Daily | Rediscoveries, Welles, Critical Press

Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney as the ringmaster in ‘Mickey’s Circus’ (1927)

“Long-missing comedy shorts such as 1927’s Mickey’s Circus, featuring a 6-year-old Mickey Rooney in his first starring role, 1917’s Neptune’s Naughty Daughter; 1925’s Fifty Million Years Ago, an animated introduction to the theory of evolution; and a 1924 industrial short, The Last Word in Chickens, are among the American silent films recently found at the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.” Susan King reports for the Los Angeles Times: “EYE and the San Francisco-based National Film Preservation Foundation have partnered to repatriate and preserve these films—the majority either don’t exist in the U.S. or only in inferior prints.”

Farran Nehme “points out that the 1925 ‘animated introduction to the theory of evolution’ was made the year of the Scopes Monkey Trial, no less…. When all the hard word of preservation is done, the NFPF is once again looking to stream these films on their site, where we’ll all be able to see them. If you want to celebrate this happy occasion by contributing to their continuing good work, the donation link is right here.”


“The youngest daughter of the director and writer Orson Welles is giving film buffs a chance to buy some of his personal possessions, including a camera, scripts and photos from the set of Citizen Kane,” reports the AP. “Beatrice Welles discovered the relics last year in boxes and trunks and decided to put them up for auction. She said her father would have preferred making the memorabilia available to film buffs and fans, as opposed to sending them to a museum.”

Via Paul Gallagher at Dangerous Minds: “Happy Birthday Christopher Walken, born today in March 1943.”

A new publisher of film criticism in print and digital formats has announced its first season of titles. The Critical Press will focus on shortish books of 100 to 150 pages, and Peter Labuza will launch the list in October with Approaching the End: Imagining Apocalypse in American Film. Tina Hassannia‘s Asghar Farhadi: Life and Cinema will follow in December. And Robert Greene‘s Present Tense: American Nonfiction Cinema, 1998-2013 is set for February 2015.


Writing for n+1, Brandon Harris argues that John Sayles‘s The Brother from Another Planet (1984) “is doing a quietly revolutionary thing for a popular movie. Although Richard Pryor was just about ceding his place to Eddie Murphy as America’s favorite black movie star around the time of The Brother from Another Planet’s release, neither of them got to make movies for the masses that gave voice to the communities of the black working class that their comedy rose out of.” He then turns to the question, “What is black cinema anyway?” Related: Ashley Clark‘s piece for Sight & Sound, “Alien abductions: 12 Years a Slave and the past as science fiction.”


For the New Yorker, Hilton Als checks in on Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns as they rehearse The Library, now in previews at the Public.

Keith Phipps at the Dissolve on Harold Lloyd‘s The Freshman (1925): “It’s no wonder that it inspired an immediate boom in college comedies, or that its influence can still be felt today in every movie where outsiders triumph over headless snobs. Lloyd possessed almost superhuman abilities, but his skill at channeling them into characters as put-upon, fragile, and capable of failure as the rest of the world might have been his greatest gift of all.”

At Movie Morlocks, Susan Doll offers “some tantalizing tidbits, astute asides, and fascinating facts on Elvis’s film career.”


Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) has commenced a seven-week shoot at Ireland locations for The Lobster, his first English-language film,” reports Naman Ramachandran at Cineuropa. “John C. Reilly, Ashley Jensen, Michael Smiley and Jessica Barden join the previously announced cast of Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed and Aggeliki Papoulia. Co-written by Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou (Alps), the film is an unconventional love story set in a dystopian future where finding a partner is a matter of life or death.”

“J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is to be made into a film trilogy,” reports the BBC. “The book, published in 2001, was originally billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks.”

The Playlist‘s got first images of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Susanne Bier’s Serena: “Based on the novel by Ron Rash, the story centers on George Pemberton and his new bride, Serena, as they set out to North Carolina to create a timber empire. Their successful, ruthless reign in the mountains becomes complicated when Serena discovers her inability to bear children, setting her on a vengeful path against George’s illegitimate son.”


New York. Alan Zilberman for the Atlantic: “The cult of Heathers, the 1988 black comedy about two high school students who unintentionally make suicide popular, has grown so much in 25 years that it’s now gotten that ultimate niche-classic coronation: adaptation as a Broadway musical. Early notices for the stage production, which opens Monday—the anniversary of the film’s release in the U.S., where it flopped—say it ‘aims to strike a more hopeful, optimistic tone by the end’ than the movie did. To which any diehard Heathers fan might answer something like, ‘fuck me gently with a chainsaw.'”

Chicago. Michael Smith previews the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival, opening Thursday and running through April 17.


Listening (108’41”). Mark Harris is Peter Labuza‘s latest guest on The Cinephiliacs and, on a related note, here’s New Yorker music critic Alex Ross: “Reading Mark Harris’s masterly film history Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War—a counterpart to Annegret Fauser’s Sounds of War—led me to watch various of the wartime documentaries (or pseudo-documentaries) that are described in the book. One thing that struck me is that the music of the films is not as simplistic as one might expect. Gail Kubik’s score for William Wyler‘s Memphis Belle has some surprisingly acerbic moments.”

The latest entries to see substantial updates: Her and Nymphomaniac.

For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @KeyframeDaily on Twitter and/or the RSS feed. Get Keyframe Daily in your inbox by signing in at

Did you like this article?
Give it a vote for a Golden Bowtie


Keyframe is always looking for contributors.

"Writer? Video Essayist? Movie Fan Extraordinaire?

Fandor is streaming on Amazon Prime

Love to discover new films? Browse our exceptional library of hand-picked cinema on the Fandor Amazon Prime Channel.