During my recent Hollywoodland trip, there was one place I was determined to finally visit: the Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard.
Haven’t heard of it? Well, my friends, if you love classic films then you need to know this heavenly place exists. It’s something exceedingly rare in today’s L.A.: a venerable and perfectly-preserved restaurant that’s served generations (and generations!) of stars. Having first opened in 1919, it’s been a Hollywood institution for almost a full century–and its commitment to tradition is refreshingly strong.
Whether you’re a silent era newbie or someone who’s already into movies in general, there’s a ton of reasons to get into silent films (so far I’ve counted up to 11,459). If you are one of those movies-in-general fans, your reason for taking a look at the 1890s/1900s/10s/20s is probably for the sake of expanding your Artsy Filmmaking knowledge. This is a worthy reason, one that I can stand behind while cheering very loudly and doing fistpumps.
Basically me while you’re expanding your knowledge.
However, there’s another big reason to get into silent films, a vastly important one: silent films will expand your perspective. To be more specific, you will never look at history–or heck, today’s society–the same way again. Continue reading
So if you, like me, have watched some of those newfangled “modern” movies and documentaries, have read some of the books that everyone reads, and have done some Internet surfing, you’ve found that the general gist of 20th century American history is always something like this:
One thing that really stands out? The idea that the world was straitlaced and proper in the early 20th century but tossed that all aside at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 1920 just in time for the crazy, hedonistic ride that was the 1920s. (Then, presumably, the world slowly became straitlaced and proper again just in time for the 1950s). And those first twenty or so years of the 20th century were…well…the Victorian era, right? Continue reading