It’s been almost a year since “The Artist” reminded us of the power of silent films, the magic of black and white imagery, the helplessness of characters unable to speak. Reactionaries to the beginning of cinema returning to the present missed the point that silent films are closer to magic than any CGI effect. Just the fact that our vision isn’t monochrome is reason enough for it!
The superimpositions, that directors had to use instead of a flashback or portrayal of a thought, carry more emotional weight than most modern self-explanatory films. The silent era forced filmmakers to create suggestive narrative paths instead of being descriptive through dialogue and thus harbored more imagination and creativity.
Hazanavicius, who directed “The Artist” says the next silent director needs to be brave to take on such a task, but I believe anyone interested in joining the film business should make a few silent films and gain valuable lessons from this medium. It will improve their work and build on the grounds of what the early masters left for us, instead of denying the past and trying to build a future of cinema based on ignorance and box office speculations.