you could write the whole plot on a postcard. we do the rest.

I love when flipping through the channels, stumbling upon an old silent film. Tonight I watched Bardelys the Magnificient (1926).

It reminds me how inpatient we’ve become as a society in terms of culture. The thought of sitting in a modern theatre, having paid $10+ for a ticket to see the plot of a story played out, with only inserts telling us the dialogue seems so far fetched to many.  Yet I find watching a silent film, or a even a picture from the 1930s or 1940s, the story telling allows for more reflection. As a viewer you are not necessarily jumping ahead to solve the mystery, etc, you are paying more attention to the characters movements, dialogue and the mise-en-scene.

At the risk of sounding cliche, saying they just don’t make them like they used too, is well, true. Cinema is one of the only art forms that is so very young, and constantly evolving with modern technology, ways of writing and producing ultimately change with it.

Still, sometimes it’s nice to have a little reflection.

Now, I could really go for a Buster Keaton picture.

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3 Comments

Filed under films

3 responses to “you could write the whole plot on a postcard. we do the rest.

  1. It’s great to farm the past from some cinematic gems. I like the idea of live performance pieces with silent films – an orchestra or band playing along live is a great idea.

    I would guess that a lot of silent movies are in the public domain and can be watched online – which provides yet another reason to stay up well past my bed time!

  2. My high school biology teacher used to show Buster Keaton films in class all the time instead of teaching. I blame Buster Keaton for my not being a brilliant scientist now.

  3. iduality

    Matthew: That’s often times what will get me to keep watching – the orchestra. The music usually draws me in, and then I’m hooked.

    Yes, indeed. I just started YouTubing clips last night, and was up past my bed time!

    Barb: Ha ha! I wish my high school science teacher would have showed Buster Keaton films in class (perhaps not instead of teaching, but in addition to). ;)

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