This is my (Matthias Grottendieck) personal blog. I‘ll try to use it as a collection of findings and thoughts about early film distribution and the era of silent film in general. Every now and then I find the time to add some new articles.

My interest in early cinema startet around 2011 when a fellow student and me decided to dive into Düsseldorf‘s share in the history of film and offer a course on that topic with the goal to do research it more thorough. After working for the Filmfest Düsseldorf which collaborated with the Filmmuseum Düsseldorf for it‘s final evening and the award ceremony we managed to interest them in our topic as well. Following that we were allowed to use the Filmmuseum‘s archive for our research. My specific task was to look into the early stage after the turn of the century. Ultimately the project did not succeed but I remained involved with the topic ever since.

In 2015 I wrote my master‘s thesis at the Heinrich Heine Universität (HHU) in Düsseldorf about Ludwig Gottschalk and his contribution to early cinema. The thesis (German language only) is available here:

Glocal Cinema. Ludwig Gottschalk – Filmwirtschaft im Kaiserreich. from September 2, 2015 (PDF, 22 MB)

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 DEED ) Licence. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/. Exceptions from this license may be granted by the author upon request.

Looking back over the years my focus has been on a socio-economic aspect of early cinema between 1905 and 1915. I find it appealing to discover how conditions constituted for business to thrive or crumble and how that can sometimes be linked with certain characters.

If I find the time I‘ll try to share the knowledge and resources I‘ve collected over the past years. Those are projects I contributed to in the past:

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, remarks or else. You can reach me via hello (at) matthiasgrottendieck (dot) com.