Today I’m going recommend a wonderful new compilation DVD with only one animated film on it. Accidentally Preserved Volume 1 collects nine “rare or lost silent films” and makes them available courtesy of a crowd-funded project produced and scored by noted silent film accompanist Ben Model.
Sourced from a private collection of films owned by Model, Accidentally Preserved mainly features obscure live action shorts by lesser-known comedians Billy Franey, Wallace Lupino, Paul Parrott (brother of Charley Chase), Clyde Cook and Cliff Bowes. The one cartoon contained here is a rare and very sharp print of Mechanical Doll (1922), a Max Fleischer “Out of the Inkwell” cartoon. This is one of the early ones where Dave is still being rotoscoped in the clown suit in many scenes. Here’s a couple of frames from the film:
The collection will be released via Amazon’s CreateSpace DVD-on-Demand service. This is the first time that this new business model for the distribution of silent films will be utilized to make these rarities commercially available to the public after decades of obscurity. Accidentally Preserved: Rare & Lost Silent Films from Vintage 16mm Prints sells for $19.95, and will be available June 11, 2013 at Amazon.com. The films will also be released on Model’s YouTube channel on a bi-weekly basis starting mid-June. Film notes were written by noted silent film historian Steve Massa and are available online at accidentallypreserved.com.
For an example of Mr. Model’s film quality and his piano accompaniment, here is a rare film from his collection apart from this DVD set – a rare 1925 Christmas Seals promotional film – animated by Dick Huemer.