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lshap
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:12 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2004 Posts: 4246 Location: Montreal
A look at silent movies and what makes 'em great...
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lady wakasa
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:13 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 5911 Location: Beyond the Blue Horizon
So what’s the big deal about silents, anyway? Ancient technology, a bunch of speeded-up characters, making faces, socking each other, and doing incredibly cornball things, right? And what kind of story can you tell without dialog, anyway? The world has advanced, with sound and color being more than standard; silents are just cornball stuff for geeks, right?

...Well, no. The first forty years of motion pictures (much like the first years of computers) brought incredible changes in not only technology but society – all in a very short time. Within a month of the Lumière Bros’s first screening, representatives of the Lumière Company had literally spread out across the planet, spurring adoption of the technology in a race to own it. And the silent films that arose from that first screening spanned the range of storytelling, from actualities to avant-garde, from classic to stinker. Just like movies today...

It’s only us, ignoring and ignorant of our own history, who dismiss the silents – not realizing that it wasn’t the film, that we misprojected, ignored the power of background music, and just plain deprived ourselves of amazing experiences.

So we’ll spend the next six weeks looking at a few silents and seeing what we see. The schedule is below, and discussion’s slated to start on 7 Nov.

Week #1:
A TRIP TO THE MOON / THE GREAT RAIN ROBBERY
(try to get them on LANDMARKS OF EARLY SILENT FILM, VOL 1; they're short, and there are a number of other shorts on there as well)

Week #2:
THE KID (Chaplin)
THE GENERAL (Keaton)

Week #3:
THE SHEIK / SON OF THE SHEIK
(there is a DVD with both on it, or you can get them separately)

Week #4:
THIEF OF BAGDAD (Kino Deluxe edition preferable)

Week #5:
BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN / THE LAST LAUGH

Week #6:
THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
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Marilyn
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:20 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
Title Card:


YIPPEE!!!!



------------Marilyn (played by Marilyn)

A Vitaphone Co. Release

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Ghulam
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:37 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4723 Location: Upstate NY
I just saw that Netflix is shipping Landmarks of Early Silent Film tomorrow.
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Shane
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 1168 Location: Chicago
Oh Joy! (done in typical Stimpy fashion of course!)

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I'd like to continue the argument we were having before. What was it about?
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Joe Vitus
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
Great to have this forum up and running.

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-Topher
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Marilyn
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
Until the official discussions get started, how about we name our top 10 silents. I'll go first.

In no particular order:

The Wind
The General
City Lights
The Vanishing American
Speedy!
Show People
the Fall of the House of Usher
The Sheik
City Girl
Ella Cinders

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Ghulam
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4723 Location: Upstate NY
The General
Gold Rush
Metropolis
Nefertutu (or something like that)
Safety Last
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marantzo
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:06 pm Reply with quote
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Our list of movies to be discussed seems to have ignored the comedies.

Have none of you seen The Big Parade?
Nancy
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
My Top Ten silents........I'll have to give this some thought. (Glad to see this forum up -- will try to participate, time & schedule permitting)

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Isaacism, 2009
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Nancy
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4607 Location: Norman, OK
marantzo wrote:
Our list of movies to be discussed seems to have ignored the comedies.

Have none of you seen The Big Parade?


Yes, and it's great!

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Isaacism, 2009
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Marilyn
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:09 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
The General is a comedy. The Kid is comic.

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marantzo
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:15 pm Reply with quote
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The General, of course. I've seen it, it may be his best. The Kid is sort of sappy isn't it?
Marilyn
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
Well, yes, but it's funny, too. City Lights is sappy AND hilarious. But it still has the best love scene in movies.

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Marilyn
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
Actually The Son of the Sheik is very funny. Valentino spoofs his own image--playing the son of, well, himself.

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