BFI South Bank programme, showing pre-WWI daily life and exotic landscapes.
  • The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon. See among others: Toulmin, V. & P. Russell & T. Neal (2003) ‘The Mitchell and Kenyon Collection. Rewriting Film History’, in: The Moving Image 3, no. 2 (Fall 2003) pp. 1-18. And Toulmin, V. & S. Popple & P. Russell (2004) The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon: Edwardian Britain on Film.London: British Film Institute.
  • Hyperkino, digital revival of early classics. See the website of this project:
  • Holman, R. (1982) Cinema 1900-1926: An Analytical Study. Brussels: FIAF.

Some documentaries about film archivists

  • Citizen Langlois (Edgardo Cozarinsky, 1994)
  • Le fantôme d’Henri Langlois (The Phantom of the Cinémathèque, Jacques Richard, 2004)
  • Celluloid Man: P.K. Nair (Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, 2012)
  • Joao Bénard da Costa: Others Will Love the Things I Loved (Manuel Mozos, 2014)
  • A Flickering Truth (Pietra Brettkelly, 2015), about the film archive in Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Cinema:A Public Affair (Tatiana Brandup, 2015), about Russian film archivist Naum Kleiman

Some fiction films about film pioneers and film archives

  • The Magic Box (John Boulting, 1952), biopic about the British cinema pioneer William Friese-Greene.
  • Those Wonderful Men with a Crank (Jiri Menzel, 1979), comedy about a Czech wandering cinema exhibitor.
  • A Trick of the Light (Wim Wenders, 1996), homage to the German cinema-pioneers brothers Skladanovsky.
  • Shadow Magic (Ann Hu, 1999), about the beginning years of cinema in China.
  • La Vida Útil (Federico Veiroj, 2010): the protagonist Jorge is a cinephile who has worked for 25 years as programmer at the Cinemateca of Montevideo. When this film museum has to close, he tries to adapt himself to the harsh reality.

Some documentaries about films and filmmakers

  • L’Enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot (Serge Bromberg & Ruxandra Medrea, 2009).
  • Burden of Dreams (Les Blank 1982). About the making of Fitzcaraldo(Werner Herzog, 1982).
  • K. (Chris Marker, 1985), about the making of Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)
  • Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (Eleanor Coppola, Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, 1991). About the making of Apocalypse Now(Francis Ford Coppola, 1979).
  • Bela Tarr, I Used to be a Filmmaker (Jean-Marc Lamoure, 2013). About the making of The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, 2011).
  • Magnitogorsk, de jeugd van de hoogovens (Pieter Jan Smit, 1996). Reflection on Komsomol, Song of the Heroes(Joris Ivens, 1932).
  • Les Enfants du Borinage (Patric Jean, 1999). Reflection on Misère au Borinage(Joris Ivens/ Henri Storck, 1933).
  • Leven met je ogen (Ramón Gieling 1997). About the making ofthe documentary To Sang Fotostudio(Johan van der Keuken, 1997).
  • The Prisoners of Buñuel (Ramón Gieling, 2000). Reflection on Las Hurdes/Terre sans pain(Buñuel, 1933).
  • I am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth (Vincente Ferraz, 2004). Reflection on Soy Cuba(Michael Kalatozov, 1964).
  • Nice, à propos de Jean Vigo (Manoel de Oliveira, 1984) and À propos de Nice, la suite(1995, several directors) are offering a homage to the classic short avant-garde film À propos de Nice(Jean Vigo, 1930).

Exotic Silents

  • Libië: Kif Tebbi (Mario Camerini, 1928, IT)
  • Georgië: Eliso (Nikolaj Sjengelaja, 1928)
  • Armenië: Namus (Hamo Bek-Nazaryan, 1926)
  • Iran: Grass, 1925, USA
  • Iran: Hadji, the Actor
  • Japan: The Water Magician (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1933)
  • Japan: The Girl Sumiko (Shigeyoshi Suzuki, 1930)
  • China: De Roos van Pu Chui (Hou Yao, Li Minwei, 1927)
  • China: Schanchaiski dokument (Das Dokument von Shanghai), Jakow Blioch, 1928, SU
  • India: A Throw of Dice (Prapancha Pash), Franz Osten, 1929, D
  • India: Light of Asia (Prem Sanyas, 1929), Franz Osten, D.
  • Brazilië: Limite (Mário Peixoto, 1931)

 Hommages to silent film

  • TO SLEEP AS IF TO DREAM (Hayashi Kaizo, 1986)

Remakes of Silent Cinema

  • FANTOMAS (Paul Fejos, 1932)
  • L’ATLANTIDE (G.W. Pabst, 1932)
  • JUDEX (Georges Franju, 1963)
  • JUHA