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Silent Film Essay

1810 words - 8 pages

Every form of life and art has its beginning, what starts off crude and immature, with time will grow and change. Today multi-plex movie theaters present the public with blockbuster movies with million dollar budgets that star actors making $20-40 million a picture. Compare the growth of film production to the development of different types of art. Hundreds of years ago Classicism was a popular type of art that featured simple portraits and landscapes. Now, in the 21st century, modern art dominates our culture with its spontaneity and divergence from the mainstream. The ideas are always changing. Art reflects our culture, as we change so does our entertainment. The roots of film are ...view middle of the document...

Chaplin however was inspired by his visits back stage to watch his mother perform. He knew at a young age he was destined to entertain. His first step in achieving fame was when he joined a dancing group, the Eight Lancashire Lads, followed by parts in Sherlock Holmes and Casey's Court Circus. Sydney. A 1912 tour in America with a traveling theatre group brought Chaplin his first big break. It was on this tour that he was found by Mack Sennett and his Keystone Film Company. Charlie was immediately signed to his first contract and began production on his first film.Chaplin's first film, in 1914, was titled "Making A Living", and Henry Lehrman directed it. He then starred in many of Lehrman's Keystone pictures along side Mabel Normand, who also directed three of his films. It wasn't until, "Twenty Minutes of Love" that he had a taste of directing for himself and this quickly became the only way he would work.He soon became so successful that he was able to move from one company to another, each time getting a better contract. In 1915, after thirty-five films, he moved to Essanay, and it was here he really began his control over the silent film industry. Notable films during this period include The Champion, The Tramp and The Bank. In 1916 Chaplin moved to Mutual, with even greater control and financial rewards. At Mutual he made the definitive Chaplin short comedies, The Rink, Easy Street, The Cure and The Immigrant. First National was next, and it was here he constructed his full length masterpiece, The Kid. In 1919, along with his great friend, Douglas Fairbanks, as well as Mary Pickford and D.W Griffith, Chaplin formed United Artists. He made his first film for them in 1923, "A Woman of Paris", perhaps the least known of his films, but it was followed by the Chaplin classics "The Gold Rush", "The Circus", "City Lights" and "Modern Times." It wasn't until 1940 that he made his first "talkie", "The Great Dictator", to be followed by the more refined "Monsieur Verdoux" and "Limelight".All of his work after 1928 competed with "talkies" the modern art form that Chaplin strongly opposed. "Talkies are spoiling the oldest art in the world - the art of pantomime. They are ruining the great beauty of silence. They are defeating the meaning of the screen."- Charlie Chaplin, 1929(. Chaplin remained strong while silent film began its decline. He was an ambassador of silent film, not many performers are able to better symbolize their art.BUSTER KEATON Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4th 1895 in Piqua, Kansas. His nickname 'Buster' came about after a fall down a flight of stairs which was witnessed by Harry Houdini who would give Joseph the name that would stick with him for the rest of his life. By the age of four Buster was appearing in "The Three Keatons", a traveling vaudeville act featuring his parents. The Three Keatons traveled widely, appearing all over the US and became headliners in New York. Buster learned at an early age the art of...

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