Friday, May 27, 2011

AMPAS Screening Series: "Summer of Silents"

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences presents Summer of Silents, a series of Photoplay Award winning films.
June 13 - Humoresque (1920)
June 20 - Tol'able David (1921)
June 27 - Robin Hood (1922)
July 4 - No screening
July 11 - The Covered Wagon (1923) with a surviving fragment of Abraham Lincoln (1924)
July 18 - The Big Parade (1925)
July 20 - COMEDY BONUS – The General (1927)
July 25 - Beau Geste (1926)
August 1 - 7th Heaven (1927)
August 8 - Four Sons (1928)
As usual, screenings at the Academy are more than just seeing a movie:
The nine evenings will feature the best available prints, music performed and composed by a variety of accompanists specializing in the period, a comedy short featuring a different silent screen comedian each week, and surviving fragments of lost films from the era, introduced by film historians including recent honorary Oscar recipient Kevin Brownlow. 
The Photoplay Magazine Medal of Honor was a Best Picture award that predated the Oscars and was voted on not by members of the industry, but by the public.
Beginning in 1920, Photoplay gave out what is considered the first significant annual movie award, the Photoplay Medal of Honor (later Gold Medal). An actual medallion produced by Tiffany & Co., it was voted on by the readers of the magazine and given to the producer of the year's best film, chosen with an emphasis on (according to Quirk) "the ideals and motives governing its production... the worth of its dramatic message." Though Photoplay only gave the single award for best film, its intentions and standards were influential on the Academy Awards founded later in the decade, and they overlap on Best Picture choices to some extent, though increasingly in the 1930s Photoplay's choices reflected its primarily female audience. By 1939 the Medal of Honor had declined in importance and the award was discontinued that year.
Tickets go on sale June 1.

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