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THE LAST PRINCESS DEOKHYE OF KOREA
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Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA
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THE LAST KOREA ‘S EMPEROR
26th king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Gojong,
moved into the palace in 1897,
where he proclaimed the Great Korean Empire in an effort to assert the nation’s independence from China, Japan, and Russia. However, rather than actually strengthening the nation’s military, Emperor Gojong (1852-1919) would instead spend much of his time and energy renovating and expanding this palace.
He resided here until abdication to his son, Emperor Sunjong, in 1907, when the palace was renamed Doeksugung. When the Japanese occupation began in 1910, Emperor Gojong was placed under house arrest in Doeksugung, where he eventually died in 1919.
We go back four generations because the demise of Korea’s royal family arguably starts in 1907. While Korea officially disappeared in 1910, in practicality Korea lost is sovereignty in 1905, when the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 was entered into. Under the treaty, Korea became Japan’s “protectorate,” and lost the ability to conduct its own foreign affairs. A governor from Japan was sent to Korea to conduct Korea’s foreign affairs instead. It goes without saying that the treaty was not entered into in a fair manner — dozens of armed Japanese soldiers were staring down the emperor and the officials when the treaty was signed.
Emperor Gwangmu (also known as Gojong) of Korea could plainly see where this was going. Although the 1905 Treaty stripped his ability to conduct foreign affairs, the emperor sent secret envoys to 17 major powers, including United Kingdom, France and Germany, to protest the forcible signing of the 1905 Treaty. The highlight of this effort was in 1907, when three Korean envoys were sent to the Second International Peace Convention at the Hague. Although Japan froze out the envoys from attending the convention, Yi Wi-Jong, one of the three envoys, managed to give a speech imploring for help in a separate conference. (The speech fell on deaf ears.)
Although the emperor’s efforts did not create any result, Imperial Japan did not take kindly to Emperor Gwangmu’s extracurricular activity, and demanded that he abdicate his throne. The emperor acquiesced, giving way to his son, Emperor Yunghui (also known as Soonjong) — who would become the last emperor of Korean Empire. Former Emperor Gwangmu died in 1919. Although this is not certain, there are ample indications that he was poisoned.
More after the jump.
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emperor Gwangmu had 13 children, but only four survived into adulthood — three sons and a daughter. And they were survivors in the truest sense. Even as the empire was in precipitous decline, the palace intrigue did not stop. Emperor Gwangmu’s oldest son, born from his third wife, is rumored to have been poisoned by Empress Myeongseong, the emperor’s main wife. The second son, born from Empress Myeongseong, died young. The Emperor’s father may have poisoned him. The crown prince — the third son who would become Emperor Yunghui– was also poisoned in his youth, but barely survived. It was rumored that because of the lingering effects of the poisoning, the crown prince did not have full mental capacity.
In 1910, Emperor Yunghui signed over his empire to Imperial Japan, ending the 600-year dynasty headed by his family. Emperor Yunghui was demoted to a king, subordinate to the Japanese emperor. Korea’s royal family as a whole became Japanese nobility. The policy of Imperial Japan toward Korea’s royal family was clear: the royal family will be either assimilated or killed. The first to go was the Emperor Gwangmu, as described above. Emperor Yunghui did not last much longer — he died in 1926, at age 53.
Perhaps the most interesting figure in this drama is Yi Gang (also known as King Euichin,) second surviving son of Gwangmu. Yi Gang studied in Roanoke College in Virginia and was an officer of Korean imperial military when his older brother signed over the empire. Yi Gang silently assisted Korea’s independence movement, signing petitions and sending funds to support Korean independence fighters and schools. He attempted to flee Korea and join the provisional government in Shanghai, but was arrested in the process and lost his nobility status. Since then, he evaded Imperial Japan’s surveillance by engaging in profuse boozing and whoring while continuing to support the independence movement. During the course of his independence movement, he expressed that he would abdicate his royal status and submit to the rule of the democratic government. He led a quiet life after the independence, and died in 1955 at age 79.
Emperor Yunghui died without a son, and King Euichin was not favored by the Japanese because of his involvement in Korea’s independence movement. Therefore, Gwangmu’s youngest surviving son, King Yeongchin, succeeded the throne. Yi Eun, also known as King Yeongchin, was born in 1897. At age ten, he was taken to Japan to “study” under the patronage of the Japanese governor of Korea — essentially being held as a hostage. As the contemporary Japanese nobility did, Yi Eun was forced to attend the military academy. He became an officer of the Japanese military, and was forced to married Nashimotonomiya Masako, a member of the Japanese royal family. He became the king of Korea after his father died in 1926, but only visited Korea briefly to accept the crown. He became a general of the Japanese army in 1938. He would see the end of World War II in Japan.
Princess Deokhye, Gwangmu’s youngest daughter who was born in 1912, is probably the most tragic figure. She was forcibly moved to Japan and attended a university, where she developed schizophrenia. In 1931, she married a Japanese nobleman in an arranged marriage, and had a daughter. She survived the war, but lost her only daughter in the process. She was abandoned by her husband in 1953 as her schizophrenia worsened. For the next nine years, she would go from mental hospital to mental hospital in Japan. Korean government heard about her in 1962. and President Park Chung-Hee passed the law providing for pension for the former royal family in response. Princess Deokhye returned to Korea, and lived in Changdeok Palace until 1989 when she passed away.
