Posted by Sarah
There is some very exciting news about a new resource available for those of us who have a University of Kent login. The Templeman Library now has access to Variety Ultimate. This means that most issues of the American trade journal (from 1905-the present) can now be searched and accessed. This is excellent news for research at Kent generally, and, of course, melodrama.
I have had a very quick look in terms of film melodrama and found this very early review by ‘Jolo’ of the film The Big Sister on 15th of September 1916, p 26: http://www.varietyultimate.com.chain.kent.ac.uk/archive/issue/WV-09-15-1916-26
The film was directed by John B O’Brien and starred Mae Murray.’Jolo’ opined that the film ‘is melodrama without any attempt at concealment’. The mention of concealment is interesting in two ways. Firstly it indicates the reviewer’s, and the general, rather negative view of melodrama by suggesting that other melodramas might try to appear to be something else. But also, as we have seen, concealment is often a key theme of melodrama.
There will be many, many more exciting nuggets relating to melodrama, so do take a look. And do also share your findings by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I can then post them to the blog for us all to enjoy!