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25 April 2012

25 Greatest Silent Films (prior to 1936)

Well, this is the second top silent films list I have made, except a little longer. Now, I have watched over 65 silent films and most of them have been very entertaining indeed. From Chaplin to Murnau, watchign silent films is an enchanting experience were you get to take a step back into history of how films were made. Here are what I consider the best 25 silent films of all time (excluding The Artist). 

18 April 2012

Orphans of the Storm (1921) [Silent Film-a-Thon 2] 12#


Directed by: D.W Griffith
Genre: Drama, History
USA
Black and White, 150 Minutes
In the early days of cinema, D.W Griffith made hundreds of films from shorts to features. He is known for his important works such as The Birth of a Nation, and undoubtedly, Griffith is a pioneer of cinema with his use of camera and narrative techniques. Orphans of the Storm is no masterpiece, but Griffith uses feature films to a powerful extent with this film conveying a large story based on history, were two characters simply get caught up in the moments.

17 April 2012

My 50 Favourite films IN ORDER (As of April 2012)

Before you plow down my list, read this first. Although I have a page of my all time favourite films on here, I have not made an ordered list of my favourites in my entire time on the blog. I have wanted to explore more cinema before making a solid list, and even posting this one I think it'll be many more months and movies before I get a very solid list. My top five choices I love almost equally, but I chose a title that has very much influenced and interested me in cinema. I am yet to watch some of the acclaimed films floating in the world of film, but here is my list of favourites IN ORDER from what I have seen in my lifetime (which by now is about 900-1000 films). Please comment and give me feedback.

Steamboat Bill Jr (1928) [Silent Film-a-thon 2] 11#


Directed by: Buster Keaton, Charles Reisner
Genre: Comedy, Action
USA
Black and White, 70 Minutes
Among the great works of Buster Keaton Steamboat Bill Jr sits among his best, and is definitely up to par with his famous The General. Once more, we see Keaton effectively structuring a film with not only comedy- but also a solid plot. The characters may not be deep as would Chaplin’s, but Keaton has displayed his acting talent in a character that wins the audiences heart; not to mention some of his great comedic work used. Overall, it is a fantastic silent comedy and one of the greatest.

15 April 2012

My blogs 1 year anniversary! Blog Statistics

Wow it has been a year already! First things to say is thank you to all those who read and comment on my posts as if I did not get any form of feedback, I would have stopped after a while. I know I do it mainly for myself, but what's the point wasting hours on a blog no one reads? Well for this post, I am going to go through various statistics of my blog showing the amount of reviews I've written, genre totals, view count and more! Oh and a list of my favourite directors: A list that I have NEVER posted.

14 April 2012

Battleship Potemkin (1925) [Silent Film-a-Thon 2] 10#

Directed by: Sergie M. Eisenstein
Genre: Drama, War
U.S.S.R
Black and White, 75 Minutes
A while back I tried watching this and the copy had picture perfect quality, but the subtitles were way off. So, the review of this film has been delayed and now I have watched it properly. Battleship Potemkin is among the best silent films, and today is known as one of the greatest propaganda films of all time. The films striking visuals and largely controversial (for the time) message sum up for a very exciting experience. The film has a short runtime, but it's worth every minute.

12 April 2012

The Crowd (1928) [Silent Film-a-Thon 2] 9#

Directed by: King Vidor


Written by: King Vidor, John V.A. Weaver


Genre: Drama, Romance


USA


Black and White, 98 Minutes




I found out about this film through the 1001 Movies to see before you die book (the film lovers bible), and I was quite impressed with the story. We follow the average man through his life, who is no different from the other millions among the people around him. The film tells a tale of how we, being part of the crowd, can get lost among the crowd when something goes wrong and we step out. The events that happen to our protagonist appear as tragic, but he always strides forward which gives the film a feel-good finale.

Pay Day (1922) [Silent Film-a-thon 2] 8#


Directed by: Charles Chaplin
Genre: Comedy
USA
Black and White, 28 Minute
In one of Chaplin’s final short-reeler comedies, were he also does not play his tramp character. Except here, he is an employed worker. We get some excellent gags out of this film that has a wonderful ending that just makes you laugh at the stereotype we see (being a nagging wife).

11 April 2012

Haxan (1922) [Silent Film-a-Thon 2] 7#


Directed by:Benjamin Christensen
Genre: Horror, Documentary
Denmark
Black and White, 87 Minutes
This is a difficult film to watch and care about, but for patient viewers, you will find this is a strangely paced and produced documentary on witchcraft. In a time when the documentary genre was practically not even a genre at all, we see fictional dramatisations of stories that is read by the films narrator- that being the title cards. Even for today’s audiences, I am sure some clips will be quite haunting and creepy as we see many manifestations of the devil himself.

10 April 2012

Cops (1922) [Silent Film-a-thon 2] 6#

Directed by: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Genre: Comedy
USA
Black and White, 20 Minutes
Among Buster Keaton’s short comedies, Cops is one of his most recognised and famous and with good reason. The first half of Cops does not have many splendid gags, but the second half greatly makes up for it. While not being utter genius of comedy, Keaton displays pure athletic ability, daring stunts of his own and simply hilarious comedy. At a runtime of 20 minutes, this piece of silent comedy will impress you with the gags and stunts performed by Keaton himself.