Third and Fourth Generations: Yi Gu and King Euichin’s 21 Children
Yi Eun and Masako had two sons, but the older son died at less than one year old. The last official crown prince of Korean royal family is Yi Gu, born in 1931. He had spent his entire life in Japan, and he worked as a clerk for a company in Tokyo after World War II. In 1953, he moved abroad to study in MIT, and met his future wife — a white American woman named Julia Murlock. Yi Gu married Murlock in 1959 in New York, and he worked for the architectural company of I.M. Pei.
He was also allowed to return to Korea in 1963, and lectured architecture in universities. But he could not adjust to the life in Korea. Although Korea was no longer a monarchy, the Jeonju Yi (Lee) lineage society took (and still takes) its royal family line very, very seriously. Yi Gu received pressure as a crown prince within his family, and that he married a white woman who could not get pregnant only intensified the pressure. Yi Gu separated from Murlock in 1977, and returned to Japan in 1979. He would visit Korea from time to time, but refused to settle down in Korea. He died alone in 2005 in a hotel in Tokyo; apparently Yi Gu favored the hotel because it overlooked his old birthplace. He was buried in a royal garb; his funeral was attended by the prime minister of Korea (equivalent to American vice president) and 1,000 people.
This means that the only surviving royal family in Korea are the descendants of King Euichin, the rebel prince. Remarkably, he had 12 sons and 9 daughters from 13 different women — as far as we know. Fate was not kind to them either. For example, Yi Geon, the oldest son of King Euichin, became a naturalized Japanese citizen in 1947 and severed his ties with Korea completely. Reportedly, before he naturalized, he brought all of his (step-)brothers and sisters together and asked them all to forget about the fact that they belong to the royal family. He died in 1991. Yi Wu, the second son, died in Hiroshima as the officer of the Japanese military when the city was hit by the nuclear bomb. The rest scattered into Korea and America, and led more or less unremarkable lives. Out of the 21 children of King Euichin, ten (four sons, six daughters) are still alive. They live in Korea, New York, Los Angeles and San Jose. After Yi Gu passed away, the Jeonju Yi lineage society established the son of King Euichin’s ninth son to be the crown prince — a man named Yi Sang-Hyup, 50 years old.
|Junghwajeon, the throne hall of Deoksugung Palace. The building burned during the great fire of 1904, and was completely rebuilt in 1906.|
|.||The royal throne inside Junghwajeon. Behind the throne is a screen painting that features five mountain peaks, the sun, and the moon. The painting reinforces the idea that the king is central to the connections between the heaven and the earth and creating a balanced universe.||Gilt dragons in the roof above the throne in Junghwajeon.||Screens on the windows of Junghwajeon.||The back side of Junghwajeon.||Junmyeongdang on the left and Jeukjodang on the right. Junmyeongdang was used as a kindergarten for Princess Deokhye (1912-1989). Both buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1904 and rebuilt by Emperor Gojong.||Seogeodang was the only two story building in Doeksugung Palace until the construction of Seokjojeon. The original Seogeodang building was used as the residence of King Seonjo (1552-1608, reigned 1567-1608) for 16 years following the Japanese invasion of 1592. It is one of the least decorated building in any Korean royal palace, and was intentionally kept that way to remind the kings of the sacrifices suffered by King Seonjo.||Deokhongjeon was used as a reception hall for guests of the royal household. Like many other buildings, it burned in 1904 and was only rebuilt in 1911.||A gate in one of the interior walls inside Deoksugung Palace.||Details on ceiling tiles and support beams above a gate inside the palace.||A gnarled old tree.||Chimneys that vent the underfloor ondol house heating systems in the palace buildings.||Hamnyeongjeon, the building where Emperor Gojong lived until his death in 1919. Unlike most traditional Korean buildings, Hamnyeongjeon was L-shaped. Like most of the other palace buildings, it was burned in the 1904 fire and rebuilt soon after.||Seokjojeon is a large, three-story stone building built in a western style by Emperor Gojong and used to receive foreign envoys. Construction on the building began in 1900 and was completed in 1909.||Following liberation from the Japanese in 1945, Seokjojeon was used by the US-USSR Joint Commission before the country’s partition into two separate governments. The building was later was used to house both the National Museum and then the Royal Museum before they were moved to other locations. Today, it houses government records offices and is not open to the public.||These are the remnants of Borugak Jagyeongnu, one of the world’s oldest water clocks. Water flowed from basin to basin in such a precise way as to be able to strike a bell on the hour. It was built in 1434 during the reign of King Sejong (1397-1450, reigned 1418-1450), and was fine-tuned in 1536 during the reign of King Jungjong (1488-1544, reigned 1506-1544). The water clock was used at night, when sundials were not available.||This large bell was originally in the Heungcheonsa Temple in Seoul, one of the temples favored by Joseon Dynasty royalty, and was used in Buddhist religious ceremonies. The bell was cast in 1462.||The Singijeon carriage is the world’s oldest multi-rocket launcher for which original schematics remain intact. Each tube in the carriage could launch a rocket, and all the rockets were launched at the same time. The first Singijeon was made by Choe Museon in 1377, who independently invented gunpowder from indigenous materials after being frustrated by efforts of the Chinese to keep it a secret.||At noon, the palace has a changing of the guards ceremony at Daehanmun Gate.||Ceremonial palace guards just inside Daehanmun, the main gate into Doeksugung Palace.||The weapons these guards are carrying are probably not very dangerous.||A traditional martial band is marching across the wide sidewalk in front of the gate. Across the street is Seoul Plaza, and in the background are some of the modern office buildings of downtown Seoul.||The band, marching by a Dunkin’ Donuts store.|
Korea’s first electric lamp was lighted in the Geoncheonggung, Gyeongbokgung palace in 1887.
