Silent movies...

..and why not?
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quix
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Silent movies...

Postby quix » 03 Feb 2018, 20:17

I watched IT earlier today... it’s pretty zany! It catapulted Clara Bow to fame and coined the phrase “IT girl”


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The Modernist
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Re: Silent movies...

Postby The Modernist » 03 Feb 2018, 22:35

I watched a fascinating biography on her, possibly Sky Arts or one of the biography channels. She came from absolute poverty, real Dickension stuff, and had a mad mother. It scarred her for life and she became a total recluse after her brief fame was over. It was fascinating, but a very sad and tragic story.

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Sneelock
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Re: Silent movies...

Postby Sneelock » 19 Apr 2018, 23:08

I love silent movies. I can't remember the last time I saw one in the theater. I had plans to see "The Wind" (Lillian Gish's last silent film) at the Autry Museum's but I was reminded I'd promised to do something else. the person I was going to drag along with me is relieved.

I find something really pure about them. I won't say they don't require something of a mental adjustment but doesn't everything? I mean, if you play Grand Theft Auto you're making a mental adjustment to the style of the thing. I think the thing about silents for me is two fold. ONE - the visual component. the art of it. the silent movie makers were the first to figure out the beauty of the black and white moving image. how much or how little light they let in could completely change how the viewer felt about what they were looking at.

the other thing is the style of acting. you ever see "Dr Phibes"? Vincent Price needs to tell you what he's thinking without moving his lips. silent movie actors moved their lips but their faces and limbs worked overtime to convey what they wanted you to feel. I think, as much as I like Lillian Gish that John Wayne (of all people) is my favorite example of silent movie style acting. even when he was making shitty ass cop movies, he was still squinting off into the distance or glancing into the faces of his co-stars. I think it's a very compelling style of acting.

some silents - especially some of the big ones -- are living evidence of a more savage time. you watch one where you know somebody got killed or hurt and you aren't surprised. they also, of course, show us more innocent and often poetic times. in "the crowd" a camera flies up from the ground through a high skyscraper window. it does this for a reason. it shows us something about the people and how they live. it leaves an impression. even before sound had been ironed out the really good journeyman movie makers were already figuring out how to get in our heads.
Last edited by Sneelock on 20 Apr 2018, 01:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Snarfyguy
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Re: Silent movies...

Postby Snarfyguy » 19 Apr 2018, 23:24

Image

Saw this one recently (at home, over several evenings; it's like six hours long or something). Utterly amazing.

Desert Island Director, maybe.
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mentalist (slight return)
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Re: Silent movies...

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 20 Apr 2018, 00:49

It's frustrating that just as silent films were at their creative peak sound came in, and that so many were lost. Love the German expressionist movies like Nosferatu and Dr Caligari. Maybe even more so the ones made in USA, such as Sunrise & Four Sons. But for all times faves, Keaton's The General and Pabst's Pandora’s Box.
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Re: Silent movies...

Postby Positive Passion » 20 Apr 2018, 07:22

Snarfyguy wrote:Image

Saw this one recently (at home, over several evenings; it's like six hours long or something). Utterly amazing.

Desert Island Director, maybe.


I saw this at the NFT probably 30 years ago, with a live piano accompaniment. Brilliant.

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Re: Silent movies...

Postby Positive Passion » 20 Apr 2018, 07:22

City Lights, though, is surely the number 1.