The Public Domain Review (new favorite website)

The Public Domain Review has an eclectic mix available for hours of perusal.  You’ll be fascinated by the scope of material included.  As an example there is a collection of Portraits of Patients from Surrey County Asylum.  Some of these portraits will reach right through the screen to you…

mental patient

Asylum patientAnd of course there is a generous backlog of films and images detailing our affinity for examining the creeps and chills in the dark.  As each new generation discovers the stories of ancient terrors,  a slew of twists on old forms emerge, but sometimes its fun to go back and look at early interpretations.

Wolf Blood 1925:  “Deep in the fastness of the great Canadian forests…”   (‘Fastness’ is a new one for me.)

Frankenstein 1910: The first film adaptation. If this “monster” looks strange to you, it’s because his “creation” in this film is unlike anything we’ve seen in later interpretations of the material.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog   “Murder.  Wet from the press.  Hot over the aerial.”  It’s amazing how much menace a young Alfred Hitchcock is able to manufacture in this silent film, complete with symbology used by the killer, the effective use of gas lights, and lingering shots of maniacal, glittering eyes.  What’s further interesting is that the tale’s resolution is vastly (or is it fastly?) different from today’s stories of serial killers.  And as in many of Hitchcock’s other films, romance figures prominently, taking nearly all focus away from the solution of crime and the identity and or pathology of the killer.






~ by S.K. Epperson on March 21, 2014.

One Response to “The Public Domain Review (new favorite website)”

  1. Oh my, those pictures!

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