|Korea’s first electric lamp by Edison Electric Light Company (Mar., 1887)|
|A newspaper advertisement for Rohan Bank (Mar., 15th, 1898. The Independent)|
|Prince Yi Woo (1912-1945)||Princess Deokhye|
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Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Location: In the Pacific ocean
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Reliving Korea’s Last Royalty at Nakseonjae
|Seoul 1938 (in Color), and Korea 1899|
|Pictures by Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956)|
! These works by Elizabeth Keith are under public domain in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) because its term of copyright has expired there.
Quoted from wikipedia:
According to Articles 39 to 44 of the Copyright Act of the Republic of Korea, under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Republic of Korea all copyrighted works enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the creator (there being multiple creators, the creator who dies last) or 50 years after publication when made public in the name of an organization.
|Young Deokhye, the last Princess of the Joseon Dynasty, poses in a Kimono. She was forced to leave Joseon for Japan at age 12.
the life of Najin
and the expansion of oppression of the Koreans
at the same time. Christianity was growing popular in Korea, so Najin was able to go to one of the mission schools and received an education that was rare in her time. She avoided an early marriage, upon which her father had decided without her permission, by finding a place in the royal palace
as a companion to Princess Deokhye
and by continuing her education at the same time. The princess had a melancholy personality and Najin brightened up her coddled and sheltered life. Deokhye’s brother, Crown Prince Yi Eun (Euimin) had been sent to Japan when he was only 10 years old, allegedly for his studies.
According to Donald Keene in The Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World 1952-1912,
“Although he never was so described, the prince served as a hostage [for Japan], as the Korean Emperor realized.”
Princess Deokhye was also sent to Japan against her wishes to marry a Japanese, after the Korean emperor died mysteriously.
A ceremonial top (dangui) worn by Princess Deokhye as a child and recently discovered at the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Japan /Courtesy of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage
After the princess left the palace, Najin returned home .
At this point the oppression towards the Koreans was heightened when imprisonment and taxes were increased and the Korean newspapers were stopped. All Korean citizens had to speak Japanese.
the Japanese military government sent hundreds of thousands of Koreans to Japan as army recruits or as laborers in mines and companies, plus thousands of young women were taken to the growing to war front in Asia to follow the troops as “comfort women.” As historian Andrew C Nahm relates, “Korea changed much during this period, but Korean nationalism did not diminish and the desire to be free from Japanese colonialism persisted.”
|Princess Deokhye’s infant hanbok jeogori (bottom) and dressing stand are currently owned by Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Japan.|
|The inside of Seokjojeon can be seen above left, with Crown Prince Yeongchin, Sunjong, Gojong, Eombi (one of Gojong’s wives) and Princess Deokhye, seated from left to right. Provided by Myongji University-LG Yeonam Library|
|Nakseonjae in Changdeokgung|
Princess dukhye and takeyuki so, 1931.JPG
[IHT] 입력 2006.10.22 20:23 / 수정 2006.10.23 20:09
|▶ Yi Hae-won, who was recently restored as the new empress of Korea. By Choi Jae-young|
The crowning of Korea’s “new empress” on Sept. 29 was presented by her backers as a means to unite royal descendants spread across the country and “speak as one voice.” What it did instead was to set family members against each other as they dispute not only the line of descent but also the legitimacy of the private organization that named Yi Hae-won as empress of South Korea.
Meeting Ms. Yi was itself quite an exercise. The day of the meeting, a spokesman from the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk (the Empire of Korea) postponed the interview for two hours, at a venue the JoongAng Daily was asked not to reveal “for reasons of security,” and the reporter had to wait another two hours until the empress arrived. The 88-year-old is only about 1.3 meters tall (4 foot, 3 inches) and a little stooped, but the small woman in a jade green hanbok looked composed and tenacious.
Once Ms. Yi arrived and settled herself for the interview, organization spokesman Lee Seong-joo asked the reporter and a handful of men who accompanied her to bow to her four times, bending from the waist to make almost a right angle. “That’s the right way to greet an empress in the royal custom,” he said. The other men in the room all claimed to be of the Lee clan, as was the first emperor of the Joseon dynasty. (Yi and Lee are different spellings of the same family name.) The men stayed throughout the short interview, interrupting and answering questions addressed to Ms. Yi, as did the spokesman.
