Throwback Thursday: Silent Movies

When you go to the cinema today you can expect to see HD quality visuals, pitch perfect sound, CGI characters and 3D objects flying at you from all angles. With this in mind, it’s hard to believe that there was once a time when none of this technology was available. Its come to a point where making a silent film like The Artist is an Oscar worthy notion. The movies of the past consisted of shaky black and white images, hand cut and pasted together with no sound included, but despite this, some of the finest films ever made were produced without a single word.

1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Robert Wiene presents the ultimate German expressionist film complete with sharp angles, dark eyes and pale faces. The strange tale of Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, Cesare, is a staple in the expressionist genre. The film has flashbacks, murder mystery and a twist ending before they were cool. Check out the full movie above!

2. Trip to the Moon/Le Voyage Dans La Lune

The Méliès brothers directed and produced this gem in 1902. Back in the days before color could be recorded onto film, some filmmakers would have their black and white movies hand painted piece by piece, the film could then be sold in both black and white or color depending on the buyer’s preference. The movie follows a group of astronomers as they fly into space and land on the moon, directly into the moon’s eyes to be precise, and proceed to be attacked by space monsters. A fascinating watch, and one of my personal favorites.

3. Metropolis

The original sci-fi movie. If you can think of a sci-fi movie stereotype, it probably originates from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, a movie that is still being found in pieces as recently as 2008. Futuristic landscape? Check. Utopian city? Yep. Robots? You got it! IMDB provides the lovely tagline: “There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.”

4. Nosferatu

Before the sexed up Eric of True Blood, the sparkly Edward of Twilight and the tormented Angel of Buffy there was Nosferatu, a vampire so unsexy, creepy and skinny he would never have made it in a Hollywood blockbuster. However, he does in fact come across as scary, a pretty important attribute for a horror movie villain one would think. Watch the full movie with all its creeping shadows, blood lust and helpless victims in the above clip. 

5. The Gold Rush

The original charming tramp himself,  Charlie Chaplin, goes to Alaska in search of gold. On his way he meets some burly characters and of course finds love. The movie is a Chaplin classic, his skill as an actor is legendary to this day for a reason, he is the original Mr Bean – hilarious and captivating without uttering a word. If for some unimaginable reason you can’t watch the entire film at least sit back and enjoy the renowned shoe scene in the cabin, it’s a classic.

– Sinann Fetherston

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