Today, movies are often about overwhelming the senses with color and sound. But recent films like The Artist and Hugo have reminded audiences that the medium began with silent films, and in the beginning, the lack of sound wasn’t seen as an impediment. On the contrary, filmmakers like Charlie Chaplin thought silence allowed film to be a truly artistic visual form.
To celebrate the silent era, the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Arts & Media is hosting the second annual Denver Silent Film Festival. It will feature comedies like Cops, by Buster Keaton, and Chaplin’s Easy Street, as well as lesser-known films like Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life. Tonight’s feature is Wings, an Academy Award-winning 1927 film about WWI that is a “complex depiction of social class” at the time, says artistic director Howie Movshovitz.
“All of the 35mm films are in wonderful shape, and they will all be accompanied by musicians that are as good as it gets,” Movshovitz adds. German Expressionism staple The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which will be shown September 22, will be accompanied by Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton, who will create an original score with UCD music students.