Silent-ology Turns Four Today!

Four years? Have I really been blogging about silent films for four whole years? 

birthday cake

The Indianapolis Circle Theater circa the 1920s sends its regards.

It sure doesn’t feel like it, my friends. Why, I haven’t even started covering the Hairbreadth Harry silent comedy series, and I haven’t even come close to researching the dramatic career of Eugenie Besserer, so you might say I’ve been slacking. Nevertheless, to all of you who been keeping up with Silent-ology these last few years and to all of you who are just starting to drop by, I offer a big, hearty, Art Deco:

Image result for 1920s thank you

Readers, your visits and “likes” and comments have made Silent-ology what it is today, and I truly could not be more grateful! I can promise you that I’ll continue to work hard at this blog in the coming year, and I hope you’ll enjoy what’s in store.

So let’s recap 2017! My overall “Top 5 Silent-ology Posts” have stayed pretty consistent over the last couple years, with the all-time grand champion being Silent Film Makeup: What Was It Really Like? So this time I’m going to make a list of the Top 5 Most-Read Posts Published in 2017 (excluding DVD giveaway posts):

5. Georges Méliès: Pioneer of Cinematic Spectacle

I’m happy to say that last March’s Méliès Month was a hit, with a surprisingly high amount of traffic throughout those few weeks. This is the post that kicked it all off!

4. Obscure Films: Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire (1920)

When we think of German Expressionism, we tend to think of serious, artistic films that wrestle with the dark side of the human soul. Well, I’m afraid that there was crappy German Expressionism too, and Genuine might be the very crappiest of all–as many readers discovered.

3. My Top Ten Favorite Silent Films (So Far)

For such an obvious subject, it sure took me awhile to get around to writing this post! It apparently piqued a lot of folks’ curiosity. It would be interesting to look back a few years from now and see if my list stays the same. (It might!)

2. The Third Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon–Celebrating 100 Years of Buster!

The Buster blogathon is always special, but there was an extra layer of special this year since 2017 was the centennial of our beloved comedian’s first appearances on film. Thanks for the great turnout, everyone!

And the number one most-read post published in 2017 was:

1. Obscure Films: The Merry Frolics of Satan (1906)

Now that seems like a random one, eh? I think this was partly due to the higher traffic during Méliès Month and partly due to that very 1900s-sounding title.

As usual, here’s the Top 5 2017 Posts That Got Fewer Views Than I Hoped. These are 2017 posts that made a smaller splash than I anticipated. If you missed these, feel free to take a look!

5. Fan Magazine Fun: “If I Were A Man…”

This was a collection of funny, candid sentiments about the opposite sex by some our popular silent players. I thought it was a hoot, but it flew a little under the radar.

4. Silent Ireland: 5 Dramas From the Emerald Isle

I was out of town when this went live, so maybe not being able to publicize it right away was a factor. At any rate, it’s a look at the patriotic Irish-themed films that were geared toward U.S. immigrant audiences at the time–not bad St. Patrick’s Day viewing.

3. The OTHER Artist Charles Chaplin

I was pretty surprised to discover that our Charlie Chaplin wasn’t the only Charlie Chaplin. Maybe this post will intrigue a few extra readers in the future.

2. “Make Next Halloween Sane!” How 1920s Theater Owners Helped Curb Kids’ Vandalism.

This fairly holiday-specific piece came and went fairly quietly, but I’m happy with it. It’s the kind of obscure “stumble-upon” trivia I enjoy researching most.

1..Mona Darkfeather, the “Indian Princess” of Hollywoodland

Princess Mona being one of the more unique personalities in 1910s cinema, I was excepting a more hearty response but it ended up being pretty muted. Ah well–it was an interesting one to write!

Before getting to my “posts I’m proud of” list, here are some of Silent-ology’s Highlights Of 2017:

I’m happy to announce that I’ve become the official silent film columnist for the popular site Classic Movie Hub! You can check out my monthly articles at my column Silents Are Golden (Here’s the current one!).

Probably the best highlight of 2017, of course, was the year-long celebration of Buster Keaton’s centennial of entering films (#BK100, y’all!).  In February Silent-ology hosted the third annual Buster blogathon, with special banners to celebrate:

buster-blogathon-the-third-2

While I couldn’t make it to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival this year, in October for the first time ever I was able to attend the official Buster convention in Muskegon, Michigan, hosted by the lovely Damfinos. (Yes, a recap is on the way!) I also reviewed a couple of the main Buster biographies (and a Buster-inspired novel), and devoted the month of July entirely to the delightful Arbuckle/Keaton Comique shorts, our porkpie-hatted comedian’s very first films:

Comique month 1

Also in 2017, Silent-ology also took part in several blogathons hosted by my fellow classic film bloggers, and March, as mentioned earlier, was Méliès Month, which was a lot of fun to put together:

melies-month-banner-1

And now for the Top 5 Posts That I’m Particularly Proud Of:

Honorable Mention: Forever Debonair: The Enduring Work of Comedy Pioneer Max Linder

I couldn’t decide between this post about the charming top-hatted comedian and the one in spot #5, so an honorable mention it is!

5. A Mesmerizing Talent: The Life and Career of Conrad Veidt

Giving myself plenty of time to write this article (it took awhile to finish) was definitely a good move. I’m happy with how it turned out and was thrilled to see it get good responses on social media.

4. Thoughts On The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

I took special care with this review, because this is no ordinary film. I also addressed some of the modern responses to it, trying to both be fair and to perhaps put some fresh perspectives out there.

3. Georges Méliès and the Féerie

Every once in awhile you uncover such an obscure yet relevant bit of cultural history that you fall down a research rabbit hole and can only get back out by writing a whole article about it. Well, that’s my reasoning, anyways!

2. Thoughts On Tol’able David (1921)

This is one of my very favorite silent films, and I hope this review introduces it to more people. It’s a beautiful blend of drama and Americana, and I tried hard to at least approach doing it justice.

1.Analyzing the Molasses Scene From The Butcher Boy

This John Bengtson-style post was both challenging and fun to do, and probably puts my Butcher Boy viewings total somewhere around 100.

I feel like something special is in order for Silent-ology’s 5th anniversary–5 is not only a decent lil’ milestone, but, well, it’s my favorite number. Good thing I’ve got 12 months to think about it! Until then, here’s to another fun year of silent film blogging!

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18 thoughts on “Silent-ology Turns Four Today!

  1. Congrats Lea! Thanks for all the good readin’!!
    All of those posts from your fewer views list were thoroughly enjoyed by this reader, btw. Mona Darkfeather is totally on my radar now because of that post and I love those “slice of life in the silent era” articles, too! After that Halloween one, I found out that my Grandpa was one of those old school tricksters and one of his Halloween pranks involved dragging people’s outhouses into the middle of town… 😁 (He would’ve benefitted from ticket to “The Freshman”, I’d say!)
    Cheers to you and this wonderful thing you’ve created!! Here’s to many more years!

    • Aw, I’m so glad you enjoyed them all, Debbe! That hilarious about your grandpa, outhouses were apparently an easy target in those days. Here’s to many more years, indeed!

  2. Hello! Your hilarious article about The Sheik (Rudolph Valentino) is the first article i read in your blog, one or two years ago. My first moment in taking a look at Silence. I thank Piratekitties for a link that brought me to this amazing blog.
    I hope you are always well and prosper.

    Just want to say that you have a reader from another continent.

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