Elmwood Park, N.J. July 10, 2017
I had hoped to give you a year end report for 2016 but got bogged down in a number of things that kept me busy.
Besides, 2016 had not worked out especially well for me. Some writing projects that seemed promising fizzled out. In one case, the editor of a video publication agreed to two of my story ideas but before I could complete the first story, the magazine went out business.
However, earlier this year Kino Lorber Video approached me about doing audio commentaries for two of their three upcoming releases of silent films starring Gloria Swanson directed by Allan Dwan. They had reached out to me because of my book on Allan Dwan.
The first of those commentaries was for the 1923 film ZAZA, the first of seven silent film collaborations between Swanson and Dwan. The DVD with my commentary was released by Kino Lorber in early June. You can take a look at it by calling up Amazon.com and entering “Zaza” under the category of “Movies and TV.” When you then click on the DVD or Blu-Ray item that then appears, you can scroll down and see my contribution is listed under “Editorial Reviews.”
Researching, writing, editing and recording this commentary required a lot of work but I have to admit that I did enjoy the recording process even when technical glitches meant that I had to repeat large portions of the narration. I also think that these movies being released by Kino represent the best of Swanson’s work in silent movies, rivaled only by her appearance in the 1928 SADIE THOMPSON (directed by Dwan’s friend Raoul Walsh) which earned Swanson her first Oscar nomination.