Dim the lights, cue the title card and strike up the orchestra…lets talk about silent film.
This week we discuss the birth of cinema and the subsequent development of a new medium of entertainment from the first (still existing) two second film from 1888 through to 1927 and the end of the silent era. We try to strike a balance between offering a rough primer on this early time period reviewing the technological challenges and evolutionary steps achieved by some true pioneers, as well as calling up a fair list of the titles recommended to begin exploring the surviving catalogue.
The famous works are addressed as well as some lesser known gems including Der Golem (1920), Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Nosferatu (1922), Phantom of the Opera (1925), Metropolis (1927), London After Midnight (1927), Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde (1920), The Unknown (1927)…and a dozen more.
We spend time on and explain what the term ‘German Expressionism’ actually means, recognize the enormous contributions of George Melies and Lon Chaney, explain why projection speed was dictated by the fire hazard of nitrocellulose film and much more.
Thoughts on a couple random movies round things out (Eyes Wide Shut – Anthony, and Defendor – Ted). Thanks to Brian Kaufman, Travis & Ernie for their various contributions and to misterD for a great audio review of Spiral (2007).
As always we welcome your comments:
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