Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Joy of Watching Silent Movies


An actor is moving his mouth but no sound emerges, yet you don’t turn around to glare at the operator’s box. An actress is signalling distress, perhaps a little too emphatically (“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces”, as Norma Desmond put it so expertly in Sunset Boulevard), yet you don’t put it down to a lack of talent. Chances are you’re watching a movie that was made between 1895 and 1930. There is no sound because the technology wasn’t invented until 1927. It would probably be safe to bet that you don’t go to a screening of this kind on a regular basis, simply because silent films are not, to put it lightly, a standard feature in most cinemas and because they still attract only a marginal audience. Here’s why this shouldn’t be.

Ganzer Artikel auf The Zurich English Student (online einsehbar).

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