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Academy To Celebrate Century Of Filmmaking

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has set two programs to celebrate films from 100 years ago.

• “A Century Ago: The Films of 1909—The Stars Are Born,” starting at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 30, will spotlight the public’s earliest recognition of and preference for screen actors, which evolved into the “star system” of  motion picture advertising.

The program will include D.W. Griffith’s social film A Corner in Wheat,” which illustrates his continued development of parallel cutting; Vitagraph’s trick film Princess Nicotine, containing cutting-edge special effects for the time; Essanay’s A Case of Seltzer, featuring comic actor Ben Turpin; Pathé’s comedic Love’s Surprise, starring Max Linder; Essanay’s The Ranchman’s Rival, starring “Broncho Billy” Anderson, and the newly formed IMP Company’s Hiawatha, among others.

Most prints will be in 35mm and are drawn from the collections of the Academy film archive, the Library of Congress, George Eastman House, and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

• Christel Schmid of the Library of Congress will host “The First Films of Mary Pickford,” at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1.

It was 100 years ago that a young Broadway actress from Canada would hesitantly accept work in “the flickers” at the Biograph Studios in New York in an effort to make ends meet. Within weeks  of her appearances in D.W. Griffith’s stock company, she was already being singled out by audiences. Eventually to become “America’s Sweetheart,” Pickford would emerge as one of motion pictures earliest and most enduring stars and a seminal force in early Hollywood filmmaking.

The Academy, which Pickford helped found, celebrates her first year by screening They Would Elope, The Trick That Failed, A Midnight Adventure, The Mountaineer’s Honor and To Save Her Soul.

All prints, 35mm, some newly restores, are from the Library of Congress collection.

The films will be presented on a 1909 hand-cranked Power’s Model 6 Cameragraph motion picture machine restored and cranked by Joe Rinaudo.

Michael Mortilla will provide live musical accompaniment for both programs. which will be at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, 1313 Vine St.

Ticket, $5 for the public and $3 for Academy members and students with ID, may be purchased at or during business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) at the Academy , 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.

For more information, call 310-247-3600.

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