Collectieblog

  • EYE at the 36th Giornate del Cinema Muto

    Wednesday 27 September 2017

     

    This year EYE is bringing the record number of thirty films to the Giornate del Cinema Muto!

    The biggest and longest running silent film festival of the world hosts more than a thousand guests in its immens theater, and is also the place where the international silent film crowd gets together to watch silent films with live music, from 9AM till after midnight. There are daily musical masterclasses, book launches and presentations by archive specialists.

    EYE will also present a ‘dialogue’ on Monday (Oct. 2nd) about the recently acquired Van der Molen/Manshanden nitrate collection. The collection has already drawn international attention since the first weeks of its registration, through the discovery of the lost Hungarian film A Munkazsubbony from 1914.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Among the EYE highlights, there is the world premiere of The Reckless Age (US, 1924) on Monday, restored by NBC/Universal from a unique nitrate print found at EYE, through our collaboration project with the National Film Preservation Foundation.

    The yearly Desmet Collection screening is called 'For a Better Vision' and is dedicated to films about ‘blindness’. In addition, also our recently discovered and restored film Petite Simone (FR, 1918) will be screened for the first time.

    The other EYE films are spread among the other sections of the festival, like the European Westerns, and mainly the ‘Nasty Women’ where we have 16 films!


    List of all EYE films on the program:

    EARLY EUROPEAN WESTERN:

    Coeur Ardent (FR, 1912)*

    Sulla via dell'oro (IT, 1913)*

    Nel paese dell'oro (IT, 1913)*

     

    RECOVERED & RESTORED:

    Reckless age, The (US, 1924) restored by NBC/Universal through NFPF

    The Right to Happiness (US 1919) Dutch intertitles

    Petite Simone (FR, 1918)

     

    DESMET COLLECTION "For a Better Vision" (Monday, Oct. 2nd. 4pm):
     

    Mieux Valait la Nuit (Was Ik Maar Blind Gebleven)(Fr, 1911)*

    Amma, le voleur aveugle (FR, 1912)

    Le Coeur et les Yeux (Fr, 1911)*

    Modeschau im Zoo (D, 1915)

    Water Lilies (US, 1911)*

    Mr.Myope Chasse/The Sportsman (FR, 1910)

    Le Mensonge de Jean le Manchot (FR, 1911)*

    Blinden Instituut en Ooglijders Gasthuis te Bandoeng (1912-1913)

     

    NASTY WOMEN:

    Cunégonde trop curieuse (FR 1912)*

    Onésime et la toilette de Mademoiselle Badinois (FR 1912)*

    Het Onwillige Dienstmeisje/ Unidentified Cunegonde Episode (FR, 1912)

    Le Singe De Petronille (FR, 1913)*

    Animal Lover [Dierenvriend] (FR, 1912?)

    Le Bateau De Leontine (FR, 1911)*

    Les Ficelles De Leontine (FR, 1910)

    The New Air Fan [Ventilateur Brevete] (FR, 1911)

    Amour Et Musique (FR, 1911)*

    Un Ravalement Precipite (FR, 1911)*

    Rosalie Et Son Phonographe (FR, 1911)*

    Rosalie Emmenage (FR, 1911)

    Lea Bambola (IT, 1913)*

    Patouillard A Une Femme Jalouse (Fr, 1912)*

    Cunegonde Femme Cochere (FR, 1913)*

    Lea Sui Pattini (IT, 1911)

    Films marked with (*) are from EYE Filmmuseum Desmet Collection.

     

    Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Curator of Silent Film.

     

     

    Desmet Collectie, Desmet Collection, festival, filmfestival, Silent cinema
  • Reunited after almost 60 years

    Wednesday 6 January 2016

    Since the inscription of the Desmet Collection on Unesco's Memory of the World Register in 2011 (actually already in the stages of preparing the application) I have been trying to explain why it is difficult to provide an exact number of the films. Although the collection seems to be a finite entity, it also keeps growing (923 and counting)*. It's hard to tell how many films would make the collection 'complete': it is difficult to establish which films exactly had been distributed by Jean Desmet and thus which ones we are still missing. From the company papers it appears that he considered many items, not necessarily acquiring them all in the end. The fact that the poster and the film holdings only barely overlap, is also curious. Even when we do know for sure that he distributed some titles (based on the company papers), not all film prints were among the collection when it arrived to our archive in 1957. 

     

    Desmet himself had sold parts of his collection, and sometimes these film prints (still bearing the original Desmet company intertitles cards) find their way to our institute through private collectors. This was the case with Tragico Convegno, the 1915 film by Ivo Illuminati that we preserved a couple of years ago. Similarly, over the years, we have received and preserved more films from Desmet's distribution list; such as Loyalty of Sylvia (1912/USA, arrived to us via the Royal Information Services!), or Das Geheimschloss (1914/Germany, found in the year 2000 among thousands of nitrate cans that were privately kept inside the historic city of Haarlem for decades). In such cases, only after examining the print and identifying the contents, we can conclude that we are dealing with a film from the Desmet Collection.

     

    But what happened beginning of December 2015 was unprecedented: a few reels of nitrate (bought in a French flea market) were brought to our archive. One of the reels was still in an original Desmet company film can! It is of course very often that film cans get recycled so having the can does not necessarily mean that its content will also be related to the Desmet Collection. And yet, it was: the can contained the 1909 film Nerone by Luigi Maggi, of which EYE so far only held 12 original stills, received from the Desmet family sixty years ago!
    The Desmet can that arrived to EYE in december 2015
     

     

    So 106 years after its release in the Netherlands, and many decades after being separated from the rest of the Desmet Collection, the film (and the can) are now reunited in our vaults.
    What is going to happen now? First of all, we will be putting the film reel in a new archival film can, so that it can take its permanent place in our vaults. The historic can will go to the film-related collections. The film is not a unique print; several film archives around the world report to have a copy. This means that we will start a research round asking and comparing details, before we can take further action. As part of the Desmet Collection, to have this film preserved is among our prioritites, but it is even more important to do this with all things considered. After all, our print (after so many years of wandering around) may not be complete, or may not be in the greatest condition, and it certainly does not have the original Italian intertitles... So before proceeding, we will dive into international research in order to establish the universal value of what we have. 

    Frame capture from Nerone (1909)

    The significance of the Desmet film can, and particularly the fact that we can still receive such an item after so many years, remains very big; it keeps our hope alive that we can go on finding lost silent films from more than a century ago.

    * Did you know that you can download the 'complete' filmography of the Desmet film titles as published in the book Jean Desmet's Dream Factory (2014) by scrolling down on this page? Of course with the omission of Nerone.

     

    Desmet company film can that was kept in EYE since the donation of the collection in 1957

    The Desmet can contained a reel of Nerone (1909)

    Silent cinema, Desmet Collection, Jean Desmet, ontdekkingen, lost films, discovery, stille film, Desmet Collectie