“I am legitimate, no matter who says what,” the empress declared, referring to opposition to her claim, particularly from the Jeonju Lee Royal Family Members Foundation.
|▶ Yi Won, front, and Yi Seok, back, at the funeral of Yi Ku on July 24, 2005. By Choi Jae-young|
She said is the oldest surviving child of Prince Uichin (1877-1955), the fifth son of Emperor Gojong (1852-1919). Official records show that Prince Uichin fathered 12 sons and nine daughters.
“I was born to the approved wife of Prince Uichin,” Ms. Yi continued, “I will restore the imperial culture.”
The 10th of those sons, Ms. Yi’s younger brother Yi Seok, thinks his sister was persuaded to take the title by a group of Lee family members because of her difficult life.
After Korea’s liberation from Japan, the new government nationalized the royal fortune and ousted the family from its palaces. Ms. Yi raised three sons and a daughter by herself after her husband was kidnapped and taken to the North during the Korean War. She said she doesn’t know if her husband is still alive, and her daughter died at the age of 47. Two of her sons live in the United States, where she also lived for 10 years until 2002. Since then, Ms. Yi, who spent her first 15 years in a palace, has lived in a 13.2-square-meter (142 square-foot) room in Hanam, Gyeonggi province, with her second son.
|▶ Empress Yi Hae-won’s wedding at 19 to Lee Seung-gyu. Provided by the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk|
“I don’t mind if my sister [Yi Hae-won] takes the empress seat or not,” Yi Seok said. “However, the family members in direct line didn’t approve such a ceremony. I was invited to the coronation, but I didn’t attend because I didn’t know who [the association members are].”
What he does mind, and what aroused some controversy in Korean society, is the way Ms. Yi was named empress. There was no prior public discussion on the status of an empire or the imperial family within Korea, although an August poll by Realmeter, a research company, did ask what Koreans thought about having a symbolic royal family. Of the 460 Koreans aged 19 or older who were polled, just under 55 percent supported the idea.
“There should have first been enough discussion to get public approval,” said Yi Seok. “When I give lectures on the history of the Korean royal family, I see a lot of people who miss the empire.” He added, “I plan to collect signatures from people and if more than 1 million want to restore the empire, even though it’s just symbolic, I will present that list to the president and ask him to restore the imperial culture and allow some descendants to live in Gyeongbok or Changdeok palaces.”
Members of the Jeonju Lee Royal Family Members Foundation said the family had already selected who should succeed the late Yi Ku, the last direct heir to the throne and the son of Crown Prince Yeongchin, the seventh son of Emperor Gojong.
“[Having an empress] doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Lee Jeong-jae, an official of the foundation, with obvious anger. “When Yi Ku passed away in July of last year, we selected Yi Won as his successor,” he said. Yi Won is a son of Yi Chung-gil, the surviving ninth son of Prince Uichin. “Such [a restoration] ceremony will only confuse the Korean people,” added Lee Yong-kyu, the vice chairman of the foundation. “Korea is not a constitutional monarchy, the royal descendant’s role is limited to that of an officiating priest and his ruling role was removed a long time ago,” he said. In Confucian custom, a woman cannot lead a ritual to honor ancestors.
“The direct descendants of the empire had a family meeting right after the news that Yi Ku passed away, and decided to have Yi Won entered in the family register of Yi Ku as a son,” said the vice chairman. “We just followed their decision.”
That family meeting is in itself controversial. The vice chairman said that both Ms. Yi and her younger brother, as imperial family members, attended the meeting. Yi Seok and Yi Hae-won, however, told the JoongAng Daily that not only were they not at the meeting, they were not even aware of it. “Adopting a son after death doesn’t make any sense,” Yi Seok said angrily by phone.
“I heard that Crown Princess Yi Bang-ja [the wife of Crown Prince Yeongchin] wrote a will before she died, and in it she named me as first successor,” he added. He said Kim Sang-ryeol, who was close to the Crown Princess, is in possession of that will. Mr. Kim, however, refused to confirm what the will contained, but said he plans to reveal its contents to the public someday.
Added to all the infighting, the legitimacy of those calling themselves the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk is unclear. Although its members say that they are close relatives of the royal family, they are not listed in the direct imperial family records.
The association is now preparing a residence and office for Ms. Yi in a building near Seoul Station, using two floors with a total area of about 396 square meters. The spokesman said that the building owner is also a member of the organization, and supports the Empire of Korea.
“We’re not asking the government to financially support us. We’ll raise funds from supporters of the royal family,” Mr. Lee said. “But as the empress is old, we don’t have much time to restore the royal tradition and legitimacy, which will contribute to the development of Korea’s history and culture,” he added.
The last words the empress spoke during the interview only added to the questions one might have about the association. “They treat me like a puppet,” she said as she took her leave.
The root of the current family feud goes back to the time of Emperor Gojong, who was deprived of diplomatic power in 1905 by Japan before it colonized Korea in 1910. Emperor Gojong had nine sons and four daughters, but only four lived long enough to marry: Emperor Sunjong, Prince Uichin, Crown Prince Yeongchin and Princess Deokhye. Prince Uichin as the second-eldest son, was next in line, but as he participated in Korea’s independence movement, the Japanese government forced Emperor Sunjong, who had no children, to leave the title to Prince Yeongchin.
