I have no idea what the purpose of this list is, other than that somebody on the Arts beat for The Telegraph was bored, but it's pretty entertaining. Starting with A and going to Z, encyclopedia-style, every letter gives us a benchmark in the history of cinema or an interesting piece of trivia. Example? B is for Bollywood: this trivia item tells us that Britain is now a major shooting locale for Bollywood films, so much so that London tourism guides are now catering to Indian tourists who want to see where certain movies were shot. F is for First Film, as in the famous Roundhay Garden Scene -- a two second film clip that is thought to be the oldest surviving motion picture. It was filmed in 1888. G is for Gimmicks -- a biographical item about William Castle, the guy who came up with all those movie-house gimmicks of the 1950s, like attaching buzzers to the seats.

I was most intrigued by R is for Reviews, another bio item about Harold McCarthy, one of the first movie critics who started operating in the 1930s. It was his opinion that 1946's "'Do You Love Me', a Technicolor musical, would go down much better with 'industrial audiences' than the 'better class' of viewer." The N for Newsreel item is also interesting, recounting some of the most fascinating British newsreels in existence, such as footage of Titanic survivors and a little WWII news reel called Paris Under the Crooked Cross, which offers a glimpse of Paris under Nazi rule. It was "filmed by a man who hid a camera in his bicycle basket." The list is definitely fun reading and might give you a few ideas for books to look for next time you go to the film section of the bookstore.

categories Cinematical