Silent films

Because the Portugal ambasy gave us an oportunity to see Manoel's de Oliveira's films on a big screen in Lithuania, thank you very much for these people, I would like to say couple words about films from which he began his career as director. This type of films are wery interesting for me so I will give some information about silent film scategory and you will decide is it interesting for you or not and maby we will together create something like this.

The first film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888. It was a two second film of people walking around in Oakwood Grange garden, titled Roundhay Garden Scene. The art of motion pictures grew into full maturity in the "silent era" before silent films were replaced by "talking pictures" in the late 1920s. Many film scholars and buffs argue that the aesthetic quality of cinema decreased for several years until directors, actors, and production staff adapted to the new "talkies". The visual quality of silent movies — especially those produced during the 1920s — was often extremely high. However, there is a widely held misconception that these films were primitive and barely watchable by modern standards. This misconception is due to technical errors (such as films being played back at wrong speed) and due to the deteriorated condition of many silent films (many silent films exist only in second or even third generation copies which were often copied from already damaged and neglected film stock). Because silent films had no synchronized sound for dialogue, onscreen intertitles were used to narrate story points, present key dialogue and sometimes even comment on the action for the cinema audience. The title writer became a key professional in silent film and was often separate from the scenario writer who created the story. Intertitles (or titles as they were generally called at the time) often became graphic elements themselves, featuring illustrations or abstract decoration that commented on the action.

Acting techniques

Lillian Gish was a major star of the silent era with one of the longest careers, working from 1912-1987

Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. Much silent film acting is apt to strike modern-day audiences as simplistic or campy. For this reason, silent comedies tend to be more popular in the modern era than drama, partly because overacting is more natural in comedy. The melodramatic acting style was in some cases a habit actors transferred from their former stage experience. The pervading presence of stage actors in film was the cause of this outburst from director Marshall Neilan in 1917: "The sooner the stage people who have come into pictures get out, the better for the pictures." In other cases, directors such as John Griffith Wray required their actors to deliver larger-than-life expressions for emphasis. As early as 1914, American viewers had begun to make known their preference for greater naturalness on screen.

Preservation and lost films

Many early motion pictures are lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films, like the series of Pinochle Boys films, were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75% of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data. Major silent films presumed lost include Saved from the Titanic (1912); The Apostle, the world's first animated feature film (1917); Cleopatra (1917); Arirang (1926); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1927); The Great Gatsby (1926); and London After Midnight (1927). Though most lost silent films will never be recovered, some have been discovered in film archives or private collections.

In 1978 in Dawson City, Yukon, a bulldozer uncovered buried reels of nitrate film during excavation of a landfill. Dawson City used to be the end of the distribution line for many films, and the titles were stored at the local library until 1929 when the flammable nitrate was used as landfill in a condemned swimming pool. Stored for 50 years under the permafrost of the Yukon, the films turned out to be extremely well preserved. Included in this treasure trove were films by Pearl White, Harold Lloyd Douglas Fairbanks, , and Lon Chaney, Sr.. These films are now housed at the Library of Congress. The degradation of old film stock can be slowed through proper archiving, or films can be transferred to CD-ROM or other digital media for preservation. Silent film preservation has been a high priority among film historians.

So, I hope you weren’t wery boried while reading this article and got some konwledge about silent films. Thank you for attention.





2 comentários:

  1. Hi Kristina!
    I would like to suggest some things to you, regarding silent movies (filmes mudos). Remind me next lesson... ;)