Hirobumi Ito, the resident general during the Joseon dynasty, took the crown prince to Japan at the age of 11 to be educated there, where he was married to Masako Nashimotonomiya, better known as Crown Princess Yi Bang-ja, who was a member of Japan’s royal family. The crown princess, who was a candidate to become Japan’s empress, recalled in her autobiography that she was chosen as Prince Yeongchin’s wife in an attempt to end the Joseon royal line, as Japanese doctors had diagnosed her as infertile. However, she gave birth to two sons, Jin and Ku. Jin died at the age of eight months, leaving Ku, as the only surviving son of the last crown prince, in the main line of descent.
Yi Ku, who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and married an American Julia Mullock, had no children. He died last year in a hotel room in Japan, leaving no clear successor.
VINTAGE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
Eight of Prince Uichin’s children , his first wife, Kim Deok-soo, center front, and two court ladies behind her. Second from the right is Yi Hae-won. Provided by the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk
Prince Uichin. Provided by the Imperial Family Association of Daehanjeguk
MODERN FILM SCENE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
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A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards.
Chronologic Historic Collections
The first projected sequential proto-movie was made by Eadweard Muybridge some time between 1877 and 1880
. The first narrative film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888.
West Orange, New Jersey, used December 1892
Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892),
The Black Maria, Edison’s First Motion Picture Studio,
West Orange, New Jersey,
used between December 1892 and January 1901.
Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies
Edison and Dickson continued to experiment with motion pictures in the late 1880s and into the 1890s. Dickson designed the Black Maria, the first movie studio, which was completed in 1893. The name was derived from the slang for the police paddy wagons that the studio was said to resemble. Between 1893 and 1903, Edison produced more than 250 films at the Black Maria, including many of those found in the Edison Motion Pictures collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the films are short, as it was believed that people would not stand the “flickers” for more than ten minutes.
Turn-of-the-century copyright law provided protection for photographs but not for motion pictures. Therefore, a number of early film producers protected their work by copyrighting paper contact prints (paper prints) of the film’s individual frames.
View the film which was reconstructed from the paper print.
Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze
by W. K. L. Dickson, one of Edison’s assistants,
January 7, 1894.
Thomas Edison with his Home Kinetoscope, introduced 1912
With the lack of natural color processing available, films of the silent era were frequently dipped in dyestuffs and dyed various shades and hues to signal a mood or represent a time of day. Blue represented night scenes, yellow or amber meant day. Red represented fire and green represented a mysterious mood. Similarly, toning of film (such as the common silent film generalization of sepia-toning) with special solutions replaced the silver particles in the film stock with salts or dyes of various colors. A combination of tinting and toning could be used as an effect that could be striking.
Some films were hand-tinted, such as Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1894), from Edison Studios. In it, Annabelle Whitford, a young dancer from Broadway, is dressed in white veils that appear to change colors as she dances.
Georges Méliès, the first truly great director in movie
Hand coloring was often used in the early “trick” and fantasy films of Europe, especially those by Georges Méliès.
On August 31, 1897, Thomas Edison received a patent for the kinetographic camera, “a certain new and useful Improvement in Kinetoscopes,” the forerunner of the motion picture film projector. Edison and his assistant, W. K. L. Dickson, had begun work on the project—to enliven sound recordings with moving pictures—in hopes of boosting sales of the phonograph, which Edison had invented in 1877. Unable to synchronize the two media, he introduced the kinetoscope, a device for viewing moving pictures without sound—on which work had begun in 1889. Patents were filed for the kinetoscope and kinetograph in August 1891.
The kinetoscope (viewer), which Edison initially considered an insignificant toy, had become an immediate success about a decade earlier. The invention was soon replaced, however, by screen projectors that made it possible for more than one person to view the novel silent movies at a time.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.,
copyright March 20, 1899.
The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920
Unidentified silent film 1910
By the time that the law was amended in 1912, some 3,500 paper prints had been deposited for copyright registration. This practice proved fortuitous, as many early films have been lost due to disintegration and the high combustibility caused by early film’s nitrate base. Many of these paper contact prints were converted back to film in the 1950s, and hundreds were digitized in the 1990s.
, 1933-Present to see photos and written historical and descriptive data of the Edison’s laboratories in New Jersey.
The early studios were located in the New York City area.
In December 1908,
Edison led the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company in an attempt to control the industry and shut out smaller producers. The “Edison Trust,” as it was nicknamed, was made up of Edison, Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Productions, Lubin Studios, Georges Méliès, Pathé, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph Studios, and dominated distribution through the General Film Company.
