My Top 10 Favorite Silent Films (So Far)

So I’ve been thinking: good ol’ Internet listicles are fun. And depending on the context, they can tell you a little about the writer, too. Here I’ve been publishing posts on our beloved old films week in and week out, and never thought to write the most basic one of all–a “my favorite silents” list. So allow me to tell you a little about myself.

Needless to say, picking just ten films was a task akin to scaling Mount Everest. I don’t know if my list is the most surprising one in the world (no worries, it’s not smugly crammed with obscure social dramas from Finland or something), but here it is, in no particular order–except for #1! (Links are included for the ones I’ve reviewed so far.)

10. Metropolis (1927)

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The Return To Hollywoodland

In my last post I told y’all about the wonderful experience of going to the SFSFF. Today we’re covering the second leg of the trip to the fun, historic, crazy place called Hollywood. Since I had visited there for the very first time last year, let’s just call this year’s trip “Pilgrimage II to the Holy Land.”

Day 1

So! The morning of June 6 I said goodbye to San Francisco and took a plane to LAX. Here’s one detail you should know: while at the film festival my body had decided, despite having been bizarrely lucky and only getting sick once the entire previous year, that now, verily, ’twas the time for me to catch a cold. And not just any cold–oh, no! This would be a mighty beast of a cold that would make me lose my voice almost completely while being emerged in a sea of fellow silent film fanatics to talk to. Thanks, BODY. 

But, this managed not to spoil my enjoyment of the festival (after all, you get to just sit all day!) and while I was left with a yucky-sounding cough, the journey to Hollywood was happily uneventful. After taking the FlyAway bus to the famous Union Station and riding the very convenient Metro, I was back on Hollywood Boulevard, eager to pick up where I’d left off last year.  Continue reading

Thoughts On Chaplin’s “The Kid”

If you ask a Chaplin fan which film they think is his masterpiece, the choice is often City Lights. At times there’s a three-way tie between City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator. A few intrepid fans give The Gold Rush some votes, as well.

And yet, there’s another wonderful Chaplin film out there that maybe gets less attention than his post-1920s films. I’ve seen some people describe it as “thoroughly enjoyable,” and “memorable,” and remark that it “holds up extremely well.” Often, it gets the “it’s sentimental, but…” treatment. (Being sentimental is simply not trendy nowadays, you see.) But you know what? I will give it my “Chaplin’s Masterpiece” vote in a flash: The Kid (1921).

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