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Silent Movies

Battleship Potemkin (Bronenosets Potyomkin)

Director: Sergei Eisenstein (1925, Russian, 66 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.0), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: YouTube, NetFlix.

Similar movies: intense, silent, suspense.

Summary: A gripping, silent movie. Full of drama and excitement. Set in Russia. The movie presents a dramatized version of a real mutiny against oppressive officers in a battleship named Potemkin in 1905. That mutiny has some connection with the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The movie has no hero or heroine. Only a few characters have names. It is all about groups of people and the masses. The story telling is awesome, scenes are great and the pace is good. The Wikipedia article for the movie points out that the film shocked viewers for the amount of violence, which was too graphic for those times (1925).

Soundtrack is critical for overall experience of the movie. It actually contributes to the drama by generating the right emotions. Most modern movies have unnecessary music, which can be toned down or removed. For Battleship Potemkin, different soundtracks have been developed in different decades. Some screenings have live orchestra, even as late as 2006, which says something about the popularity of this film.

 

Modern Times

Director: Charlie Chaplin (1936, English, 87 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.6), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: YouTube, Hulu.

Similar movies: city life, comedy, silent.

Summary: When I was a little kid, I thoroughly enjoyed Charlie Chaplin movies. His peculiar gait and his comical gestures were so funny! Twenty years later, when I saw Charlie Chaplin movies again, I was wowed. For the first time, the deeper meaning of these movies became clear to me.

Modern Times is a poignant critique of mechanization and modernity. The highlight of the movie is a long Factory Scene (YouTube). Charlie Chaplin shows how factory workers become depersonalized. They start behaving mechanically. Some go insane. The most memorable portion of this scene is Charlie Chaplin sliding through huge mechanical gears: Scene with Gears (YouTube). Another memorable scene is The Feeding Machine (YouTube) in which a contraption feed factory workers efficiently is being tested.

 

Head Over Heels

Director: Timothy Reckart (2012, English, 11 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.4), Wikipedia.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: I really liked this one! Very creative, with a beautiful storyline. An old, grumpy couple; they don't get along with each other; but they have mutual love and affection. What happens? :)

 

The Longest Daycare

Director: David Silverman (2012, English, 5 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.2), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Starring Maggie Simpson. Sharp criticism of Ayn Rand. Emphasizes emotional IQ over regular IQ, empathy over I.

 

La Luna (The Moon)

Director: Enrico Casarosa (2011, English, 7 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (85%), IMDB (8.0), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Summary: The grandfather-father-son are responsible for carrying on a tradition unique to their family. Within that framework, is there room for creativity? Yes. And it's best developed in young age, before cultural programming sets in. The boy takes a risk and succeeds in finding a new way of doing what the family has done traditionally. This does not demean the father and the grandfather. They are accepting and they all love each other.

 

Up (Marriage Sequence)

Director: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson (2009, English, 4 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (98%), IMDB (8.3), Wikipedia.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: A cute n warm sequence showing marriage.

Watch till 4:29 in this clip: here.

 

Pendulum (Furiko)

Director: Takefumi Kurashina (2012, Japanese, 3 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: An intense short movie showing a turbulent marriage. The wife is always smiling. The man gets angry time and again.

 

The House of Small Cubes (Tsumiki No Ie)

Director: Kunio Katô (2008, Japanese, 12 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (51%), IMDB (8.2), Wikipedia.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: The movie won the Oscar for Best Animation Film in 2012.

An old man lives on the top floor of a tall building that is mostly submerged in water. As the water level rises, he builds another level to stay above water. One day, his favorite pipe falls into the water. He goes scuba diving to search for the pipe. Each room in the building reminds him of fond memories associated with that room.

 

The Piano

Director: Aidan Gibbons (2007, English, 2 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Set to excellent music by Yann Tiersen.

 

The Scarecrow

Director: Chipotle (2013, English, 3 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: This ad by Chipotle struck a chord with me.

 

Blik

Director: Bastiaan Schravendeel (2010, English, 8 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Polder Animation - Blik.

 

2 Nov 2013
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