on July 20, 2001
Unlike my equally beloved 'Treasures' box set, this isn't an overview of clips and interesting short moments. 'Origins' offers full length animation and silents. This isn't a slick package, and the interface is so cumbersome as to be annoying, but it's well worth the time.
"A Florida Enchantment" alone is worth the price of admission, (Although I dispute the claim that it was filmed in Lauderdale. There are several obvious signs that it was filmed in the northern secton of the state.) In this film, a young woman wishes she were a man after finding her fiance unworthy. There isn't space to discuss every film on this set - but with just this example you get a remarkable look at 'hidden' homosexual humour in early film. The actress playing the lead gives a startlingly modern performance in her male guise. The whites in blackface are mesmerizing when you realize they were probably very common roles.
Moments after she makes her trusted maid a man, the blackface actress turns into a violent drunken criminal who attempts to sexually assault another maid. (If your jaw didn't drop before then, it will be hitting the floor now.)Will our heroine enjoy life as a man? Will she get the girl of her dreams? Will she long to return to her life as a woman? Controversial when it was made, controversial today. And it's just one of the remarkable works on this set.
You will not regret this purchase.