The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Cinema has many synonyms; Film from the mode of capture, movies from the magic of motion, Flicks from projector inefficiency, and Pictures. The maxim ‘Show don’t tell’, integral today, was imperative in the silent cinematic age. Filmmakers sought communication outside of explanative title cards, discovering narrative capabilities of mise-en-scene, camerawork and, most directly, actor expression. […]

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The Crowd (1928)

Individuality is a need we all strive for in some capacity. Some find contentment with praise of a close knit circle, others want applause of the entire world. Music, film, art, literature and the internet are grand stages to perform uniqueness. But increasingly, these platforms become suffocated as people aggressively shove for space, trample over […]

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Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

Buster Keaton faced two crippling calamities in his professional life; the first was out of his power, the second he caused. The former was the advent of sound relentlessly weeding out the unadaptable, the latter was signing with MGM which Keaton stated was ‘the biggest mistake of my life’. This new contract left the perfectionist […]

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Storm Over Asia (1928)

Backed by ideological parties and expressing a subjective view with an aim of inflaming or informing, Russian Montage Theorists films do not engage with politics, they ARE politics. Righteous preaching of a dead ideology can be tiresome, but these films survive, much like Triumph Of Will, because they were forged by master filmmakers. Chaotic action, […]

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The Docks of New York (1928)

The phrase ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ succinctly characterises film in the first quarter of the 20th century. A combination of ingenuity and requirement to tell better stories founded techniques we witness every time we enter the cinema. However, not every film can invent or reinvent rules. Instead, some pictures are exemplary examples of […]

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Un Chien Andalou (1928)

There was a maxim behind the creation of this bizarre short which is the closest to preparation I can offer. ‘No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted’. Running at fifteen minutes, Un Chien Andalou is the shortest film appearing on the 1001 films and […]

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