Jonathan Brun

On Silent Films

My two favourite films are Baraka and now, Samsara. Both are silent movies that travel the globe in exquisite detail. Far too many movies use speech, sound effects and music as a form of filler for mediocre stories, images, and acting. These two films show you factory farms, sex workers, garbage pickers, wealth, poverty, and beautiful art – but they do not tell you what to think. In many ways I find the experience more fulfilling. The absence of a narrator seems to be a sign of respect by the director for the audience’s intelligence. That respect conveyed through emptiness is perhaps what differentiates art from entertainment. Art makes you think, entertainment tells you what to think – or not to think.

Manufactured Landscapes and Koyaanisqatsi are similar, but lack a je ne sais quoi. That’s all I have to say.

Blue Monochrome byYves Klein

Oh and who can forget Chaplin’s one and only use of speaking film:

Published on September 14, 2012