Keyframe Special Series: The Silent Artists

New films like "The Artist" are putting silent movies back in the limelight

As noted in Nathaniel Rogersinaugural Oscar column on Keyframe, two new films are making a bid for Oscar gold by tapping into the aura of movies made before Academy Awards even existed.  Martin Scorsese’s Hugo brings 3D splendor to the glories of Georges Méliès and the invention of cinema, while The Artist is nothing less than a throwback to silent filmmaking, with a Douglas Fairbanks-type matinee idol meeting his demise at the dawn of the sound era. Regardless of what one thinks of these films, it’s always an occasion for celebration whenever the spotlight is thrown back on the landmarks and masterpieces of early filmdom. So Keyframe dedicates this week to The Silent Artists, the directors and actors who helped turn the medium of film into a worldwide cultural phenomenon and a new form of art. We’ll be posting exclusive articles and video, and host a debate concerning the relative superiority of three silent artists in particular.

Check back for a continually updated list of content for The Silent Artists. In the meantime, see the list at the bottom, Fandor’s Pantheon of Essential Silent Film Directors. These filmmakers all made a lasting contribution to the movies, and all have films that can be watched on Fandor (click on each name for a full listing). You can watch these films for free with a Fandor One Week Pass.

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Content for The Silent Artists:

– – – Silent Kings of Comedy Battle Royale! Chaplin v. Keaton v. Lloyd
– Timeless Obsession: Why Harold Lloyd is More Relevant than Keaton or Chaplin
– Super Tramp: The Enduring Legacy of Charlie Chaplin
– Why Buster Keaton is the Isaac Newton of Movies
– On Beyond “Hugo:” Méliès and More Early Movie Magic at the “Minute” Cinematheque

Fandor Pantheon of Essential Silent Film Directors:

Charles Chaplin
Émile Cohl
Cecil B. DeMille
Sergei Eisenstein
Louis Feuillade
D.W. Griffith
Alice Guy
Buster Keaton
Fritz Lang
Ernst Lubitsch
Auguste and Louis Lumiere
Georges Méliès
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Edwin S. Porter
Hal Roach
Mack Sennett
Dziga Vertov

Watch Silent Films on Fandor with a One Week Pass

Get a Fandor Free Pass

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