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THE DEVIL'S PLAYTHING is part of the film retrospective UNSEEN CINEMA that explores long-forgotten American experimental cinema.

Edwin S. Porter and other early filmmakers used bizarre sets, fantastic costumes, and magic lantern tricks to illuminate their fantasy films. American parody supplied Douglas Fairbanks with enough unusual material to produce the truly surreal When the Clouds Roll By (1919). An expressionistic The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari (1919) influenced American sensibilities throughout the '20s as seen in Beggar of Horseback (1925), The Life and Death of 9413-A Hollywood Extra (1927) and The Telltale Heart (1928). The emphasis shifted when amateurs J.S. Watson, Jr., Joseph Cornell, and Orson Welles crafted a unique variety of American surrealism on film unfettered by European concerns.

15 FILMS BY FEATURED DIRECTORS: G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, Joseph Cornell, James Cruze, Douglas Fairbanks, Victor Fleming, Robert Florey, Charles Klein, William Cameron Menzies, Edwin S. Porter, William Vance, Vitagraph Studio, Slavko Vorkapich, J.S. Watson, Jr., Melville Webber, Weiss Artclass Comedies, Orson Welles.

Curated by Bruce Posner and produced by David Shepard

"An amazing collection, with plenty of playful surrealism and literate influences, many films long thought lost and many more never known to even have existed." - The Guardian

"Like the cinematic attic of a madcap, film-savvy aunt, Unseen Cinema is stuffed with treasures and oddities just waiting to be discovered." - Museums New York

Made possible in part by Cineric, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, Film Preservation Associates

Comments (1)

Anonymous picture

1902. Wow! Just amazing.

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