From the beginning, music was recognized as essential, contributing to the atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues. (Musicians sometimes played on film sets during shooting for similar reasons.) Small town and neighborhood movie theatres usually had a pianist. Beginning in the mid-1910s, large city theaters tended to have organists or ensembles of musicians. Massive theater organs were designed to fill a gap between a simple piano soloist and a larger orchestra. Theatre organs had a wide range of special effects; theatrical organs such as the famous “Mighty Wurlitzer” could simulate some orchestral sounds along with a number of percussion effects such as bass drums and cymbals and sound effects ranging from galloping horses to rolling thunder.Film scores for early silent films were either improvised or compiled of classical or theatrical repertory music. Once full features became commonplace, however, music was compiled from photoplay music by the pianist, organist, orchestra conductor or the movie studio itself, which included a cue sheet with the film. These sheets were often lengthy, with detailed notes about effects and moods to watch for
By the beginning of the 1910s, with the onset of feature-length films, tinting was used as another mood setter, just as commonplace as music. The director D. W. Griffith displayed a constant interest and concern about color, and used tinting as a special effect in many of his films. His 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation, used a number of colors, including amber, blue, lavender, and a striking red tint for scenes such as the “burning of Atlanta” and the ride of the Ku Klux Klan at the climax of the picture. Griffith later invented a color system in which colored lights flashed on areas of the screen to achieve a color effect.
Lillian Gish was a major star of the silent era with one of the longest careers, working from 1912
The Motion Picture Patents Co. and the General Film Co. were found guilty of antitrust violation in October 1915, and were dissolved.
Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892), they were moved to the Bronx, New York (1907). Fox (1909) and Biograph (1906) started in Manhattan, with studios in St George Staten Island. Others films were shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The first westerns were filmed at Scott’s Movie Ranch. Cowboys and Indians galloped across Fred Scott’s movie ranch in South Beach, Staten Island), which had a frontier main street, a wide selection of stagecoaches and a 56-foot stockade. The island provided a serviceable stand-in for locations as varied as the Sahara desert and a British cricket pitch. War scenes were shot on the plains of Grasmere, Staten Island. The Perils of Pauline and its even more popular sequel The Exploits of Elaine were filmed largely on the island. So was the 1906 blockbuster Life of a Cowboy, by Edwin S. Porter. Companies and filming moved to the west coast around 1911.
Starting with the mostly original score composed by Joseph Carl Breil for D. W. Griffith‘s groundbreaking epic The Birth of a Nation (USA, 1915) it became relatively common for the biggest-budgeted films to arrive at the exhibiting theater with original, specially composed scores.
When organists or pianists used sheet music, they still might add improvisatory flourishes to heighten the drama onscreen. Even when special effects were not indicated in the score, if an organist was playing a theater organ capable of an unusual sound effect, such as a “galloping horses” effect, it would be used for dramatic horseback chases.
By the height of the silent era, movies were the single largest source of employment for instrumental musicians (at least in America). But the introduction of talkies, which happened simultaneously with the onset of the Great Depression, was devastating to many musicians.
Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. Much silent film acting is apt to strike modern-day audiences as simplistic or campy. The melodramatic acting style was in some cases a habit actors transferred from their former stage experience. The pervading presence of stage actors in film was the cause of this outburst from director Marshall Neilan in 1917: “The sooner the stage people who have come into pictures get out, the better for the pictures.”
As motion pictures eventually increased in length, a replacement was needed for the in-house interpreter who would explain parts of the film. Because silent films had no synchronized sound for dialogue, onscreen intertitles were used to narrate story points, present key dialogue and sometimes even comment on the action for the cinema audience. The title writer became a key professional in silent film and was often separate from the scenario writer who created the story. Intertitles (or titles as they were generally called at the time) often became graphic elements themselves, featuring illustrations or abstract decoration that commented on the action.
Unidentified silent film
maturity in the “silent era”(1894-1929) before silent films were replaced by “talking pictures” in the late 1920s. Many film scholars and buffs argue that the aesthetic quality of cinema decreased for several years until directors, actors, and production staff adapted to the new “talkies“.
Interest in the scoring of silent films fell somewhat out of fashion during the 1960s and 1970s. There was a belief in many college film programs and repertory cinemas that audiences should experience silent film as a pure visual medium, undistracted by music. This belief may have been encouraged by the poor quality of the music tracks found on many silent film reprints of the time. More recently, there has been a revival of interest in presenting silent films with quality musical scores, either reworkings of period scores or cue sheets, or composition of appropriate original scores. A watershed event in this context was Kevin Brownlow‘s 1980 restoration of Abel Gance‘s Napoléon (1927) featuring a score by Carl Davis. Brownlow’s restoration was later distributed in America re-edited and shortened by Francis Ford Coppola with a live orchestral score composed by his father Carmine Coppola.
In 1984, a restoration of Metropolis (1927) with new score by producer/composer Giorgio Moroder was another turning point in modern day interest in silent films. Although the contemporary score, which included pop songs by Freddy Mercury of Queen, Pat Benatar and Jon Anderson of Yes was controversial, the door had been opened for a new approach to presentation of classic “silent” films.
Music ensembles currently perform traditional and contemporary scores for silent films. Purveyors of the traditional approach include organists and pianists such as Dennis James, Rick Friend, Chris Elliott, Dennis Scott, Clark Wilson and Jim Riggs. Orchestral conductors such as Gillian B. Anderson, Carl Davis, Carl Daehler, and Robert Israel have written and compiled scores for numerous silent films. In addition to composing new film scores, Timothy Brock has restored many of Charlie Chaplin‘s scores.
