An Interview with W. Dustin Alligood of

The Rounders (1914)

W. Dustin Alligood runs Harpodeon, a treasure trove of early film (think pre-1920s) available for DVD purchase, digital download, or digital rental. He also posts silent film reviews at Don’t pay any attention to the domain name, his writings are anything but awful and he’s extraordinarily knowledgable, so I asked him some questions about the state of film preservation, the appeal of silent cinema, and the allure of the forgotten.
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A Rebuttal to ‘The Idea of What a Movie Is’

Greed (1924) | Directed by Erich von Stroheim


There’s a film writer I like named Marya Gates who once tackled the idea that “old movies” aren’t worthwhile. In a short video overview of film history from inception to the present day, she concluded that “if you don’t love all of it, I don’t understand how you can watch any of it.”

This, to me, is the only valid way of viewing movies. Dismissive negativity is the cheapest commodity in the world and the culture of holding yourself in smug superiority over what you’re viewing seems only to grow in the echo chamber of the internet, full as it is of teenagers and self-proclaimed cynics who cling to their assumptions and prejudices as an essential and valuable part of themselves, not recognizing that those qualities are our greatest failings. So, I’m baffled by your piece The Idea of What a Movie Is.
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