The Art of Silent Film

This Newberry Library seminar is now concluded. It was held in the spring of 2016.

This seminar invites you to watch and discuss twelve international masterpieces of the silent film era, all while exploring the proposition that silent movies are much more than simply “movies without sound”—they comprise instead a distinct art form. By exploring examples of comedy, drama, suspense, and expressionism, and through lively readings of early film criticism, we will develop new ways of seeing the moving image and appreciate just how these silent movies stand as fully formed achievements of art. Six sessions.

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Six Revelations Provoked by Theater-Screening The Wizard of Oz

Oh you can say there’s nothing to be gained by seeing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen of a real theater, and you can say we knew all these things before, and you can say a big screen at home is big enough for anything we want to see. But with the principle in mind that knowledge of something from a little picture is different from knowledge of that same thing from a big picture, and in the spirit of refreshing the familiar, here are just six thoughts I had while watching, for the first time in a theater, a movie we’ve all seen dozens of times before.

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