What was your favorite silent movie memory of 2017?

We only have a few more days of 2017, so I wanted ask everyone how their silent movie year went. What were your new discoveries? Did you finally get to a live screening? Please share!

(Pours cup of tea.)

My best silent film experience has been and continues to be my project to get the 1917 version of Kidnapped released. The support on all sides has been amazing. I’m hoping to rewrite the late history of the Edison studio just before its demise; it was still producing quality films in a rapidly changing market.

On the behind-the-scenes front, everything has been going smoothly and I must say that this project has been an enormous pleasure to work on so far.

Second place must go to attending the Day of Silents in San Francisco. Yes, I left my house! A shocking plot twist! You can never go wrong with live music, good movies and a vintage theater.

Your turn! Spill!

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52 Replies to “What was your favorite silent movie memory of 2017?”

  1. Favorite silent film experience this year was going to see “The Monster” at the Indiana University Auditorium with my wife and youngest son back in October. Music was performed live by Dennis James. Crowd was several hundred people and for the most part, they were quire respectful of the material (a few awkward chuckles at certain points but hey, at least it wasn’t heckling! lol). Next year Mr. James plans on showing Phantom of the Opera and will be bringing a 60+ piece orchestral to accompany him. If that all works out, then that’ll be my 2018 favorite moment in regards to silent films!

  2. Seeing Bill Morrison’s ‘Dawson City, Frozen Time’ in a cinema.

    And watching Blu-ray of Samuel Beckett’s peculiar ‘Film’ starring a bemused Buster Keaton, with accompanying Kino-essay ‘Notfilm’ by Ross Lipman.

    But don’t be concerned, I’m still here for the long run of more traditional silents.

  3. Sadly, no live screenings, here.

    My greatest Silents’ discovery of 2017 would have to be this / your site. I love the content and the daily emails rock! My “to purchase” list is growing by leaps and bounds because of them! πŸ™‚

    2018 will be the first time in ages I’ll have a specialized calendar to enjoy; again thanks to your site. My Mont Alto “Music is Half the Picture” calendar arrived and is great!

    Thank YOU, Fritzi for all your hard work and dedication !

  4. Getting to know the wonderful Ben Model, accompanist, composer, restorer, distributor, vlogger, blogger and podcaster, experimenter (in undercranking and slapstick), and all-around good fellow, even if you’re NOT talking about silent film.

  5. This year was the year that I got into silent films. I started out with the horror genre, as that’s my favorite genre, silent or talkie. This site helped me find other silents from other genres, and boy am I glad I branched out! Some of my favorite movies are silents now, and this has become one of my favorite sites. I can’t wait to watch more in 2018!

  6. My favorite silent comediennes have always been Clara Bow and Gloria Swanson. I wasn’t quite as fond of Mabel Normand, but I loved her in ‘What Happened to Rosa,’ a really cute Cinderella story in which she looked especially pretty. I also ‘discovered’ Vera Reynolds, in DeMille’s fantasy ‘The Road to Yesterday,’ and then in his sweet comedy ‘Risky Business,’ which also had a rather touching performance by ZaSu Pitts.

  7. My favorite silent movie memory this year was discovering Ivan Mosjoukine and seeing Michael Strogoff for the first time, then for the second, third, fourth and fifth time. Wow.

  8. I’m lucky enough to have a theater here that plays a silent film every month and features live accompaniment by the great Ben Model. His performances are always a highlight.

  9. Getting to screen silent films at the local Steinway Piano Gallery. What made these special is I was lucky enough to come across a guy who has played for silent films for many years and he played both events. The audience really got into the films and his playing was a big part of that. I am working on a deal for us to play a university arts center in downtown Greensboro in February where we will get to screen/play a film for mostly college students. Now I need to pick a movie that will appeal to a predominantly younger audience. Hmmmm…….

      1. The gentleman who plays piano for me at these screenings wanted something light to even out Page of Madness. Seven Chances was definitely discussed, along with Sherlock, Jr. Both are short and would have made a counterpoint to Page of Madness. In the end I picked Easy Street given its brevity (and that it is also my favorite Chaplin short).

  10. living in a pretentious major city has its benefits, especially if you’re a silent film buff – i have had the luxury of saying “if i don’t go see this film, i can see another next week/month!!!” how incredible is that?! and i took full advantage this year (although could have made better use of the lubitsch film festival at harvard…oh well)

    also it was fun (albeit sort of depressing) to be able to acknowledge 100 years since the release of cleopatra.

    for 2018 all i want to do is to learn more and maybe even put some of what i do learn to practical or nearly-practical use.

  11. The AFi/Silver Spring recently ran a silent film series, and I particularly remember seeing fabulous prints of “VarietΓ©” with the Alloy Orchestra live and “Prix de BeautΓ©” with live piano.

  12. Favorite silent movie memory of 2017? There are many to choose from, but I’ll pick seeing The Sea Hawk in my lovely home town theatre. What silent buff could ask for more: a superb print (the better to observe Enid, Milton, and those amazing sea battles!), live accompaniment, all the intervals observed, plus a happily chatting crowd of fellow aficionados that filled the old familiar balcony to bursting!

  13. Two things for me spring to mind….seeing Metropolis with live music at a Newcastle Church, and the emotional impact of Passion of Joan of Arc. Actually, three things….finding this great website, its been an absolute treasure trove of information and fun. With the enthusiasm of Movies Silently I have been prompted to seek out more of the great and maybe not so great silent cinema!

  14. A live silent movie screening has been my holy grail of cinema. πŸ™‚

    I think my favorite silent movie has to go to Ozu. This year I have been watching a lot of Japanese cinema all of a sudden and I think Ozu’s A Story of Floating Weeds has to be my favorite silent movie of the year so far…though I also thoroughly liked The House of Mystery.

  15. Without a doubt The Silent Western Saturday at the Cinema Museum on the 11th March . Presented by Kennington Bioscope and Kevin Brownlow.

  16. Seeing The Freshman at the glorious Ohio Theater (a fully restored silent picture palace) with Clark Wilson (as always) on the superb, original-to-the-theater Mighty Morton. Suzanne Lloyd was there for a presentation of Lloyd family home movies, a talk, and Q & A. My brother and husband are taking baby steps into the world of silent movies because of me, so they came with and had a fabulous time.

  17. I’m with Lisa Cross on this, discovering Movies Silently was my #1 best thing for me relating to silent movies in 2017. Of the movies themselves, I fell completely in love with Mosjoukine’s Le Brasier ardent. LOL, even if all my friends wish it didn’t take me 20 minutes to give a basic plot outline of the movie.

  18. Two highlights for me this year were two books on silent film stars: “Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy” and “Max Linder: Father of Film Comedy”. While reading these books I spent a LOT of time looking at films and clips on YouTube. And it was fantastic.

  19. I am lucky enough to live near D.C. So I can attend the Packard Center in Culpepper and the AFI. I saw a program at the first with the author of “Slapstick Divas”. I also saw “The Lost World” at the AFI Silver with new music by the Alloy Orchestra. I was out of town for their production of “Man with a Camera” which was presented by the National Gallery. It was great fun. I also went to the Nitrate Picture Show and watched some hand cranked silent shorts which were a great treat, too.

  20. Watching the entire catalogue of what we have available of the work of William Haines and discovering how charming his silent work was. My favorite had to be Show People! I am so glad I finally watched this wonderful funny film it is now one of my favorite films. I wish more of Haines work was available to the public especially Alias Jimmy Valintine and Telling the World!

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