- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The afterword from the Library of Congress (LC) says this book's purpose is "to increase the visibility of its film collections." It does that. But as a primer on the history and glories of film's silent era, it fails. Journalist Kobel's text is shallow, disorganized, and full of errors, including those of omission and internal contradiction. A photo caption calls Theda Bara "the screen's first star," but the book's spotty A-to-Z section on "The Stars" doesn't include her, also leaving out all of silent film's geniuses of comedy (who receive insufficient coverage in the "Genres" section). Clara Bow is left "reclusive and melancholy" after 1933, with no word on her happy marriage to star Rex Bell or the last 30-odd years of her life. Predictably, the "cameras worshipped" Garbo, but her magical cameraman William Daniels is unmentioned. Some labels get stuck on the wrong person-Valentino was the "first major star to die young"-or trot out unsubstantiated gossip-Valentino had been a "petty thief." LC's images, especially those reproduced in color, are a treat for the uninitiated; few will seem rare or unique to specialists. Only for comprehensive film collections.