Race for the Silent Film 500

If you think that I have been reviewing more silent films on this site… you’re right! I have been trying to fill gaps in coverage (particularly in pre-feature cinema) but my efforts starting me thinking…

As of today, I have 319 silent film reviews under my belt in total. I’m pretty proud of the variety I have been able to cover but I am also aware that there are many topics, stars and nations that I have not yet written about.

So, here is my goal: I am going to try to reach 500 silent film reviews by the end of next year. It’s ambitious but, I think, attainable: 181 silent films reviewed in 82 weeks.

I plan to continue my policy of reviewing movies that are famous, forgotten and everything in between. From the beginning, I have wanted to view the silent era as a whole, not just through the lens of a few blockbusters or a single genre, like comedy. Mainstream Hollywood dramatic fare, now often ignored in favor of European output and slapstick, will continue to form the backbone of this site.

That being said, I am still pursuing my goals of researching Latin American silent films and the output of the Jewish diaspora, two areas that are fairly neglected in mainstream film history. I will continue to look for historical nooks and crannies that may not be covered much these days.

That’s about it. Let’s have fun with this!

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24 Replies to “Race for the Silent Film 500”

  1. Chinese silent film and Indian are worth considering (though the survival rate is understandably tiny, even by Silent Film standards). Also, English silent film is generally neglected in general, especially in the 1920’s. Silent cartoons besides Felix and some of the earlier experimental efforts, Windsor MacCay, for example, are often ignored as well.

    1. Yes, indeed. I am working on getting a bit more British material on the site and all of July will be dedicated to silent animation, so that’s a bit of help there! Chinese silent film really is underrepresented on home video here in the USA, I would love to see some of the martial arts adventures that so vexed Chiang Kai-shek

  2. 500 reviews will be an occasion that calls for celebration! I know your remaining reviews to reach that goal will be as insightful and fun as the 319 you’ve already completed.
    (Of course, that’s easy for a reader like me to say, isn’t it? There’s A LOT of effort that goes into your reviews. I know because of the high quality of everything Movies Silently.)
    I wish you enjoyment and satisfaction in your work as you continue creating reviews to reach your goal, Fritzi.

  3. Oh Fritzi!!! I would LOVE to get lost amongst your collection. My life long obsession has been about silent actresses – Maude Fealy is so beautiful. I would love to read about Olive Thomas as well. I will look forward to your posts!!

  4. Totally attainable…but don’t rush yourself too much. What’s special about your site is the depth and quality of the reviews. Keep that, at the expense of quantity, if necessary.

  5. You mean there were other countries making movies?!!!! Yes, please keep expanding our boundaries beyond the obvious (the US, Germany). And thanks for all you do!

  6. Two areas I’m surpised you’ve barely covered on here:

    Roscoe Arbucke and Japanese Silent Films.

    Could you try to do more of those during your goal achieving? (Especially that’s fist one because 😍)

    Thanks Fritzi πŸ˜€

  7. Do some Roscoe Arbuckle and Japanese Silents along the way! This place is sorely lacking in them especially the first category and it’s bothering me >:P

    1. I have an Arbuckle short on the schedule for June. I’m afraid I am holding off on all Japanese films from the colonial period until I have covered the cinema of China and Korea.

      1. Alright! I didn’t know China and Korea had their own seperate cinemas too. Why specifically are you holding off on Japan?

  8. Just catching up on my reading of your articles … I could be mistaken, but I don’t recall among your amazingly varied, wide ranging coverage of silent film, much of Italian “cinema muto” (aside from “Cabiria”). Italy has done as much as any country (maybe more) to preserve their early film heritage, so there is a lot of ground to cover. (I happen to be a fan of “diva film” in particular, though that genre is not to everyone’s taste) πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve covered Nero (1909) but will probably be adding more epics in the near future.

      I live in constant hope that the silent spaghetti westerns created by Sergio Leone’s mom & dad will emerge from some Italian basement. πŸ˜€

  9. I think they should search the attics first — the basement is for vino. Then imagine if we could get Ennio Morricone to write the score, it would be fantastico! πŸ™‚

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