One of the most under-discussed aspects of silent films by non-nerds is how wonderfully, on-purpose weird they were. I personally can’t get enough of the eccentric plotting, visuals and humor of some silent era films and I have a feeling some of you feel the same way.
So, tell me, which silent film just hits all the “weird” buttons for you in the best way possible?
For me, it’s Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy, a 1909 Vitagraph comedy about a tiny, teenage fairy who smokes and tries to set the house on fire when crossed. Gladys Hulette is delightfully demented in the lead and the special effects remain quite impressive.
Now it’s your turn! Please share the most wonderfully weird silent film you have run across. (Weird is relative, of course, so this is very much a matter of personal taste and opinion and there are no wrong answers.)
If you haven’t experienced anything strange in the silents yet, I highly recommend Wild & Weird, a collection of oddball films released by Flicker Alley and scored by the Alloy Orchestra.