Join us for the launch of Silent Serial Sensations: The Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema, published by Cornell University Press. Author Barbara Tepa Lupack will be joined on a panel with Wharton Studio Museum Executive Director Diana Riesman and Ithaca College Associate Professor of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies Cathy Crane, moderated by Brett Brossard, Executive Director of Cinemapolis. Co-sponsored by the History Center. This event was rescheduled from an earlier date.
The first book-length study of pioneering and prolific filmmakers Ted and Leo Wharton, Silent Serial Sensations offers a fascinating account of the dynamic early film industry. As Barbara Tepa Lupack demonstrates, the Wharton brothers were behind some of the most profitable and influential productions of the era, including The Exploits of Elaine and The Mysteries of Myra, which starred such popular performers as Pearl White, Irene Castle, Francis X. Bushman, and Lionel Barrymore. Working from the independent film studio they established in Ithaca, New York, Ted and Leo turned their adopted town into "Hollywood on Cayuga." By interweaving contemporary events and incorporating technological and scientific innovations, the Whartons expanded the possibilities of the popular serial motion picture and defined many of its conventions. A number of the sensational techniques and character types they introduced are still being employed by directors and producers a century later.