This site is lovingly devoted to exploring the incomparable world of silent films. It’s my obsessive dig through early film history, seeking details, asking questions, and hopefully offering fresh perspectives on topics ranging from the art of German Expressionism to those darn banana peels.
Why I Started Silent-ology
I discovered silent film about a decade ago. It struck a chord with me that no other genre ever has. It opened my eyes to new forms of expression, new perspectives, and a new appreciation for history–history that can actually be seen. Just think about that! Watching these early films is the closest we can ever get to travelling back in time. No other past era in history had ever been recorded for our eyes. Silent films are an indescribable gift.
The more silents I watched and the more I read about the era the more fascinating it all became–and the more fun information there was to share and discuss. Soon it was clear–I just had to crack open my laptop and start writing about it.
- All Silent-ology content has been written/designed by me, unless stated otherwise. Some of the vintage magazine/newspaper images were also clipped by yours truly.
- Comments (even on older articles) are always welcome!
- If you are interested in using any writing of mine (which is a flattering thought!) please let me know, and please quote me as a source and add a link to my site.
- Not sure where to start? Some of my more popular articles have included:
- And here’s some examples of my own research:
- I am currently compiling information for a book on the life and career of Louise Fazenda. If you have any info or know someone who does, please let me know!
- Yes, I do accept review copies of books (preferably nonfiction) and DVDs, so feel free to drop me a line in the contact box below!
My name is Lea Stans and I am a born and raised Minnesotan with a degree in English. Along with writing posts for Silent-ology, I write a monthly column for the site Classic Movie Hub and have also written for The Silent Film Quarterly, Comique magazine, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and the International Buster Keaton Society‘s Keaton Chronicle. I also contributed a chapter to the book Chase! A Tribute to the Keystone Cops. My great enthusiasm for the underrated silent era is all Buster Keaton’s fault.
Here’s me in a Hollywood hat in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater (and some strangers):
Want to contact me? Send me a message here:
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Hi, I just ran across your site and will look forward to reading more. I like your comment about silents being a gift that allows to travel back in time. I think that is what fascinates me most about them. In some cases, it is not so much the plot, performance, or direction of the film, but its ability to act as a portal in time, transporting us into the essential atmosphere, the intangible look and feel of a world long gone.
Film captures that lost world like no other medium can. We, and all future generations, are indescribably lucky to have it. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts–feel free to come back often! 😉
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I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award! –
Yay, thanks! 🙂
I’ve nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award:
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I meant to say * inspired by Buster Keaton!
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Hi! I have loved BK for decades now. One thing I’m interested in discussing is how much influence Buster has on physical comedy of today. He was ahead of his time in so many ways. Jim Carrey, for example, is a very physical actor and he recently played a character in BadBatch were he said nothing. I strongly suspect he was not just influenced by Chaplin as he says.
I’d love to take part in your discussion if possible
Have an awesome day,
Welcome, Nancy! Feel free to pop by Silent-ology anytime. 🙂 I’m fascinated by Buster’s influence on today’s comedy too–no matter what generation it is, he always stays relevant and funny. Pixar has said they studied all his films repeatedly while creating WALL-E. Johnny Depp’s mentioned him as a major role model–there’s a lot of Buster in Captain Jack Sparrow! And those are only a couple examples, of course.
I haven’t seen the new documentary THE GREAT BUSTER yet, but I need to check it out.
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Hi Lea! Just saw the announcement about winning the drawing. You can email me at email@example.com
I’m glad to have discovered this blog!! Since 2018 I’ve gotten into older cinema (1920s-around mid 1960s) but unfortunately, being 22 these movies are even to old for my parents! It’s great to see other fans of old films online,
Why thank you Carrick–and welcome! Ha ha, I know what you mean about silents being too old for our parents. I ran into that same issue with my mom–she’s come around though! You’re welcome to stop by Silent-ology anytime. 🙂
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Lea, I just wrote you a long message. You are fulfilling my friend Joe Rinaudo’s dream of permeating interest in silent cinema among the young, to keep it alive for generations. I forgot to include the video introducing you to Joe: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=307372607265978 Joe is performing on his Model 20 Fotoplayer, which was used as an “orchestra in a box” for silent cinema in smaller theaters.
I also for got to mention how insanely clever your website name is!
Look for my email and subscribe to Joe’s newsletter.
Just replied to your message, Chaz! Many thanks!
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What are the citations for this webstie?
If you’re looking to cite me as a source, you’d write it like this (I use Chicago style, so if you’re doing MLA or something else you might want to look up the rules):
Stans, Lea. “Article Name.” Silent-ology (blog), Month Day, Year. https://silentology.wordpress.com/.
If you’re talking about citations I’ve used for my articles, I usually have a list at the bottom (depending on what kind of post it is).
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You should create an account in Letterbox and review some films there too, the world largest cinema community should know your gret job about silent films!
I left a couple comments a few days ago, and I also sent you a message – I hope you received it? :). I am enjoying your blog very much! I love anything that has to do with silent films, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and all the bygone days of yesteryear. I started my own blog a couple weeks ago and hope to add more posts soon, but I have a long way to go.
Just saw this, response coming soon! (I’ve been sick and haven’t been doing much online lately.)