Contemporary music ensembles are helping to introduce classic silent films to a wider audience through a broad range of musical styles and approaches. Some performers create new compositions using traditional musical instruments while others add electronic sounds, modern harmonies, rhythms, improvisation and sound design elements to enhance the film watching experience. Among the contemporary ensembles in this category are Alloy Orchestra, Club Foot Orchestra, Silent Orchestra, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and The Reel Music Ensemble. Alloy Orchestra, which began performing in 1990, is among the first of the new wave of silent film music ensembles.
The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the perfection of the audion amplifier tube and introduction of the Vitaphone system.
1921 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the highest-grossing silent films.
After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, “talkies” became more and more commonplace. Within a decade, popular production of silent films had ceased.
In any case, the large image size and unprecedented intimacy the actor enjoyed with the audience began to affect acting style, making for more subtlety of expression. Actresses such as Mary Pickford in all her films, Eleonora Duse in the Italian film Cenere (1916), Janet Gaynor in Sunrise, Priscilla Dean in Outside the Law and The Dice Woman and Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo in most of their performances made restraint and easy naturalism in acting a virtue. Directors such as Albert Capellani (a French director who also did work in America directing Alla Nazimova films) and Maurice Tourneur insisted on naturalism in their films; Tourneur had been just such a minimalist in his prior stage productions. By the mid-1920s many American silent films had adopted a more naturalistic acting style, though not all actors and directors accepted naturalistic, low-key acting straight away; as late as 1927 films featuring expressionistic acting styles such as Metropolis were still being released. Some viewers liked the flamboyant acting for its escape value, and some countries were later than the United States in embracing naturalistic style in their films. In fact today the level of naturalism in acting varies from film to film and our favourites may not be the most naturalistic. Just as today, a film’s success depended upon the setting, the mood, the script, the skills of the director, and the overall talent of the cast.
Until the standardization of the projection speed of 24 frames per second (fps) for sound films between 1926
Some countries devised other ways of bringing sound to silent films. The early cinema of Brazil featured fitas cantatas: filmed operettas with singers performing behind the screen. In Japan, films had not only live music but also the benshi, a live narrator who provided commentary and character voices. The benshi became a central element in Japanese film, as well as providing translation for foreign (mostly American) movies. The popularity of the benshi was one reason why silent films persisted well into the 1930s in Japan.
Few film scores survive intact from this period, and musicologists are still confronted by questions when they attempt to precisely reconstruct those that remain. Scores can be distinguished as complete reconstructions of composed scores, newly composed for the occasion, assembled from already existing music libraries, or even improvised.
silent films were shot at variable speeds (or “frame rates“) anywhere from 12 to 26 fps, depending on the year and studio. “Standard silent film speed” is often said to be 16 fps as a result of the Lumière brothers’ Cinematographé, but industry practice varied considerably; there was no actual standard. Cameramen of the era insisted that their cranking technique was exactly 16 fps, but modern examination of the films shows this to be in error, that they often cranked faster. Unless carefully shown at their intended speeds silent films can appear unnaturally fast. However, some scenes were intentionally undercranked during shooting to accelerate the action—particularly for comedies and action films.
Slow projection of a cellulose nitrate base film carried a risk of fire, as each frame was exposed for a longer time to the intense heat of the projection lamp; but there were other reasons to project a film at a greater pace. Often projectionists received general instructions from the distributors on the musical director’s cue sheet as to how fast particular reels or scenes should be projected. In rare instances, usually for larger productions, cue sheets specifically for the projectionist provided a detailed guide to presenting the film. Theaters also—to maximize profit—sometimes varied projection speeds depending on the time of day or popularity of a film, and to fit a film into a prescribed time slot.
By using projectors with dual- and triple-blade shutters the projected rate was multiplied two or three times higher than the number of film frames—each frame was flashed two or three times on screen. Early studies by Thomas Edison determined that any rate below 46 images per second “will strain the eye.” A three-blade shutter projecting a 16 fps film would slightly surpass this mark, giving the audience 48 images per second. A 35 mm film frame rate of 24 fps translates to a film speed of 456 millimetres (18.0 in) per second. One 1,000-foot (300 m) reel requires 11 minutes and 7 seconds to be projected at 24 fps, while a 16 fps projection of the same reel would take 16 minutes and 40 seconds; 304 millimetres (12.0 in) per second.
Although attempts to create sync-sound motion pictures go back to the Edison lab in 1896, the technology became well-developed only in the early 1920s. The next few years saw a race to design, implement, and market several rival sound-on-disc and sound-on-film sound formats, such as Photokinema (1921), Phonofilm (1923), Vitaphone (1926), Fox Movietone (1927), and RCA Photophone (1928).
Although the release of The Jazz Singer (1927) by Warner Brothers marked the first commercially successful sound film, silent films were the majority of features released in both 1927 and 1928, along with so-called goat-glanded films: silents with a section of sound film inserted. Thus the modern sound film era may be regarded as coming to dominance beginning in 1929.
For a listing of notable silent era films, see list of years in film for the years between the beginning of film and 1928. The following list includes only films produced in the sound era with the specific artistic intention of being silent.
In the 1950s,
many telecine conversions of silent films at grossly incorrect frame rates for broadcast television may have alienated viewers. Film speed is often a vexed issue among scholars and film buffs in the presentation of silents today, especially when it comes to DVD releases of restored films; the 2002 restoration of Metropolis (Germany, 1927) may be the most fiercely debated example.
