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The Magic Lantern (Silent Movies)

from The Telegraph.

The cinema’s provenance lies in the silent movie. But stereotypes, like habits, die hard. Since 1927, when the first ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer, was released, movie-goers have associated films with dialogue, sound and music. A successful film, in terms of the accepted stereotype, is one in which all these elements come together with images to tell a story that appeals to the emotions of human beings.

A silent film is considered a throwback in time: it has historical value but is unacceptable within the canons of modern cinema. Hence, film-goers in Britain have refused to accept the Oscar-winning film, The Artist. People have walked out of cinemas and some have been so outraged that they have asked for their money back. The Artist has raised the question: what is cinema?

The film is not only silent, it is also in black and white. This obviously does not match what large numbers of people expect from a movie that has been commercially released. They expect to be entertained and believe that without sound and without colour they have been short changed. This reaction only indicates that tastes have dramatically changed in less than a hundred years.

Read the rest of this article from the Telegraph.

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