Anna Pavlova stars in the 1916 silent movie epic directed by Lois Weber

‘The Dumb Girl of Portici’ – Lois Weber’s silent blockbuster on Criterion Channel

The first blockbuster helmed by a woman director in Hollywood, The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), based on the opera by Daniel Auber, presents the legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova in her only feature film performance. It was not uncommon to cast luminaries of stage, opera, and other performing arts in movies as they evolved from […]

Seret Scott and Bill Gunn in the landmark feature film debut by Kathleen Collins

‘Losing Ground’ – The landmark American indie on Milestone Blu-ray/DVD

If you’ve never heard of American playwright and filmmaker Kathleen Collins, don’t feel bad. At least not for yourself. Collins succumbed to cancer in 1988 at the age of 46 after completing just one feature. The independently-made Losing Ground (1982) was produced before the American Indie film culture established itself with the successes of Spike […]