Christmas Present List 2011

We’re hoping this won’t reach you too late but we thought a list of potential christmas presents may be a good idea. Those of you who follow us on Facebook will know that James Harrison, who organises our club screenings amongst other things, provided a list of potential xmas presents for the silent film fan in your life (oh ok, or for you) last year & has, as you can see below, done so again this year.

Read on….

By James Harrison

With Christmas comes a lot of shopping; present shopping! Our original plan was to bring you our top 10 Bristol Silents presents for Christmas 2011. However many of our fellow silent film bloggers and supporters have already established their own Christmas lists for this year presenting us with a problem.

This problem is that after seeing the other Christmas lists we kind of agreed with everything everyone else suggested. Most of the items were very much what we had planned to include in our list. So instead of making up our own list we thought we would leave it to the rest of the guys (see below).

Having said that we did think we needed to do at least a Top Five of our favourite presents which summarises what was in those lists & leaves you with the cream of them.

So, in no particular order, our top Five Christmas Presents (for a Silent Film Fan) are:

The Iron Horse (Masters of Cinema) DVD (Watch out for a BLU-RAY)

It’s the one silent film which is very much connected to the great John Ford, and thankfully, we have been given an updated version from the 2002 BFI release DVD. This time, the Masters of Cinema have basically taken the Region 1 version of the Ford at Fox box set and given us the chance to buy it on British shelves. Most certainly worth sticking under the tree this year, not only because of the two versions of the film available on the new MOC version, but also, because of the good looking print. Rumours are already bound about a possible BLU-RAY release at some point later next year. Watch this space.

100 Silent Films by Bryony Dixon (BFI Books)

Whether you’re a silent film novice or a full blown expert (many of our experts have a copy of this already we must add) this great little book is most certainly worth getting, why? Well, the major point comes down to the fact that it covers all the big and small films of the silent era. And what an eye opener the book is. Written by the Head of the BFI’s Silent Film Archive, Bryony Dixon, I can’t see a reason not to have this great book on your bookshelf. Shame it is a small book (as in size, not in depth) because the stills would have looked even more splendid than they already do. Most certainly worth a buy.

Syd Chaplin: A Biography, by Lisa K. Stein (McFarland)

We all know about Syd’s infamous brother, but how much do we know about Syd himself? Well, you’ll know a lot more after finishing this well crafted biography. Telling his life story, as well as his work and the many scandals, this is most certainly a book worth grabbing for Christmas 2011

The Max Davidson DVD Boxset

Wonderfully produced (as usual from those Filmmuseum) the Max Davidson Boxset is most certainly worth getting. Not only because of the fantastic condition of a lot of the films found on the 2 discs, but also that the music is so good as well. The comedy isn’t that bad either. Another great present.

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, by Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster)

Let’s be honest, how many biographies are you going to have about a dog? Especially when it comes to a dog who became infamous in films. Ok, there is Lassie… but Lassie wasn’t as action packed as Rin Tin Tin; through this very odd (but interesting) biography, we see the interesting world of dog and Hollywood come together. This could well be a wild card when it comes to certain silent film buffs, but if you get it right, it’s one hell of an explosive surprise. (It’s worth noting that had Rin Tin Tin still been the action packed hound he was today, I can see TV adverts for this book having him jumping through explosions with the book in his mouth)

So there you have it, we would have included the BFI DVD/BLU RAY of The Great White Silence but I (mainly – James) couldn’t stand the soundtrack at all so we made an alternative.

BUT, don’t forget that you could always give your loved one a precious & highly desirable Slapstick Festival Pass… Or even save yourself some money & take advantage of the great deal on offer for the three Slapstick 2012 Colston Hall events whereby you can buy three tickets at a special reduced price of £40! (Please contact the box office on 0117 922 3686 to arrange this)(Sorry, we had to mention the festival somewhere I guess!).

If these don’t fire your imagination (and they should really) , then check out the links below from the Bioscope and an article by Thomas Gladysz in The Examiner.

For now, Happy Christmas Shopping everyone…



  1. #1 by James Harrison on December 18, 2011 - 4:46 pm

    Forget to mention, The Artist soundtrack by the way….

  1. Bristol Silents’ Top Ten Christmas Gifts for 2012 « Bristol Silents

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