Tag Archives: athletic heroines

In search of Astrea, mysterious ‘strongwoman’ of the Italian silent cinema

The silent era was something of a golden age for athletic female stars. American serial queens were beloved by audiences around the world—it would be hard to overestimate how popular (and bankable) stars like Pearl White were at their peak. … Continue reading

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Emilie Sannom, daredevil of the movies

In the history of film, the 1910s was the premier decade for female action stars. Long before Ellen Ripley became the prototype for the modern female badass, silent movie screens were filled with fearless women, female daredevils, adventurers and spies. … Continue reading

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Silent film fiction: Pearl White, Bert Williams, and Missing Reels

It’s been some time since I’ve done a book review post. Here I’ll talk about my recent fiction reads dealing with silent films or film performers: one novel about a lost film search, and two fictional biographies, tracing the lives … Continue reading

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Better living through athletics: Li Lili in 体育皇后 | Queen of Sports (CN 1934)

The first Chinese silent film that I ever saw was 1934’s 体育皇后, or Queen of Sports. It would have been 5 or 6 years ago, at the lantern festival in my home city, where they showed a few films on … Continue reading

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Retracing the history of an action blockbuster at 100: Il jockey della morte | The Jockey of Death (IT 1915) and its sequel, Il circo della morte (1916)

A stolen child, a skeleton mascot, a circus act, and a stunt-filled chase as a man in a skeleton suit and a female acrobat go on the run: continuing this month’s theme of ‘Adventure 1915’ is Il jockey della morte, an Italian … Continue reading

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