“The cinema began with a passionate, physical relationship between celluloid and the artists and craftsmen and technicians who handled it, manipulated it, and came to know it the way a lover comes to know every inch of the body of the beloved. No matter where the cinema goes, we cannot afford to lose sight of its beginnings,” Martin Scorsese has said.
If you’re not well-versed in the foundation of cinema, consider this an introductory course. While an estimated 70% of silent films are sadly gone forever, today’s technology has made it easier than ever to preserve the ones we still have, thanks to the vital work of those tracking down prints and restoring them all over the globe. To help see just how much an influence these classics have had on today’s cinema, we have a great video from Moon Film.
With side-by-side comparisons, they offer up 20 examples, ranging from The Phantom Carriage and The Shining to an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller and Kill Bill to perhaps the most obvious: Battleship Potemkin and The Untouchables, as well as the final shot of Goodfellas. We’ve also included a playlist over over 200 silent classics available for free on YouTube — including ones mentioned above, as well as Greed, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Haxan, numerous Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd films, and many more.
Check out the homage video below (with a hat tip to The Criterion Collection) as well as the full playlist:
What’s your favorite homage to a silent film?
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