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iCM Forum's Favourite Silent Movies, 2nd edition : Nomination - Closed - Processing Results

500<400, Favourite 1001 movies, Doubling the Canon, Film World Cup and many other votes
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Torgo
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#81

Post by Torgo »

St. Gloede wrote: November 9th, 2020, 5:10 pm (It is the same in Norwegian btw, i.e. "stumfilm", but The Artist was still labelled a "stumfilm", and if it was to be placed on the same standard as silents from the 30s and earlier the one line of dialogue should not be an issue. Even Sunrise would be disqualified on that standard).
It was marketed the same here, probably everywhere, because it's a gimmick, an homage, a replica of a films of the 1920s down to details. "It's like a true silent film, and that 90 years later, wow! Like taking a trip to the museum"; that's the joke about it. Imo it proves even more my point that silent film is not a genre like a musical :)

Because films like Pushpak or The Red Turtle and a few other animation films without dialogue won't be treated as such. Or at least they'll be treated very much as an oddity. When true silent films were made, in their own era, they were no oddities. ^^


I have to say the examples of insomnius are a damn good way to bring the concept into question. :D These (fantastic!) experimental films do feel, like perhaps also Prince Achmed (1926), a bit out of place compared to all the feature films with actors. But they will always looks avant-garde compared to anything non-avant-garde on any list, either, hehe.
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St. Gloede
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#82

Post by St. Gloede »

Yes, The Artist is specifically about the silent era, using the silent style as both a representation of the era and a metaphor for the lead character's journey - so yes - it is playing with it at that meta-level.

However, by this metric La La Land is not a musical.

And The Artist is one film ... We have listed several others. Yes, most are paying tribute in some way. In the case of Juha they changed it to silent because the antagonist could not speak Finnish (which is a funny story) but if you look at Blancanieves, for instance, it is taking the best of the late silent era and taking it forwards - and that's what I'd really want to see more of.

(Also, I don't understand The Red Turtle inclusion - it is not a silent film. If it had been symphonic with a few sound effects instead of traditional sound effects we could talk however).
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#83

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

St. Gloede wrote: November 9th, 2020, 5:10 pm
Torgo wrote: November 9th, 2020, 4:20 pm
St. Gloede wrote: November 9th, 2020, 4:06 pm

As Torgo explained above - he does. And Onderhond seems to hold this position as well - or at least that this is the position most people hold.
Yep, for me, it's synonymous, really. And I do believe that virtually all people in general will see "silent film" and "silent era" as identical, and most of film fans, too :)

In Germany, it's called Stummfilm, which includes a small, yet important semantic difference, since stumm translates to mute, making this type of film sound (..) even more dialogue-less to the common speaker. So, if you're having some small talk at the train station and tell your buddy that your hobby is watching Stummfilm, they will naturally ask "Ah, I see. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Nosferatu, Birth of a Nation Intolerance? I love to see some historical Stummfilm, as well!" and if you replied to that "Huh?, oh, yeah, these are the common ones, but I'm more interested in Juha, Pushpak, Tuvalu, avantgarde installations, maybe The Artist but that's really stretching the definition of a Stummfilm with its dialogue in the end, isn't it?" the guy would rightfully go " :blink: "

At least that's how I see it ..
I don't, not at all. :lol:

But it is fine to disagree.

(It is the same in Norwegian btw, i.e. "stumfilm", but The Artist was still labelled a "stumfilm", and if it was to be placed on the same standard as silents from the 30s and earlier the one line of dialogue should not be an issue. Even Sunrise would be disqualified on that standard).
Here we call them stupid (stomme) films. :lol:
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#84

Post by St. Gloede »

:lol:

That makes sense though. "Stupid" used to be the common word for "mute".
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#85

Post by joachimt »

Yeah, my daughters always look really confused when I say I'm watching a stupid movie. :lol:
"Then why do you watch it, daddy, if you don't like it?" :shrug:
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#86

Post by Onderhond »

joachimt wrote: November 9th, 2020, 7:27 pm "Then why do you watch it, daddy, if you don't like it?" :shrug:
Man, I get that question all the time :ph43r: (minus the daddy)
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#87

Post by prodigalgodson »

St. Gloede wrote: November 9th, 2020, 5:19 pm a note that experimental films which are simply without sound do not qualify shouldn't be too difficult - and it is quite intuitive.
I know I'm gonna regret butting in, since I really don't feel strongly about the parameters of one poll, but this recurring sentiment throughout the thread has set my INTP alarms ringing. I guess my intuition leans the other way -- these are, by definition, silent, and Gregory Markopolous, Phil Solomon, Timoleon Wilkins work within the medium of "visuals without sound track" just as much as DW Griffith, FW Murnau, or Man Ray. I think insomnius outlined this fallacy nicely. If I was making a personal list of favorite silents, it would never occur to me to exclude silent experimental film from any era, or narrative film for that matter if there really is no soundtrack, and I would be more reluctant to include things like Enthusiasm that come with a built-in soundtrack (didn't realize this was the case for Sunrise and other late silents, I had just presumed live music accompanied them at the time, as has been the case for all silents I've seen theatrically, and the soundtrack was just introduced for later releases).
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#88

