I got an unexpected bonus last year when I arrived at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus to return Reel One of The Awakening of Helena Richie which we had borrowed for the Schoharie Free Street Movies Centennial. It was the first day of their annual ‘Mostly Lost’ silent film identification workshop. The organizers were kind enough to let me sit in for a session before I had to hit the road back to New York. There is nothing else quite like it out there in the world of film geek-ery.
Since 2012, the event has been bringing together a collection of film experts, both professional and amateur alike, to work together to find out as much information as possible about the unknown, or little-known, silent films in the LOC’s collection. During the screenings, attendees are encouraged to call out the names of actors, locations, car models, production companies or anything else they recognize about each film. And that’s what happened while I was there. It was really quite extraordinary and numerous ‘lost’ films had important aspects of their provenance identified in these sessions by those in the crowd. It is cinema sleuthing at its finest.
‘Mostly Lost 7′ is now scheduled for June 13th to 16th at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus in Culpeper, VA and tickets can be acquired here.