It’s been a cool, grey, rainy couple of days up here in Minnesota, so I’m in an introspective mood and decided to write a “get to know me better” kind of post. Feel free to share your own stories!
When folks ask me how I got so enamored with silent films (apparently this isn’t common…?) I usually have a ready answer–because I’ve thought the question over myself. It’s been interesting to ponder: how did I get so obsessed with century-old movies? Why am I more compelled to study them than more recent films like ’50s musicals or ’30s comedies? Is it just because those are so alarmingly recent? (Okay, fine–comparatively recent.)
See, to me, this came out yesterday.
Now that I think of it, there were several stepping stones that lead to this love of super old movies. Continue reading
If it seemed a bit quiet on Silent-ology lately, it’s because my beloved Grandpa passed away last week on Independence Day. He was 91 and had, without a doubt, enjoyed a “life well-lived.” He leaves behind his wonderful wife of nearly 70 years, a dozen children, dozens of grandchildren and great-grand children, and even one great-great-grandchild.
And of course, he leaves behind countless memories for all of us to share with each other during each holiday gathering, BBQ or impromptu get-together. And for me, a few of those memories involve bringing over Buster Keaton shorts to watch with him and Grandma.
One of the shorts we watched.
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 there you are, a 21st-century movie watcher, buzzed up on Monster and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and you take a break from watching your CGI-stuffed Michael Bay blowout sequel while listening to K-Pop on your iPodPhonePad amidst an online gaming marathon to go watch some old movies. Really old movies. Maybe you’re looking for something new and challenging. Maybe you’re just curious. Or maybe you have a hipster-ish desire to go beyond the mainstream (waaaaay beyond the mainstream). Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to step outside your comfort zone and check out some 1910s and ’20s silent films–for the first time ever! Continue reading
So you’ve decided to give those funny old black-and-white silent movies a try. You pop in a DVD with a quaint title and relax on your couch (or you rev up the Netflix, either one). An organ tune plays as you see the scene of a busy town street. There are Model Ts, and people in clothes that look less like a Roaring Twenties party than you‘d assumed, and hey, does that old guy have a handlebar mustache? And was that a streetcar? Why, you could get used to this! And then it happens. The screen goes black…and there are words. Words that you must read. Words that are inflicted upon you. This, my friend, is your very first exposure…to a title card. Continue reading