Saturday, April 17, 2010

Iceland and silent film, in the news

The recent eruption of a volcano in Iceland and the havoc it is causing across Europe has returned the island nation to the news.

During the silent film era, the motion picture was a international art form. And even an European island nation in the northern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean enjoyed films from all around the world. Here is a typical front page from the Morgunbladid newspaper from Reykjavik, Iceland. It dates from November, 1925. As can be clearly seen in the lower right hand corner, silent films from overseas played in the Icelandic capitol. Why, that's Ben Turpin on the front page!

Individuals interested in further exploring the online Morgunbladid newspaper archive should visit this page. It is part of the VESTNORD project (1696-2002). Of course, the handful of newspapers found there are in the Icelandic language, but keyword searches in English under the name of an actor or actress will get some results. And from there, one can start to piece together bit and pieces.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for having posted this - a great discovery. Anyone interested in British silents should type in the search term 'coleby' for the director A.E. Coleby, who made a feature film THE PRODIGAL SON in Iceland, released in 1923. There are many reports on the production - all in Icelandic though, and no illustrations so far as I can see.