The Nature and Beginning of Silent Film
Film is a visual medium. Yet, this does not mean that there are not other elements to film. The silent film era, for some, recalls a time when movies were silent and simply visually expressive. But as Melinda Szaloky states, it is a “truism that ‘silent cinema was never silent’” (109). Indeed, Szaloky notes that “the sounds of the silent have been conceived of as something external, an accompaniment to the visual universe of the film” (109). Silent film, from its very beginnings in the basement of the Grand Café in Paris in 1895, was ever a medium that relied solely on the visual power of its moving pictures. Indeed, the Lumiere brothers’ early films were simply brief clips or photographs of simple acti...
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...ilm, like a storybook with pictures, was meant to be seen and felt—not heard or read.
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