Movie Analysis : ' Silent Films ' Essay

Movie Analysis : ' Silent Films ' Essay

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Today, most movie goers categorize ‘silent films’ into one genre and discard the stark differences that make Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, The Great Train Robbery, and Broken Blossoms vastly dissimilar. In my opinion, these films clearly illustrate the evolution from silent film projection on a cafe wall to the birth of the hollywood that we know today. The profound contrast is most apparent in their stories, their performances, and the emotional response each film invokes. Collectively these films provide viewers with a clear perspective on how early film progressed from silent stills into what we call today, The Classical hollywood “silent” film era.
Arrival of a Train at La Ciota,the first projected and enlarged 35mm film short, inadvertently became the first prototype of realism in film and that it was, a realistic window into the arrival of the train at La Ciota. The story followed a basic plot structure similar to today’s version of a short documentary. The camera was placed in one location and documented the arrival of passengers on the train with a running time of only forty- nine seconds. The Great Train Robbery, released eight short years later in 1903, introduced a slightly more complex plot, showcasing a partial dramatic structure comprised of a rising action, climax, and resolution. With a run time of ten minutes, director Edwin S. Porter was able to debut the first ever narrative film allowing views to watch a ‘story’ and “in someways [it was] a prototype for the classical American film.” (467). Unlike The Arrival of a Train at La Ciota, The Great Train Robbery used revolutionary film techniques including character actors, multiple scenes (14), and minor camera movement. Similarly, Broken Blossoms, released ...

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...a new genre and entertains audiences all over evoking the first feelings of suspense and drama. Today, many, including my self would characterizes Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat and The Great Train Robbery as boring and unrelatable. Uniquely, Broken Blossoms takes a drastic and monumental detour down a dark and twisted path invoking a nauseating, terrifying, and chilling emotional response from the audience. This timeless classic is the type of film that haunts you for days. A perfect combination of storyline, dramatic acting, and clever director choices. In only a decade or so, this tale of a romantic tragedy introduces viewers to the new and sophisticated cinematic experience forever transforming Hollywood cinema. Conjointly, these three films inspired essential development championing the future for filmmakers, actors, and the industry as a whole.

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