Viewing silent movies in the 1960s and 1970s could be agony. The visual glories described so eloquently by writers such as Kevin Brownlow in The Parade’s Gone By, or William K. Everson in American Silent Film, were seen as “in a glass darkly” in most of the available prints. Bruce Hodson and Rob Gowland—unsung heroes of Australian film scholarship—at the National Library and the National Film Theatre did their best and allowed us to see at least some of the great films from the silent era in prints close to their original condition, as did David Stratton when he invited…
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