24 March 2013

Blum's silent screen

in Doctor Reefy's parlour on Third St
I leafd the pages of Blum
till his pictures of lost motion
spun a world I wantd

these lines are from "In the Beginning" -- the opening poem in It's all a Movie. over the years I've been generous in my praise of Daniel Blum because he was such an important part of my boyhood.

& a critical volume in my understanding of film was his A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen from 1953. my own copy -- signd by many of the stars from that era -- is now in Special Collections at Kent State University Libraries.

I was delightd to discover this morning that a PDF is available online. anyone who loves film & somehow missd out on knowing this book please take a look.  it's not an academic tome full of footnotes.  it's simply a collection of stills & portraits. but it was magic for a movie-mad boy. & I suspect it's still magic for others.


Jeff Macauley said...

Love the Blum books! My Pictorial History of Talkies (through '68) was dog-eared rather quickly. I have "silents" and two of the "talkie" volumes as well as the television ('59) and "American Theatre" ('60) books. They are fantastic and bring the mediums alive and certainly pique curiosity.

Steve Jarrett said...

I also discovered Blum's book at a young age and battened onto it like a barnacle. Looking at the list of signatures on your copy in the library listing, I have to ask: were you at Cinecon 8 in Washington DC in 1972? That's where I got autographs from Beverly Bayne, Leatrice Joy, Zeena Keefe, and Lois Wilson, and I notice that all four are among your list of autographs.

Alex Gildzen said...

I was indeed Steve. at the dinner I presentd Lois with her Rosemary Award. in fact I was just searching online today for the Winter 1972 issue of "Classic Film Collector." there's a picture in it of Lois & I on the dias but I don't have a copy of it.

Alex Gildzen said...

I wrote abt that Cinecon in "The Year Book."

& here's my Lois Wilson video: