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Newbie silents

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intothenitrate
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby intothenitrate » August 16th, 2013, 11:13 am

Your story reminds me of a time when my middle son was doing a school report on the Ford Model T. He must have been in the 5th or 6th grade. We combed through my Buster Keaton films to find some that he could show the class. There were a few of them visible in the street scenes in the film Seven Chances. [That's the one where Buster has to get married before seven p.m. in order to inherit a million dollars, and hundreds of prospective brides chase him through the streets of Los Angeles.] We noted the start and end points of a clip that showed the most flivvers to their best advantage, and he planned to just jump to that clip during his presentation. On the day he presented, the class was so enchanted by those few minutes of film they clamored to be allowed to watch the whole film, which they did. Henry earned quite a few "cool points" that day.
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JackFavell
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 16th, 2013, 12:39 pm

I love that story, intothenitrate! It's cool that the teacher let them watch, and kind of amazing how Keaton can still please audiences even still. I think there is something about watching him in a group that is very much better than watching alone.

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movieman1957
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby movieman1957 » August 27th, 2013, 9:56 am

I had a similar situation with "One Week" Wendy. A couple of years ago I had a movie night and told my friends I'd program it like an old movie house evening. I had a cartoon and a short and then the movie. Most of them had heard the name Buster Keaton but didn't know anything about it. Since it was a short they were game for a silent picture and when it was over everyone loved it.

I had great fun watching reactions and listening to the laughter. I think they were all surprised that a silent film could be that interesting.

One time my future daughter-in-law was over the house and since I was recording some Buster films she knew not to change the channel so she was stuck watching them. Turns out she rather enjoyed them. I told her I was happy she kept watching when she could have done any number of things.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 27th, 2013, 10:13 am

I love hearing stories like that, Chris! it's great when people you love appreciate something that you like. I think One Week and Buster films in general (no pun intended) are great for confounding people's ideas of those 'unsophisticated' silent movies. My favorite part of One week is the car on the tracks sequence. He takes an audience's expectations and uses it for a bigger laugh. I love hearing people roar when the punch line finally comes.

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HowardRoarkSheffield
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby HowardRoarkSheffield » August 31st, 2013, 9:35 am

Find a film they personally would be able to relate to the most. I would say Wings is a good one to start with, mainly because its a film most people will enjoy. Make sure the setting is good too, show them on a large tv in a dark room. My first silent film was shown in a cathedral at night, it was a perfect atmosphere. Maybe show some German films, I personally would choose Faust, but a new comer may be a little overwhelmed by it. The Crowd? Maybe even The Kid? You could even show Regeneration?
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JackFavell
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Re: Newbie silents

Postby JackFavell » August 31st, 2013, 10:02 am

I just loved Regeneration, Howard.

Great choices!


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