Silent : Why are they so booooooooooooooring

Why are they so booooooooooooooring

I just don't understand it. Everytime I try watching one it just puts me to sleep.

Re: Why are they so booooooooooooooring

Care to elucidate with some examples?

Re: Why are they so booooooooooooooring

all of them, like faust, calighari, etc.

Re: Why are they so booooooooooooooring

Okay, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is indeed a bit of weird one. It's an example of highly symbolic and stylized German Expressionism.

Please bear in mind that many techniques used in these films were being done for the first time. This was an entirely new medium at the time, and as such early films bear resemblances to stage plays or vaudeville. The scripts were perhaps less "tight". The technical challenges of lighting meant the actors had to wear rather heavy make up, and the lack of recorded sound meant the plot had to be made clear by intertitles, certain cliches and overacting.

I'm surprised you find Faust dull, as I love the flying sequence.

Certainly some things have stood the test of time, whereas others have not. For instance, in Nosferatu, there are a couple of special effects which back in the day were supposed to be spooky, but to our modern eyes just look silly. I think you have to make some allowance for such things. The context of the time is everything.

Perhaps people had longer attention spans back then, for instance I believe Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler consisted of two episodes of two hours each, which were watched on consecutive nights.

Are you watching ropey copies of these films on a small screen? I think if you were to watch a decent restoration with a decent soundtrack you might have a different experience.

Re: Why are they so booooooooooooooring

If I was watching them in a theater I guess it would be different. I try watching them on the computer and eventually get bored.

Re: Why are they so booooooooooooooring

Yes! There's a difference between a thrift store DVD that's clearly been made from a nasty old videotape with some random backing track and a DVD that's been mastered from the original negatives with the original score. And seeing it projected correctly in a cinema, dare I say it with live musical accompaniment is something else.

And not all silent films are any good - for instance, I've sat through Intolerance and Birth of a Nation and they're the kind of things people get to watch at Guantanamo Bay. Not all are masterpieces, in the same way that not all films released this year are.

I also find the little details that have nothing to do with the plot interesting (but then I'm autistic). For instance, in Spione, someone breaks into a building and the film cuts to a bell ringing in the police station. The policeman notes the number of the bell (there are several) and then flicks through a card index which tells him the address of the break in. And I think to myself "Oh, that's how it worked back then!"

In another film, the character ends up with the job of cleaning up horse manure in the streets. And of course, back then everything was delivered by horse, and if a fellow didn't go round with a barrow and a shovel and clear it up, every street would be three foot deep in dung by lunchtime. These are the kind of things that don't occur to you until you see them.

Not all silent films go on for hours, there are of course countless shorts.

I think sometimes films can be worth seeing not necessarily for their value in terms of the script, but sometimes they are worth seeing from an aesthetic point of view or the pioneering techniques in which they were made. For instance, there was a genre of German "mountain films" which is practically unheard of to most people, but which featured stunning scenery which is probably better in black & white than it would have been in colour.

Perhaps keep an eye out for what's coming up at your local art house cinema - they are unlikely to show a dud film.

Re: Why are they so booooooooooooooring

yes I agree. I don't have a local art cinema.