Best Documentary Movies of 1926
The Open Road
In the summer of 1924 Claude Friese-Greene, a pioneer of colour cinematography, set out from Cornwall with the aim of recording life on the road between Land’s End and John O’Groats. Entitled The Open Road, his remarkable travelogue was conceived as a series of shorts, 26 episodes in all, to be shown weekly at the cinema. The result is a fascinating portrait of inter-war Britain, in which town and country, people and landscapes are captured as never before, in a truly unique and rich colour palette.
Robert J. Flaherty's South Seas follow-up to Nanook of the North is a Gauguin idyll moved by "pride of beauty... pride of strength."
The Passaic Textile Strike
The Prologue of this film is one of the 50 films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931" (2004), compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. It is preserved by the Library of Congress, has a running time of 18 minutes and an added piano music score. The entire film runs 70 minutes.
South Chicago Home Movie
This 16mm home movie film depicts the leisure activities of an affluent family on Chicago's south side. Scenes include a grandiose building that is the Edgewater Beach Hotel and a football game at University of Chicago.
A short, hand-tinted promotional film made by the D'Oyly Carte Opera company to show off the new wardrobe and set dressing for the 1926 production of The Mikado. About six scenes from The Mikado are shown, then designer Charles Rickets steps onto the stage with a final look at the costumes and the film ends. The players in the production are legendary Savoyards, well-known from recordings of the period, but this is the only time a movie camera caught them in their roles, though sadly minus the singing. About four nitrate prints of this film are known to exist; two of which are at the BFI in London.