Conclusions — It becomes immediately clear that the art of the silent film depended on three major elements: smooth editing, appropriate use of subtitles, and actors who were able to use their eyes and movement to communicate or “play to the camera.” It was surprising that only one of the films viewed seemed “primitive,” and that was only the initial parts of Gertie. By the time we get to The Rink, there has been an obvious improvement in camera techniques and the ability to film from different angles and heights, even if the camera is stable. In addition, the vaudevillian arm and comedy of The Rink is classic. It is also interesting to note that the subject matter, while varied, seemed far less censored that what we would come to expect in later Hollywood years — we see prostitution, abject poverty, criminal behavior, sexual innuendos with fairy creatures, and a host of irreverence with Chaplin — along with a huge surprise in a brief highway scene.
Despite modern day special effects, the moving camera, and the host of techniques not even dreamed of during this era, the films are quite satisfying — even without sound or dialog. Audiences were hungry for films, and it appears that the studios simply could not produce them fast enough. But it was the bold and daring techniques of this period than launched an industry into a cultural genre.
REFERENCES and WORKS CONSULTED
Bowser, E. (1990). The Transformation of Cinema, 1907-1915. Scribners.
Clegg, B. (2007). The Man Who Stopped Time. Joseph Henry Press.
Wexman, V. And J. Wllis. (2006). A History of Film. Allyn and Bacon.
Gertie the Dinosaur Windsor McCay Gertie the Dinosaur
Princess Nicotine http://www.archive.org/details/princess_nicotine_1909
The Invaders http://www.archive.org/details/the_invaders_1912
The Musketeers of Pig Alley 1912 The Musketeers of Pig Alley,