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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yearning for Culture

As much as I love living in the country, along way from the big city, I have my moments when I yearn for a little culture beyond tales of hunting and fishing and country music.

Most of the time, I feed my cultural needs reading books, looking thing up on the Internet and listening to intelligent and stimulating radio. This is done for the most part all by my lonesome as most of my local friends and neighbours are not interested and often don't know what I am talking about. Occasionally, I inflict my interest in something in the way of a lengthy email to a distant friend or blogging pal. I enjoy what results in an exchange of emails.

On occasion I hear on the radio that a cultural event is coming to Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal, the large urban centers within a long reach of here. I wish I could attend. But alas distance and finances keeps me country bound.

Currently, the Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing in Toronto, The beautiful people are there and there are a plethora of interesting films to take in as well a some stimulating conversations and workships. It makes me think of the summer school course on film and religion I took years ago , watching films late into the night and spending days discussing them under the tutelage of a truly obsessesed film Professor who wanted us to shout and throw our shoes when he inflicted a truly bad religious film upon us.

I learned this morning that on Saturday they are going to screen an old film staring Mary Pickford, the silent film, "Sparrows". What fun it would be to watch this is a theatre with other film buffs.

Mary Pickford (Gladys Louise Smith)

Mary Pickford was a Canadian who was raised in a house in Toronto on University Avenue where the Hospital for Sick Children stands today. I knew a little about her as a child for my mother often mentioned her and her career in silent movies. She was a star that my mother, as a child, would have known and loved.

I remember my mother talking about the days of the silent movies. She as a child was a very good reader. She read at speed and with understanding. As a result she said many of the kids wanted to sit near her as she read the dialogue strip at the bottom of the films. It was the era of the great movie theatres, of which only a few still exist, usually because they have been restored like the Elgin and Winter Garden in Toronto.

Mary Pickford became America's Sweetheart and a Sweetheart to the World outside of the US. Here contribution to the naissant film industry with the likes of Charlie Chaplain and Douglas Fairbanks (to whom she was married of 15 years, known as Hollywood Royalty. She was the first widely know and admired actresses. It is hard to realize now how big a star she was in the early years of film.

Here is a site of many stills of her in the movies she stared in.

Mary Pickford was a builder of the Industry. She was a business woman and a director. She was one of the one to start United Artists and she was a founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sceinces. She also brought some of her friends, Dorothy and Lillian Gish) into the industry who went on to have wonderful careers of there own. She also was concerned for the welfare of struggling actors and help got the Actors retirement home constructed. Sadly, like many of the actors of the silent films, she did not transition to talking films.

Below is a video of the beginning of the film "Sparrows". It will give you a feel for the movie. If you wanted to watch it all You Tube has a series of videos which together make up the whole film. You will also find videos of her film " Coquette" for which she won a Oscar for best actress.
which would also be another film to view in a cinema filled with fans.


At 8:18 a.m., Blogger Peggy said...

Its raining here today and you have given me a perfect way to spend part of it. Thanks for the links!

At 8:42 a.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Have you tried for films on video. I don't know how good they are, but it seems like a decent concept.

At 10:56 a.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Mary Pickford was Canadian. Huh.
I love films--but have never seen Sparrow--only read about it.
I have a theory about watching films--we tend to value highly films we may have seen at points in our lives, and then try to impress on others how great those films are. I know my kids think I am goofy over the film "The Mission." I made each of them watch it--it is a family joke of sorts. As in "did Mom make you watch The Mission yet..."

At 7:38 a.m., Blogger Tom said...

I wish I could help with your yearning for Culture.. but my idea of showing 'culture' is getting out the bath for a pee... ;o)

I enjoy reading this post and seeing the video... I can get carried away on You Tube, an afternoon is sometimes lostthere... ;o)

At 10:56 a.m., Blogger Rachel said...

Very interesting! I watched the video clip from this post and now I'll have to find the rest on You Tube to finish it! Like Peggy, it's a rainy day here, and a good day to check it out! Thanks!

At 3:21 p.m., Blogger possum said...

Guess there is something wrong with me (not news) but I have never cared much about going to movies, almost never rent one, do not have HBO, or even cable or dish. Guess I am a book person... but I did used to work in summer theatre (painting scenery and such) - now THAT was fun!
Do you have theatre up there near you?

I have no idea who the movie stars are anymore. Am I missing something? Or am I just more easily entertained?

I am glad you have fond memories of the older movies.


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