Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Was there ever a period between the Golden Age of Silent Film and the onset of Talkies, where movies were merely Muffled, or perhaps just Quiet? The reason I ask is that I've noticed there are movies, the kind of movies that are shown on AMC at odd hours, that look like they are from the 30s or 40s, and whose major feature is almost totally inaudible sound. Maybe that's how movies were. People would gather at their local movie house (or Das Filmhaus for our German friends) and, almost as one, lean forward in a vain attempt to make out what the blazes was going on up there on the screen.

Whole communities would come together as one big happy, hearing-impaired family as people would wail "What are they saying?", "Why did he shoot that guy?" and "I think I hear an oboe". That's what's missing from our world today. Quiet films.


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