Tragic Love in the Latin Quarter: Lillian Gish and La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 Italian opera La bohème has seen many forms in the century since its first performance in Turin. The story–itself borrowed from Henri Murger’s 1851 collection Scènes de la vie de bohème–has been retold in many forms, with and without the music. It’s been made into films, produced in countless venues featuring storied performers like…

Bringing The Scarlet Letter to (silent) life.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter has apparently long stymied filmmakers, because there has yet to be a cinematic version that fully adapts the material without changing the tone or intent of the author’s original novel. Not to be overly sarcastic about it or anything. It’s a damn shame, too, because Letter is truly a masterwork of American…

Early Hollywood Costume Design: A Brief Overview

In the early days of the film industry, the fledgling production studios had not yet established the massive industrial complex of Hollywood movie-making. Films were created almost piecemeal, thrown together in a matter of days in order to keep fresh material in front of fickle audiences. There was little room in the budget for an…