Post by St. Gloede »

Yes, that's a completely fair take - though funnily enough to me silents are the opposite - visuals with a soundtrack - be that live, or pre-recorded. (Of course, there are silents without sound, but they are not intended to be seen that way - while the films of Brakhage, etc. are).
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#89

Post by Torgo »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: November 9th, 2020, 6:56 pm Here we call them stupid (stomme) films. :lol:
joachimt wrote: November 9th, 2020, 7:27 pm Yeah, my daughters always look really confused when I say I'm watching a stupid movie. :lol:
"Then why do you watch it, daddy, if you don't like it?" :shrug:
:lol:
This anecdote makes me reconcile with this heavily debated thread!
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#90

Post by prodigalgodson »

St. Gloede wrote: November 9th, 2020, 10:27 pm Yes, that's a completely fair take - though funnily enough to me silents are the opposite - visuals with a soundtrack - be that live, or pre-recorded. (Of course, there are silents without sound, but they are not intended to be seen that way - while the films of Brakhage, etc. are).
I can dig it. When I was first discovering silent films I always wanted to watch them with the music muted, I think because so many DVDs of silents come with stilted old scores that make them feel more like museum relics than blooded artistic expressions. But a few experiences changed that, like seeing Arsenal and Blood of a Poet scored by contemporary electronic musicians, and now I really relish what a good music selection can add to a silent. Even with abstract experimental films, I've come to really like how an apt soundtrack can interact with the imagery, as much as I still love stuff by Deren, Brakhage, Markopolous, and their descendants.
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#91

Post by Lilarcor »

Since there's talk about sound for silents here I'd like to share this video from the masterclass of this year's online Pordenone Silent Film Festival
featuring Neil Brand that I found delightful and interesting. He talks about the history of accompaniment for silent cinema and then plays and analyzes how he would improvise with piano to a western:
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#93

Post by Fergenaprido »

I think this should be a silent film poll, not a silent era poll.

When we voted on the options last year, it was referred to as simply "Silents": viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4647&view=unread#unread
The list on icm from the last edition is for "Silent Films": https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icm+ ... htysparks/
The title of this thread is even "Silent Movies"

Nothing, aside from the text in the OP (which was seemingly copied from the text from 6 years ago) mentions any restrictions to a specific era in time (and an era which we cannot agree upon).

I can't speak for anyone else, but when I voted in the poll, my intention was for silent films, not silent era - I see no value in a "silent era" poll when we already run decade polls (I was even a primary proponent of the 1920s poll when people didn't want to do it because they thought it would be too similar to the silent poll... I didn't foresee that not a single talkie would make the final list in that). To me, films like The Artist, Blancanieves, Juha, etc. are absolutely silent films, regardless of the year in which they were made/released. When I think I silent films, I generally think of black and white films without diegetic sound but with an accompanying soundtrack. Granted, this doesn't cover all instances, but I doubt I'm the only one who thinks along these general lines. Experimental films that are intentionally silent without any soundtrack I suppose qualify, but I consider them purely as experimental films and not necessarily as silents. Based on the discussion I think I'm more in line with St. Gloede and Teproc than with other points of view.

Oh, and seeing as it's in the list from last time, I'm assuming we're all accepting Lonesome as eligible, despite there being some non-silent scenes?
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#94

Post by prodigalgodson »

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls086450337/

Ultimately decided to exclude Rose Hobart and By Night with Torch and Spear -- even though Cornell's technically applicable in the timespan being considered, it didn't feel true to the spirit of the poll. I did, however, keep Blood of a Poet, which as I mentioned I saw screened silently with a score. Also, IMDb only lists Vertov's Kino-nedelya, which was a weekly series, as one 8 minute silent short; the extant version I saw contains Kino-weeks 1, 3-5, and 21–25, and was over an hour.
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#95

Post by filmbantha »

Here is my ranked list: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls086456502/

I could only muster up 23 titles worthy of making a list - I really need to explore more silent films and will be looking forward to checking out the final list for recommendations.
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#96

Post by Gorro »

My ranked list:

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/gorr ... ist/gorro/

At the moment silent era, defined per director (e.g. Chaplin made silents until Modern Times, so they all qualify, the Ozu films until his first talkie qualify etc.). If the discussion develops to allow later silents as well I will add them.
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#97

Post by Torgo »

Fergenaprido wrote: November 10th, 2020, 6:38 am When I think I silent films, I generally think of black and white films without diegetic sound but with an accompanying soundtrack.
Why black and white, what does that have to do with "silent"? Seems you're at least very much influenced by the standards of the silent era as well. :P
The modern examples Juha, Artist, Blancanieves all try to replicate this very much. Why not in color?
Experimental films that are intentionally silent without any soundtrack I suppose qualify, but I consider them purely as experimental films and not necessarily as silents.
Maybe there's a broader forum consensus on what is an experimental film and what isn't, but otherwise, given the debate-joyfulness of us sometimes, I'd reckon doing a year-cut-off like 1935 is well easier than finding a definition for a "non-experimental film". :D
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#98

Post by St. Gloede »

Torgo wrote: November 10th, 2020, 1:33 pm
Fergenaprido wrote: November 10th, 2020, 6:38 am When I think I silent films, I generally think of black and white films without diegetic sound but with an accompanying soundtrack.
Why black and white, what does that have to do with "silent"? Seems you're at least very much influenced by the standards of the silent era as well. :P
The modern examples Juha, Artist, Blancanieves all try to replicate this very much. Why not in color?
I'd love to see more silent films in colour.

