CSCL 1919: Silent Cinema

3 CreditsFreshman Seminar

Have you ever seen a silent movie? In films made over a century ago, magicians juggle their own heads while playing the banjo, teenage pranksters electrocute the police, and hashish smokers are visited by tiny nicotine fairies. Over 80% of all silent films are lost forever. Miraculously, thousands of beautiful, weird, incredible silent films do survive, and they are enjoying a popular global resurgence in 2023! There are archival silent film festivals all over the world‚ from Italy to Mexico to Mumbai to Minneapolis. In this class, we will study the history of silent-era filmmaking (1890s-1920s) and its vast afterlife in the present. We will watch promiscuously across a range of genres, including slapstick comedy, melodrama, horror, travelogue, Italian‚ German Expressionism, Soviet montage, Japanese kabuki adaptations, and more. We will learn about how film developed its own language for telling stories through moving images, the work of archival film preservation, the craft of musical accompaniment, and the revival of silent film fan cultures today.

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B+ Average (3.467)Most Common: A (73%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

11 students
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