Happy Birthday Kevin Brownlow!
In the 1980s, his and David Gill's documentary Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film changed my life and probably changed the lives of thousands of others who discovered the joy and beauty of the lost art of silent cinema. His book The Parade's Gone By, the precursor to that documentary that Brownlow wrote in the late 1960s, is just as important and groundbreaking, and has the distinction of being the very first book I ever ordered on Amazon.com in the '90s. His dedication to preserving this art form cannot be understated, and his towering achievements in the field even brought him the distinction of being the very first film preservationist to win a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 2010.
Believe me, I think the Oscars are just as silly as everyone else does, but this was a BIG DEAL. His speech is essential viewing. Art is worth preserving!!
The photo above is from Abel Gance's Napoleon, a silent epic on whose restoration Brownlow has has worked for nearly his whole life. Below is the first episode of Hollywood, which has sadly been out of circulation for decades due to rights issues. You'll want to watch the remaining 12 episodes after watching this, believe me.