Obviously, there were colour films in the silent era, from the handpainted Melies shorts, to The Toll of the Sea and The Black Pirate - and it would be great to see more and more director play with silent in colour. Obviously, Pushpaka Vimana is in colour, as is At Sea (if we want to count it).

I think part of the reason is that the B/W silent style is just so iconic and wonderful, that those who are inspired to make silent films instantly want to play with it.

*As for Juha, it is shot in the same way Kaurismäki's other B/W films are shot.
Experimental films that are intentionally silent without any soundtrack I suppose qualify, but I consider them purely as experimental films and not necessarily as silents.
Maybe there's a broader forum consensus on what is an experimental film and what isn't, but otherwise, given the debate-joyfulness of us sometimes, I'd reckon doing a year-cut-off like 1935 is well easier than finding a definition for a "non-experimental film". :D
Or just allow them in too. ;)
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#99

Post by St. Gloede »

Top Films of the Silent Era:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls059030351/

*Originally went for a top 250, but removed many of my lower 8s to focus on the top of the crop.
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#104

Post by zzzorf »

Here is my ranked list. As I have taken this as my favourite silent movies, 3 movies I guess will be removed by the host upon collection as they may not be classed as Silent Era.
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/my+t ... ms/zzzorf/
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#105

Post by Caracortada »

ICM Poll: Hush Hush - Silent Movies to Talk About

I included Modern Times, Mel Brooks' Silent Movie and The Artist, but a bit lower than I would place them otherwise. Several Maya Deren shorts are in it too. The rest of the top 100 was made before 1935.
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#106

Post by Cocoa »

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls086461202/

Top 25 RANKED. The rest is unranked.
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#107

Post by Hunziker »

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls086968739/

Ranked. Top 20 (features). A classical Napoléon/Metropolis/Sunrise top 3. :wub: (l)


Edit: Some great lists out there. I feel like such a noob, my silent game is weak af.
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#109

Post by kingink »

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls059076957/

Let me post my list in case I forget that I didn't post it already.
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#112

Post by Torgo »

I enjoyed the fundamental debate with you guys. Hope it's cool with everyone how we came to different conclusions.
The embarrassing thing is, I checked IMDb for how many eligible films (from the silent era, to narrow it down) I've seen since my last participation in 2014. The result were a whopping 10 titles. :facepalm: 3 of them made it into my minimally changed Top 50.
Again, I feel a bit stupid for sharing my favorites - it's really just pushing many of the already by far most renowned silents, those everybody has seen and mostly agrees to be great. Doing my bit to turn this into a popularity contest. Here you are!:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls059078529/
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#113

Post by Lammetje »

Torgo wrote: November 19th, 2020, 2:08 am I enjoyed the fundamental debate with you guys. Hope it's cool with everyone how we came to different conclusions.
The embarrassing thing is, I checked IMDb for how many eligible films (from the silent era, to narrow it down) I've seen since my last participation in 2014. The result were a whopping 10 titles. :facepalm: 3 of them made it into my minimally changed Top 50.
Again, I feel a bit stupid for sharing my favorites - it's really just pushing many of the already by far most renowned silents, those everybody has seen and mostly agrees to be great. Doing my bit to turn this into a popularity contest. Here you are!:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls059078529/
A great top 50 with a fitting title:
Spoiler
Top 30 Silents :pinch: tehe
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#114

Post by Gordon_Gekko »

Ranked:
https://www.imdb.com/list/ls086839888/

Have to watch more Silent Films :think:
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#116

Post by Gordon_Gekko »

Does someone has a tipp for the right settings at imdb to get the evaluated silent films? I tried it with 'Language = none' but in the result many films missing. :think:
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#117

Post by hurluberlu »

My list

Cut-off date 1929 + some late French, Russian, Japanese and Chaplin until 1936
1-42 ranked, rest unranked
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#118

Post by hurluberlu »

Gordon_Gekko wrote: November 21st, 2020, 11:03 am Does someone has a tipp for the right settings at imdb to get the evaluated silent films? I tried it with 'Language = none' but in the result many films missing. :think:
You have a Silent option under Sound Mix (Advanced Title Search).
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#119

Post by Gordon_Gekko »

hurluberlu wrote: November 21st, 2020, 11:18 am
Gordon_Gekko wrote: November 21st, 2020, 11:03 am Does someone has a tipp for the right settings at imdb to get the evaluated silent films? I tried it with 'Language = none' but in the result many films missing. :think:
You have a Silent option under Sound Mix (Advanced Title Search).
Found it, thanks :thumbsup:
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