09 April 2012

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) [Silent Film-a-thon 2] 5#



Directed By: Carl Dreyer


Genre: Drama, Biography

France 

Black and White, 82 Minutes (restored)





Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc today is revered for its filmmaking technique and emotion conveyed. When watching the film, it is easy to see why. Joan of Arc is still today a figure of female independence and an icon to women and France. In the film, we have a compelling and emotionally effective performance from an actress who would never make another film again. Dreyer’s slow pace and constant use of close-ups of Joan crying seem quite repetitive, but certainly, this is a standpoint of silent filmmaking.

08 April 2012

The Chaplin Revue (1959) [Silent Film-a-thon] 4#



Directed, Produced and Written by: Charles Chaplin
Music Composed by Charles Chaplin
Genre: Comedy
USA
Black and White, 119 Minutes
In the 1950’s, Chaplin combined three of his short comedies associated with his brother, Sydney and Edna Purviance, and re-composed their soundtracks (and wonderfully). The three films being, A Dog’s Life, Shoulder Arms and The Pilgrim are among his best short comedies and with the new scores composed by him, they come to life once more. Seeing these three films in the gloriously restored DVD edition make it worth watching for some of his finest gags that still stand the test of time as hilarious.

07 April 2012

Nanook of the North (1922) [Silent Film-a-thon 2] 3#


Directed by: Robert J Flaherty
Genre: Documentary
USA, France
Black and White, 79 Minutes
When watching this film, you see the documentary genre at an early stage before it became a format to ‘document’ events. As a silent documentary, you can be rest assured we still see a fascinating account of things that remain interesting. I believe this is the first documentary ever to be made, if not it is certainly one of the first next to Haxan. The film follows a family of Eskimo’s and how they survive in the blistering cold, and by the end of the film, you will have some appreciation as to how they go around doing it. Nanook of the North displays courage and survival of an Eskimo family creating a today-fascinating documentary.

06 April 2012

Grandma’s Boy (1922) [Silent Film-a-thon 2] 2#


Directed by: Fred C. Newmeyer
Written by: Hal Roach, Sam Taylor
Genre: Comedy
USA
Black and White, 60 Minutes
In this marathon, I am exploring a lot of silent comedy, and with comedians like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, some of these films remain very much funny and alive. Here, in Grandma’s Boy, we see Harold Lloyd with some Charlie Chaplin influence in his first feature-length comedy. A heartfelt story of a guy down on his luck, with great comedy. Grandma’s Boy may not be outrageously funny or pure genius, but it has some funny gags and a sincere plot that is not original, but very sweet.

05 April 2012

The Tramp (1915) [Silent Marathon 2] 1#

Written and Directed by: Charles Chaplin
Genre: Comedy
USA
Black and White, 29 Minutes
To start off my marathon, why not a silent comedy classic? This film in particular, is where we first truly see Charlie Chaplin’s tramp character come to life. Although the tramp appeared firstly in Kid Auto Race at Venice in 1914, here in The Tramp (1915), the character has developed, including mannerisms and movement. For a three-reeler comedy, this one is surprisingly strong in it's story and it shows that Chaplin’s moving to Essanay did him good. With great control, the film is wonderful to watch for silent film veterans.

03 April 2012

The Adventures of Tin Tin (2011)



Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig
Genre: Animation, Action, Family
Colour, 104 Minutes
At last I came round to this film and, what a visually spectacular film it is…a little too spectacular. As a huge animation fan, I was blown away by this films quite real motion capture CGI, but while it looks brilliant it is not what animation is about. Moving on, the film had an excellent ensemble of voice actors alongside a great director being, Steven Spielberg. The plot is fast paced, fun and could probably last for over 2 hours. It is a great film indeed, but the plot’s madness brings it down quite a bit.

02 April 2012

21 Jump Street (2012)


Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller


Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Written by: Michael Bacall, Patrick Hasburgh, Stephen J. Cannell, Jonah Hill

Genre: Comedy, Action

Colour, 109 Minutes

As a fan of the TV series that jump started (not a pun) Johnny Depp’s career, I was curious to see this film when I heard of it back in mid-2011.   From various posters and the films trailer, the film looked like it was going to feature some washed up comedy and horrible clichés that kill the film. Well, the film definitely has clichés, but as some critics have been saying, it isn’t all that bad. In fact, the film actually had some excellent comedy making it surprisingly enjoyable; despite the mainstream label it has.

01 April 2012

March in Review


This month I have lessened the amount of posts at my blog and I got quite slow with 4 day gaps at times. The reason is due to setting up the new youtube channel for my filmmaking team, and starting to design motion graphics again. Oh and school work. I have still been watching many films, and there are a few reviews coming here soon. March has been another fun month for film and I have not been watching any set kind of films. From The Birds to The Lorax, I have just been watching all around me.
Film Watch Count: 31
New to me films: 29
 

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