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Newbie silents

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Newbie silents

Postby SSO Admins » July 9th, 2013, 12:14 am

I have a couple of friends I'm trying to convince of the value of silent film. If you were trying to convince someone that silents are a worthy and viable art form, what five films would you recommend?

I have my own ideas, but I'd like yours. Remember, these are neophytes.

/j

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 9th, 2013, 8:06 am

Wings

City Lights

The Crowd

Steamboat Bill jnr

Pandora's Box

These are off the top of my head and always subject to change but these are all quite dynamic in their own way.
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » July 9th, 2013, 9:02 am

Hmmm. An interesting quandary comes up with this question. To show them something they can relate to as if it were a talking picture? or to show them something that could only be made as a silent? How to capture someone's attention with one movie (or five)? Do you try for modern and simple? or go for the most artistic films available?

I've always thought that an introduction to silent film should be an easy thing, enjoyable above all, so I guess my first choices would be films that modern audiences and people could relate to or have fun watching.

1. Modern Times

alternate: Two Arabian Knights
alternate: Tell It To the Marines

2. Sunrise The Story of Two Humans
alternate: The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna

3. The Thief of Baghdad
alternate: The Doll (1919) Lubitsch

4. The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg
alternate: A Kiss For Cinderella

5. The Crowd
alternate: The Big Parade
alternate: He Who Gets Slapped

At this point if they are still interested, I guess I'd throw them into the lion's den with The Passion of Jeanne D'Arc or Pandora's Box, or The Man Who Laughs.

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Lzcutter
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby Lzcutter » July 9th, 2013, 8:31 pm

Anything with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr!

Some of my faves:

A Modern Musketeer

The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

Thief of Bagdad

The Mollycoddle

The Black Pirate

The Iron Mask

and, of course, the classics:

Robin Hood

The Mark of Zorro

The Three Musketeers
Lynn in Lake Balboa

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sandykaypax
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby sandykaypax » August 12th, 2013, 1:14 pm

I find Buster Keaton to be a good intro into silents. His stunts always inspire awe, and he's funny.

Sandy K

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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 12th, 2013, 4:45 pm

I agree, Sandy, and there's also a sort of agelessness about some of Keaton's films that sits well with a new audience.

feaito

Re: Newbie silents

Postby feaito » August 12th, 2013, 4:51 pm

City Lights
The Crowd
The Big Parade
The Godless Girl
Tempest

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JackFavell
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 12th, 2013, 4:59 pm

That's a good group too, Fer!

feaito

Re: Newbie silents

Postby feaito » August 12th, 2013, 5:46 pm

Thanks Wendy; you are always so nice to me. You make me feel so welcome. I'd added "Modern Times", "He Who Gets Slapped" and "Wings", but I had to narrow it down to 5....

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JackFavell
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 13th, 2013, 10:00 am

Thank YOU fer! You did admirably! As you can see, I never actually narrowed my list. I can't believe how badly I cheated. I have no self control. :D

feaito

Re: Newbie silents

Postby feaito » August 13th, 2013, 10:37 am

JackFavell wrote:Thank YOU fer! You did admirably! As you can see, I never actually narrowed my list. I can't believe how badly I cheated. I have no self control. :D


Naahhhh!! :wink:

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intothenitrate
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby intothenitrate » August 14th, 2013, 1:05 am

All things being equal, I definitely think you would want to show them something from the later twenties, when the medium was more fully developed. I think it takes a lot of forbearance to sit through the earlier silents. Once they get used to the silent mode, then I think they would settle in for some of the older work.

Every time I watch The Patsy with Marion Davies, I think, "Wow, this is so fresh, anyone would enjoy it." The pacing is great, Marion charms completely, and the plot is timeless.
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby feaito » August 14th, 2013, 9:42 am

Excellent choice Intothenitrate, I had forgotten "The Patsy"; an excellent introduction for a newbie in the world of Silent Film.

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JackFavell
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 14th, 2013, 9:51 am

I think The Patsy is a super choice too.

I once showed the Keaton short One Week to my class at school, as part of a course where we had to show how to do something and also explain and teach about something. What I loved about the experience was that we got feedback on our presentations, and so when the film was over, I was able to ask people what they thought of the film. A lot of people said that they were thinking they'd be bored, or that silent movies were old fashioned, but through the experience they all said that the movie completely shattered those misconceptions for them. They were really shocked at the raciness of the bath scene, and were happily confounded by the train scene, which takes a silent movie trope and completely destroys it. They all said they were surprised at how much they enjoyed the film.


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