It's one week until my "silent film horror" book comes out! And yes I highly suggest you click here to see the "Jazzy Pre-sale Gifts." Click, I dare you.
Anyway, sales hat off: as part of my research for Flickers I watched a large selection of Silent Films. These were the five that stood out for me.
1. The General
I knew little about Buster Keaton before writing this book. Everyone talks about Charlie Chaplin. He is brilliant. But Buster Keaton is his equal. Today we live in a world with giant budget special effects and grandiose 3D spectacles. But nothing tops the live on the scene "real" special effects of this movie.
Dracula! Well, not Dracula because they were trying to avoid copyright issues when they made this movie thus they called it Nosferatu. Bram Stoker's widow won the court case and had every copy of the film destroyed. Except one. It was shipped to the US (where copyright had lapsed) and the movie was release there. Luckily for us, it lives! It lives! So many of these scenes will look familiar because so many horror directors paid homage to this film.
3. The Kid
Charlie Chaplin made better movies. Deeper movies. But boy...this is just so much fun.
It's one of the first and greatest science fiction epics. And I have no idea what's going on sometimes. But the grandeur of imagination comes across.
5. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Okay. This is like a nightmare inside a nightmare inside a shadowbox full of nightmares. Artsy. Gutsy. Scary. It sticks with you.
There are, of course, many more brilliant films from that age. Educate me! Leave a comment to tell me which ones I should have included.