Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Television Ghost (1931-1933)

The Television Ghost was a "horror" television series that aired in New York from 1931 until 1933. The show consisted of an actor named George Kelting telling scary stories in closeup. His face was painted white and he wore a sheet wrapped around him.

Looking at this promo that I've found, I'm wondering if the show was aimed at children. No film footage or audio exists, making it even creepier.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rotting Film

I watched last night's Fragments on TCM and I was utterly fascinated. One of the reasons I am so attracted to old films is that some of them are lost and shrouded in mystery. Fragments gave me my "fix" when it comes to my obsession with decomposing film. Watching what was left of several films makes them fascinatingly eerie. Although I do enjoy films in their damaged states, I also find it sad that all the hard work that went into making these movies was totally pissed all over.

A can of nitrate film totally decomposed into dust.

Maybe I am in the minority here, but I think decomposed film has created a beauty all on it's own. There is something ghostly and eerie about seeing a happy moving image from the 1920s then all of a sudden the film begins to decompose until the entire image is consumed by the gooey bubbles.

It's just so strange and creepy to think that the hard work of people I love most have been reduced to this! Namely Theda Bara and Clara Bow. But on the other hand, the random decomposition has created a brand new film. An accidental thing of wonderment and beauty! (Hehe, I'm annoying myself here with this talk...lol)

I recently found out about a film that was made in 2003 called Decasia and it is made up entirely of pieces of decomposing film set to some dark, creepy music. I think it's supposed to be some deep, pretentious, "art" piece, but I really just want to see it for the rotting film. Pseudo-intellectual I am NOT! Set to the creepiest music I have ever heard, it's sure to give me a good spook!

Surely, this is not what Nancy Carroll had in mind when she was working hard in the silent pictures!

Dress #5 -- Simplicity 8485 (1969)