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Halloween Countdown, Day 2

Breaking news! The long-lost 1916 film starring William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes has been found and will be restored! Here's the full scoop. Now back to our previously scheduled Halloween countdown...

Is it me, or is there something particularly creepy about vintage photos of people of the past in Halloween costume?

I highly recommend the book Haunted Air: Anonymous Halloween Photos from c.1875-1955 by Ossian Brown, which collects some of the best of these disturbing-yet-compelling pictures. (As I recall, this work first appeared on my radar thanks to suggestions from some of you! So thank you!) You can see a gallery of photos and quotes from the book here at BoingBoing.

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"All the clocks had stopped. A void out of time. And here they are - looking out and holding themselves still - holding still at that point where two worlds join - the familiar - and the other."
— David Lynch, Introduction, Haunted Air

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"These are pictures of the dead: family portraits, mementoes of the treasured, the held-dear-in-heart, now unrecognisable, other."
— Geoff Cox, Afterword, Haunted Air

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Comments

eldritchhobbit
Oct. 3rd, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
Sherlock is a fantastic introduction to the Holmesian 'verse, as it's much closer to Arthur Conan Doyle's writings than many other adaptations, including those set in the Victorian era. If you read the ACD stories - and I hope you will! - the more you read, the more you'll see how much Sherlock draws from the original canon. Even the asides and jokes are from the original texts or playing off them.

I'm super excited about this lost film being found, because William Gillette was the actor best known for playing Sherlock while Arthur Conan Doyle was still alive (and, in fact, they corresponded). His performance helped shape public perceptions of the character for all time. It's a bit of history I can't wait to see. :)

BTW, the Holmesian film that most influenced the creators of Sherlock is The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes, which is well worth watching.

Edited at 2014-10-03 08:53 pm (UTC)