Unless you own a time machine and can go back to the turn of the last century, Accidentally Preserved is as close to being is a movie theater when cinema first started as you will get. This collection features 9 silent films featuring original music by Ben Model. The films are from Model's personal collection; most of them look really good. 7 of them are quite fun to watch; The Chaplin cartoon and the Christmas Seals shorts are just interesting in a historical sense. I also appreciate Model including a title card with some historical information for each of the movies in this collection.
What really makes this work is Ben Model's original music. It sound exactly right and is also beautiful and original. Model even throws in the occasional musical sound effect such as the notes he plays to indicate a doorbell in Cook, Papa, Cook; if you pay close attention you will notice how cleverly his music reflects the car horn in one of the scenes.
Aside from the title mentioned above, I really enjoyed the longer Sherlock's Home about a telephone girl who catches the eye of a champion boxer.
Even if the first reel is missing, Helter Skelter stands out for its visual effects. A kids is in a runaway motorcycle and you get to see things from his point of view. The mayhem that ensues when boy and dog crash some rich folks' home is great fun.
If you watch Wild Men Go Wild, which occasionally shows certain signs of age but nothing that takes away from the fun, you will see the old “You pretend to be the monster and attack the girl and I'll pretend to rescue her so she'll fall for me.” though it was probably a young plot way back when.
You can go to Ben Model's website www.silentfilmmusic.com for more information on him and his projects.
Titles in Accidentally Preserved Volume 2 are:
Bobby Vernon in WHY WILD MEN GO WILD (1920) – 12 min
Chaplin cartoon: CHARLEY ON THE FARM (1919) – 10 min
Alberta Vaughn in SHERLOCK’S HOME (1924) – 21 min
Neely Edwards in THE LITTLE PEST (1927) – 10 min
Lloyd Hamilton in PAPA’S BOY (1927) – 16 min
"Big Boy" in HELTER SKELTER (1929) – 8 min
Henry Murdock in COOK, PAPA, COOK (1928) – 9 min
Blasting Cap Safety: HOW JIMMY WON THE GAME (1928) – 14 min
Animated ad: CHRISTMAS SEALS FILM (1925) – 3 min