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If your attention was caught by the recent release of La Roue on DVD, then you’ll definitely want to also pick up a copy of J’Accuse (1919), another silent epic by Abel Gance. It promises to be as fulfilling as his other movies, this time concerned with the First World War. It will most certainly be interesting as a contemporary reaction to the war as well as yet another exhilarating silent.

Flicker Alley DVD are really proving themselves with their release record. In particular check out this monumental tribute to the great magician of the silent cinema, Georges Méliès.

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A very exciting 2-disc DVD has just been released: La Roue (1927), a monumental silent directed by Abel Gance. I saw this film on the big screen and at that time it ran at four hours, but this new restoration seems to come in even longer at four and a half. 

It revolves around a steam train engineer and the infant girl he saves from a train wreck, evolving into a complex and delicate drama. While containing some devastating and kinetic imagery, particularly around steam engines, it ultimately is one of the most memorable silent film experiences out there. Finally I get to see it again.

Directed by Abel Gance whose Napoleon (1927) is legendary, this is highly recommended. It is published by Flicker Alley, who has emerged as a great new distributor of rare silents on DVD. Check it out at their website.

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