"Smart boy Kevin was a smart boy then"

Film historian Kevin Brownlow and friend

I realize my posts have been a bit heavy on the silent side of things, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to mention this amazing one-hour BBC radio documentary with British film saviour Kevin Brownlow, author of the indispensible The Parade's Gone By, and the man behind fabulous documentaries like Hollywood: The Pioneers, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow and Unknown Chaplin, not to mention his one-man war to save Abel Gance's Napoleon.

The piece from The Archive Hour will likely only be available for listening for the next week, and includes excerpts from Brownlow's interview tapes, made while compiling information for The Parade's Gone By in the early '60s, with the likes of Karl Brown ("Birth of a Nation was just another picture...") and Mary Pickford ("There's nobody following in my footsteps."). If only there had been more people like him around back then.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Kevin Brownlow is a God. What's going to happen when he's gone? I shudder. Besides "It Happened Here" is just an amazing piece of work, even "Winstanley" was unlike anything else. He's without a doubt one of the great saviours of modern cultural history. He seems to be omnipresent in silent film appreciation, with an almost prescient sense of when to be at the right place at the right time. Kobal had that sense, too - must be some kind of magic.