Watching Silent Films With Our Grandparents

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.

Image result for buster keaton my wife's relations

One of the shorts we watched.

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5 Examples Of How Silent Films Will Widen Your Perspective

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

How To Watch a Silent Film (If You’ve Never Seen One)

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

Why You Should Learn To Stop Worrying And Start Loving The Title Cards

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