2-3. Oooh; I REALLY want to like this film more than I do for its evocative nature and striking beauty. But there are a few things that kind of take the shine off of it. For one, the conflict with the cat basically goes nowhere. For another, the film runs past the end of the characters' arc and into a cul-de-sac about future children trying to rush the gates of time, followed by a ham-fisted declaration of theme.
2005 restoration The innovative photographic effects are the main reason to watch this silent version of 'The Blue Bird' which would become popularized over 20 years later with a Shirley Temple version. One story quibble; why exactly did they have so many deceased siblings??
Imagine a mixture of elements from a children's "L'inferno" (1911) and "The Wizard of Oz" (1939). Unfortunately, this is most heavy-handedly and cheesily sentimental. (Let's be innocent like children and find the bluebird of happiness in our hearts.) And what starts off beautifully as a dream in a cottage soon becomes a tedious series of ultra-literal anthropomorphisms. Nonetheless, a classic—maybe nice for children.
Yes, some interesting and inventive images, and lovely color, but the film is sentimental claptrap. Great art and literature and music and dance—and engaging popular entertainment—was thick on the ground in 1918, so just because this was early days for the medium doesn't get it a free pass.
Oops. I feel asleep during this one. I have yet to enter the phase of my life in which I take great interest in old, silent films, and this one is old, real old, almost a hundred years! It's incredible to think of its age. What comes to mind when watching silents is how dead everyone I see this moment. The actors are dead. The cat and dog are dead. The cameraman is dead. I"d imagine almost everyone involved is dead.
Because I haven't a high definition projector nor a big enough high resolution monitor it was un-watchably blurry. Except a piano excerpt; music was unpleasant. I was accidentally tapping 'want to watch' (I'm not certain I was reading that correctly) button. I removed it from that list.
I remember seeing the 70's version of "The Blue Bird" on The Disney Channel. The story in this silent adaptation is similar, but the visual result is so much better. Silent films such as this should be more appreciated. The attention to expressiveness and surreal set pieces is really something else. Depictions of the fantastical during the silent era like this will never occur again in film history.