Cultural theory and Documentary film

Speaking up for the silent movie
July 24, 2009, 14:14
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Without knowing if this is a commissioned material, you can still look at it so long it is presented on the tube. It is a presentation of the early days of Hollywood production and the silent movie. I think the old actors defense for the silent movie is a wonderful attitude, “we spoke a language understood in the whole world”, “had the highest niveau of pantomime” etcetera…

A important reminder is, because we are mostly going around with a inadequate opinion on how this films were shown to audiencies. They didn´t see bleached out films with strange flitter and other damages to the pictures and jerky movements. They could see the total greyscale of the original copy of the nitrate film, and what is more they could, sometimes, hear a live orchestra doing the soundtrack, it is something very much more vivid and enthralling with a the sound of live instruments rather than a often bleak electronic representation.

The first part makes this clear showing a maybe restored filmclip and telling about the grand theatres in New York.

Amazing music
July 22, 2009, 22:35
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Much efforts for every film is made for their music/sound scores. In the days of silent film the accompanying music could be anything from nothing at all to a full scale orchestra depending on how fancy movietheatre you were visiting. Today were are all used to the intricate music/sound building of modern hifi techniques often in five channels if not more.

But to return to the silent era there was lot of standard solutions in the business. When restoring old silent movies they are tuned up with a totally new music score. Now I found out that there is a orchestra specialized on making music to silent film. They made a fascinating score to the “Man with a moviecamera” film by Voritov, which I will return to soon. In the meantime I would like to direct traffic to the website of “The Alloy Orchestra”, they seem to be on tour most part of year to screenings and filmfestivals of silent movies. Which doesn´t surprise me,  since they really do have a sense for making music for silent film. When I first saw Voritovs movie I thought it was some sort of of a larger orchestra that had made the music, but it turned out to be only three gifted members in the group using modern musical devices for making the musicscore sound nearly as a full set symphony orchestra.