Christmas Shopping for the Film Nerd 2021

 No, I regret that I cannot give you Cary Grant for Christmas. I place myself first in line for that.

What to give to the discerning film fan/film nerd/film buff whose might just have everything? I've got a short list of a few things that came out this year which I think will please anyone who loves classic film. In no particular order:

  1. Silent Sirens by Stephen Horne - a lovely audio CD with themes from some Stephen's most powerful scores for silent film. Stephen has been composing and playing for silent film for 30 years. I have been blessed to hear him play in San Francisco for the last 20 years of The San Francisco Silent Film Festival. This CD is gorgeous to both look at and listen to. If you are a fan of silent film, this is a unique and lovely gift. You can order his CD here.
  2. A favorite and prolific author Scott Eyman wrote a breezy history of mogul and studio 20th Century-Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio. Published by Running Press in October, this was a speedy, fun and informative read. Max Linder gets some love in Lisa Stein Haven’s recently published The Rise and Fall of Max Linder The First Cinema Celebrity. I would be remiss not to mention Mark Harris' epic bio of Mike Nichols, also a great read. I have not read it, yet, but Mel Brooks All About Me just hit the shelves. I love Mel, and am looking forward to cracking it open this weekend.
  3. KINO has been hitting it out of the park with some fantastic new releases. Including all of which I recommend, Torch Singer starring Claudette Colbert, the wonderful feminist/nasty woman/steampunk/cross-dressing 1915 Italian film Filibus, and last but not least the new restoration of Lon Chaney's 1923 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. These are only 3 new releases from 2021, I have been on the edge of bankruptcy all year because of the new releases.
  4. Similarly, Flicker Alley has been keeping me just this side of the poorhouse with their new releases. Though not yet released (just in time for Xmas) the Julien Duvivier set is one I bought for myself for my Xmas gift to me. The documentary on one of the screen's earliest superstar's Francis X. Bushman is something that has been long overdue and is a fascinating look at a guy whose star was a large as his ego.
  5. The Criterion Collection has also been releasing some amazing films. One LONG on my wish list from anyone in a legit form was History is Made at Night which was every single kind of wonderful. While it won't be released in time for Xmas, look out for Love Affair, in February 2022. Naturally, the release of Citizen Kane is also got people very excited. The Ultra 4HD disc plus a bluray. There is an issue with the bluray of CK, so replacement discs will go out after January 2022.
  6. Kickstarters had some great releases for 2021. My favorite and most delightful surprise was the release by Ben Model and Undercrank Productions of 8 silent comedies starring Edward Everett Horton. I never knew EEH did silent comedies until Ben kickstarted this series. If you love Eddie (and be honest, who doesn't?) this is the perfect Christmas gift!
  7. If you do not want things, I certainly do not I am trying to get rid of stuff. Why not donate to a worthy cause? There are many worthy causes, but, my favorite for films is Film Preservation Society who is working hard to restore and preserve silent films, including the massive Biograph Project. Also you can donate to The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, who not only puts on a great festival, they also work tirelessly to preserve and make available. Likewise the Niles Film Museum is another worthy recipient of your donation. 
  8. Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, whichever holiday you celebrate, I wish you health, happiness, love and joy. May 2022 bring us all back together to watch movies.


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