The Spook Light
What More Must This Administration Do For People to Wake Up?

Silent Film

The McCarty's started a small discussion of silent film when they posted about Metropolis. I love silent film. If you aren't watching silent film, you are missing out on great cinema (which reminds me that I haven't watched a silent film since I moved to Dallas because here I've never gotten into my routine of checking out movies at the library like I did in Shawnee & Fville).

I think that one reason silent cinema is so great is because it was international. Americans could watch German, Russian, French, etc. films and vice versa because all you had to do was change the text.

Sure some silent films become too difficult to watch because they get bogged down (Intolerance does in my mind and I never could finish it), but here are some recommendations:

Metropolis -- One of the most influential films ever made. Even recent films like Minority Report or I, Robot take their vision of the cities of the future from this film. It is a leftist criticism of a class-oriented society, so it is also quite interesting politically.

Nosferatu -- This is the first vampire film. Max Schreck, who plays the vampire, is scary just standing still.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari -- I haven't watched this one in a long time and need to. I have a bunch of these on tape from when the Sci Fi channel ran them one Christmas back in the early 90's. This one is a very stylistic movie that was highly influential on future filmmakers.

The Thief of Baghdad -- Not about Bush. It is a great adventure.

The Battleship Potemkin -- Sergei Eisenstein's classic is a must see.

And finally, the greatest film of all time

The Passion of St. Joan -- by Danish director Carl T. H. Dryer. The use of close ups and weird camera angles is decades ahead of Orson Welles grounbreaking similar work. The acting is actually amazing, which is usually not the case in silent films, and the story is powerful. The final images are brutal, actually the whole film is brutal. I'd be up for watching this one again if anyone can get ahold of it.

Comments

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Leslie

I've never seen a silent film and would love to. Perhaps we can schedule a night to pile up and watch some.

Natalie

Hm... I too am lacking in the silent film experience. I love the little jab at Bush in your whole mocie side commentary.

Phil

I don't believe that I've ever seen an entire silent film. I have seen parts of Intolerance. I need to get back on my film-watching bandwagon. I used to be great about that kind of thing.

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