By Kevin Brownlow
The Parade’s Gone By... still packs quite the Proustian punch, with its chorus of then venerable, now long-dead legends of the silent era reminiscing on experiences that even then were 40 years in the past.
Brownlow began collecting silent movie prints at age 11 in England, and in his adult job as a film editor, kept an eye out for London visits by noted veterans of the silent film era, interviewing them when he could. He filled out his research with several sojourns to Los Angeles in the mid-’60s, and directors as varied as Charles Chaplin, King Vidor, Allan Dwan, and Josef von Sternberg are heard from.
In The Parade’s Gone By..., Brownlow produced the first great history of the sunken Atlantis of silent cinema. Approaching the subject from every conceivable angle - direction, camerawork, production design, emerging genres, and stars - Brownlow’s masterpiece is the cornerstone of modern research into the silent film, and the first step in his honorable - and recently Academy Award-honored - career as one of cinema’s great preservationists.
Review written by John Patterson.