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New To Silent Films


Gar1244
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Hello All I just started watching silent films. I do enjoy them. Any good books to recommend for my reading? Some very beautiful and dramatic lighting in B&W movies.I will have to watch the movies that some of you have talked about.Its great to see silent movies on TCM, i hope to learn more!

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I'm no scholar, but I am a committed and passionate amateur when it comes to Silents scholarship. I loved Kevin Brownlow's wonderful book, The Parade's Gone By. It's a wonderful overview of the silent period. It was done in 1968. Mr. Brownlow was able to get some great interviews with the people who made the movies just before they left us.

 

Walter Kerr's The Silent Clowns is a nice study of silent comedy. If you'd like to get a good sense of what it must have been like to be a movie fan at the time There are two great books that deal with that. There's At The Picture Show: Small-Town Audiences and the Creation of Movie Fan Culture, by Kathryn Fuller. There's also An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915-1928 by Richard Koszarski. My favorite book about the bumpy transition from Silents to Sound is The Talkies: American Cinema's Transition to Sound 1926-1931[/i] by Donald Crafton.

 

There are a lot of books that offer excellent biographies of key people in the Silent film industry. In fact, there are so many, I'll defer to fellow fans to share their favorites. I've read several but I can't recall one that shines significantly brighter than the others.

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of Silents. I look at today's crop of movies and wonder if they'll give future audiences, 80 years hence, 1/2 the joy that classic Silents have given me.

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Welcome. I have been watching since Christmas 2005, and have to say that the drivel that makes the "Top Movies" of the last several years will be expert level trivial pursuit questions in 10 years. The silents have stood the test of time.

 

There is a nice site that has a lot of info on it (look at the top navigation bar when you get there) at http://www.silentladies.com/Ladies.html . There are not only other pictures- and it is not exclusively for female silent stars- but more information that is biographical from that era.

 

Consider that these films are an art form that is nearing 100 years old. My grandmother used to tell me of going to the "moving pictures" when she was a kid, which would have been 1910-1915. These are the people that captured the imagination of her generation. Consider that there was a live orchestra scoring the film in those days. If you were to see something of this complexity today with a live orchestra (where the conductor was engaged with watching the film and conducting music) the tickets would be very expensive.

 

Fortunately for us, Turner shows and preserves these historical gems.

 

mike

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