Silent film essay

In "The Persisting Vision," he champions comprehensive film preservation, citing the case of Hitchcock's  Vertigo , the final entry on his list, now named the greatest film of all time by  Sight and Sound 's critics poll. "When the film came out some people liked it, some didn’t, and then it just went away." When, after decades of obscurity, Vertigo  came back into circulation,  the color was completely wrong," and "the elements — the original picture and sound negatives — needed serious attention." A restoration of the "decaying and severely damaged" film eventually happened, and "more and more people saw  Vertigo  and came to appreciate its hypnotic beauty and very strange, obsessive focus." I, personally, couldn't imagine the world of cinema without it — nor without any of the other pictures Scorsese calls his favorites.

1. The General (1926)
2. Metropolis (1927)
3. Sunrise (1927)
4. City Lights (1931)
5. Nosferatu (1922)
6. The Gold Rush (1925)
7. La Passion et la Mort de Jeanne d’Arc (1928)
8. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920)
9. Bronenosets ‘Potyomkin’ (1925)
10. Greed (1924)

The film has had several different soundtracks through the years. When it premiered in Sweden, it was accompanied by a score compiled from preexisting compositions. Details of the selection, which met with the director's enthusiastic approval, have been lost. It is probable, but not certain, that it was the same music as for the Copenhagen premiere two months later, which is known. In Copenhagen it was played by a 50-piece orchestra, and the selection, combining pieces by Schubert , Gluck , and Beethoven , has been restored and recorded with a smaller ensemble by arranger/conductor Gillian Anderson for the 2001 Criterion Collection DVD edition. [18]

If he had lived, the rest of his career would have been spent making sound films. He probably would have made some great ones. But with a silent like “The Last Laugh,” he famously did not require a single title card to tell his story. And “Nosferatu” is more effective for being silent. It is commonplace to say that silent films are more “dreamlike,” but what does that mean? In “Nosferatu,” it means that the characters are confronted with alarming images and denied the freedom to talk them away. There is no repartee in nightmares. Human speech dissipates the shadows and makes a room seem normal. Those things that live only at night do not need to talk, for their victims are asleep, waiting.

Silent film essay

silent film essay

If he had lived, the rest of his career would have been spent making sound films. He probably would have made some great ones. But with a silent like “The Last Laugh,” he famously did not require a single title card to tell his story. And “Nosferatu” is more effective for being silent. It is commonplace to say that silent films are more “dreamlike,” but what does that mean? In “Nosferatu,” it means that the characters are confronted with alarming images and denied the freedom to talk them away. There is no repartee in nightmares. Human speech dissipates the shadows and makes a room seem normal. Those things that live only at night do not need to talk, for their victims are asleep, waiting.

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