Back in January when I was thumbing through the tentative April 2010 TCM schedule I noticed an entry for 8pm this evening entitled “Fragments”…and since I didn’t have a good deal of information on what that was all about, I sort of left it alone. But I’m glad that my Facebook chum and blogging compadre VP19 at Carole & Co. didn’t, because according to this post and some subsequent info at the website of The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!) “Fragments” is shorthand for Fragments: Surviving Pieces of Lost Films—a two-hour documentary (produced by the grand people at Flicker Alley) that will feature “bits and pieces” of film treasures that unfortunately do not exist in their complete form today. Nine segments of material will include clips from the likes of John Ford’s The Village Blacksmith (1922; the last reel), Lon Chaney’s The Miracle Man (1919), and the only color footage of silent screen flapper Clara Bow in an excerpt from Red Hair (1928). Supplementing this amazing footage are interviews from preservationists from the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be settling in to watch (and record) this baby, because this sort of thing is my meat.
Following Fragments at 10pm is another tempting documentary tidbit, Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941—a collection of experimental film works culled from a 2001 film retrospective in Moscow (presented by archivists Bruce Posner and David Shepard) and a subsequent 7-disc DVD collection that was released four years later. This blurb at TCM.com lists some of the content of the documentary and since I’ve only seen one of the films (1924’s Ballet mécanique) it’s going to be every bit as good as Fragments, to be sure. So hold all my calls this evening!