Sep 13, 2014

After Orphans, a Thanhouser tour of Overamstel

It's hard to think of anyone more wholeheartedly dedicated to orphan film rescue and restoration than Ned Thanhouser, a regular symposium attendee and this year a presenter, with the newly preserved 1915 comedy short Clarence Cheats at Croquet (now online). 

The nonprofit Thanhouser Company Film Preservation enterprise has tracked down some 225 of the more than 1,000 films produced by his grandparents' company between 1909 and 1917. A dozen DVD releases later, next month he will debut his documentary The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema at the Giornate del Cinema Muto, in Pordenone, Italy.

Following that, in December, we'll see the release of a double DVD set of the Thanhouser films held by EYE Netherlands Film Institute. Meanwhile, Ned offers this preview of one of the bonus features. The documentary begins, generously, with a nod to Orphans 9 in Amsterdam, as it takes us inside EYE's noted archive. Guest starring silent film curator Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi and restorationist Annike Kross.

Read more at, which includes full access to the encyclopedic history by Q. David Bowers

And the Orphan Film Symposium thanks Ned for giving attendees of the Amsterdam edition complimentary copies of the Dickens disc, with the three-reeler David Copperfield (1911) and the two-reel Nicholas Nickleby (1912), with music by Philip  Carli.