Silent : Five silent movie myths

Five silent movie myths

Re: Five silent movie myths

Nice article. Thanks for sharing!


Re: Five silent movie myths

The most persistent of those listed myths is the last one: "Silent movies are primitive." This is one often perpetuated even by fans of silent films! E.g., "You may think silents are clumsy and primitive, but you have to understand how innovative they were at the time!" No. That is an insufficient and wrong-headed 'defense' of silent films, imo (and this article itself is guilty of inadequately breaking down its final listed 'myth'). On the contrary, many silent films reached heights of artistic exquisiteness and sublimeness that rival any films that have come out since, and as their artistic expressions were largely by a different means than the dialog-driven films of today, they are all the more valuable and refreshing for the modern viewer.

Filmmakers may have polished a far faster and slicker editing process (the results of which can be fantastic and wonderfully innovative), but that does not mean that film has in general steadily and inexorably improved -- as if there were some simple and linear graph of progress.

Also, another silent film myth not mentioned in that article: "Silent film acting was ridiculously stilted, unnatural, histrionic, and over the top." There are plenty of silent films with acting just as ridiculous as the worst stereotype, but there is also a wealth of silent films that feature subtle, naturalistic, and intensely moving acting -- long before method acting and other such supposedly game-changing breakthroughs.