Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
 Silent movies have always inspired me with their compelling visual presence and strong graphics. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" was an epiphany during my German Expressionist period back in college, right about the same time I discovered Egon Schiele. Now it's hard to imagine "discovering" Egon Schiele, that darling of Tumblr and Pinterest boards.

So every time I've DVRed a silent movie, I've felt somehow virtuous about using arcane knowledge acquired in college. I also confess to feeling somewhat smug about having a secret source of inspiration--it must be secret since I don't see lots of silent film stills being bandied about on the interwebs. Yet. But have you ever noticed that as soon as an idea penetrates your consciousness, everyone else simultaneously gets it too? It's that pesky universal consciousness again.

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
When I saw this article about 75% of early silent films being lost, I had just watched "Battleship Potemkin". I knew enough to look out for the staircase/baby carriage sequence, but found another hidden gem.                                     



Synthesis via Cinephilia

The Lion Sequence perfectly distills the genius of Eisenstein--explained very conveniently here.
Remember, you saw it here first!


  1. There does seem to be something magical about silent films.. I think it is the combination with black and white that adds to the magic.

  2. Wow - you have shared some wonderful and unique images here! The lions are particularly captivating. And now that you've sparked my curiosity, I think I'll go look up silent movie stills!