Several filmmakers have paid homage to the comedies of the silent era, including Jacques Tati with his Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) and Mel Brooks with Silent Movie (1976). Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien‘s acclaimed drama Three Times (2005) is silent during its middle third, complete with intertitles; Stanley Tucci‘s The Impostors has an opening silent sequence in the style of early silent comedies. Brazilian filmmaker Renato Falcão’s Margarette’s Feast (2003) is silent. Writer / Director Michael Pleckaitis puts his own twist on the genre with Silent (2007). While not silent, the Mr. Bean TV show and movies have used the title character’s non-talkative nature to create a similar style of humor.
The 1999 German film Tuvalu is mostly silent; the small amount of dialog is an odd mix of European languages, increasing the film’s universality. Guy Maddin won awards for his homage to Soviet era silent films with his short The Heart of the World after which he made a feature-length silent, Brand Upon the Brain! (2006), incorporating live Foley artists, narration and orchestra at select showings. Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a highly fictionalized depiction of the filming of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau‘s classic silent vampire movie Nosferatu (1922). Werner Herzog honored the same film in his own version, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979).
Some films draw a direct contrast between the silent film era and the era of talkies. Sunset Boulevard shows the disconnect between the two eras in the character of Norma Desmond, played by silent film star Gloria Swanson, and Singin’ in the Rain deals with the period where the people of Hollywood had to face changing from making silents to talkies. Peter Bogdanovich‘s affectionate 1976 film Nickelodeon deals with the turmoil of silent filmmaking in Hollywood during the early 1910s, leading up to the release of D. W. Griffith‘s 1915 epic The Birth of a Nation.
In 1999, the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki produced Juha, which captures the style of a silent film, using intertitles in place of spoken dialogue. In India, the 1988 film Pushpak, starring Kamal Hassan, was a black comedy entirely devoid of dialog. The 2007 Australian film Dr Plonk, was a silent comedy directed by Rolf de Heer. Stage plays have drawn upon silent film styles and sources. Actor/writers Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore staged their Off-Broadway slapstick comedy Silent Laughter as a live action tribute to the silent screen era. Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford created and starred in All Wear Bowlers (2004), which started as an homage to Laurel and Hardy then evolved to incorporate life-sized silent film sequences of Sobelle and Lyford who jump back and forth between live action and the silver screen. The 1940 animated film Fantasia, which is eight different animation sequences set to music, can be considered a silent film, with only one short scene involving dialogue. The 1952 espionage film The Thief has music and sound effects, but no dialogue.
In 2005, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced a silent film version of Lovecraft’s story The Call of Cthulhu. This film maintained a period-accurate filming style, and was received as both “the best HPL adaptation to date” and, referring to the decision to make it as a silent movie, “a brilliant conceit.” 
The 2011 French film The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, plays as a silent film and is set in Hollywood during the silent era. It also includes segments of fictitious silent films starring its protagonists.
Many early motion pictures are lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75% of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data. Major silent films presumed lost include Saved from the Titanic (1912); The Apostle, the world’s first animated feature film (1917); Cleopatra (1917); Arirang (1926); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1927); The Great Gatsby (1926); and London After Midnight (1927). Though most lost silent films will never be recovered, some have been discovered in film archives or private collections.
In 1978 in Dawson City, Yukon, a bulldozer uncovered buried reels of nitrate film during excavation of a landfill. Dawson City was once the end of the distribution line for many films. The retired titles were stored at the local library until 1929 when the flammable nitrate was used as landfill in a condemned swimming pool. Stored for 50 years under the permafrost of the Yukon, the films turned out to be extremely well preserved. Included were films by Pearl White, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, and Lon Chaney. These films are now housed at the Library of Congress. The degradation of old film stock can be slowed through proper archiving, or films can be transferred to CD-ROM or other digital media for preservation. Silent film preservation has been a high priority among film historians.
Dr IWAN ‘S CYBERMUSEUM
THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM
MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA PERTAMA DI INDONESIA
DALAM PROSES UNTUK MENDAPATKAN SERTIFIKAT MURI
PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE
Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA
THE CUTE’S INNOCENT EXPRESSION ART PHOTOGRAPHY
I.THE CUTE EURO INNOCENT EXPRESSION
If You want to choose a girlfriend,fiance or Wife,please look rthdeir innocent exprsession like the art photography below.
AND WHEN YOU MET HER,PLEASE SING A LOVE SONG
VISION OF YOU VISION OF BLUE
YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY HEAT OR PLEASE RELEASE ME AND LET GO IF THEIR EXPRESSION NOT INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!
II.THE CUTE ASIA INNOCENT EXPRESSION
iF YOU LOOK AT THEIR INNOCENT BODY LANGUAGE,P,LEASE DON’T LET HER GO
GIVE HER THE ROSE FLOWER WITH DIAMOND RING
WILL YOU ASCEPT THIS RING
SHE SAID WO AI NI
I LOVE YOU
WHICH ONE YOU CHOOSE PLEASE TELL ME VIA COMMMENT
the end @ copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011