There hasn’t been a lot of “film” on this “faithfilmandfood” blog lately and it’s time for that to change!
People have been making truly remarkable films for over 100 years. Great films have the power to impact us in ways that few other things can. A story that is well-told visually can affect our emotions and thoughts at deep levels, but with all of the films out there, it can be tough to know where to start. So, in this series of posts, I am going to attempt to offer a foothold to anyone who would like to get a broad view of film over the past century. I will take various genres and time frames and select two movies to watch that will give you a good glimpse of the entire category. An effort like this is absurd, as there are so many more good films to consider than the couple that I will offer up, but my list will give you a place to start, and your feedback is always welcome! What movies would you include in each area???
So, let's start at the beginning....
Silent movies have long been avoided or reserved for only the serious movie buffs, but there is a lot to enjoy in the realm of silent pictures. True, you have to pay close attention to enjoy them fully. You won’t be able to just turn back to the screen when you hear an explosion to see what may be going on. Silent filmmakers, actors, and directors had to be truly creative to communicate without the help of sound effects or spoken dialogue. Those demands led to some brilliant performances. If you want to sample the beauty of silent movies, I offer up the following two suggestions:
The General (1926)
Directed by and starring Buster Keaton, The General is both funny and heart-felt. Keaton plays Johnnie Gray, an engineer whose has two precious things stolen from him by Union soldiers, his train and his beloved Annabelle Lee. The scene where Keaton is clearing crossties off the rails in front of his train is cinematic gold! Ranked #18 in AFI’s Top 100 Films From The Last 100 Years.
City Lights (1931)
City Lights was written, directed, and starred Charlie Chaplin. There have been few stars in the history of Hollywood as talented as Chaplin, and his talents are on full display in City Lights. Playing his beloved Tramp character, Chaplin tries to find ways to help a beautiful blind girl that he has fallen in love with. The physical comedy is flawless and incredibly funny. The story arc is charming and full of heart. It’s hard not to fall in love with this classic film. Ranked #11 in AFI’s Top 100 Films From The Last 100 Years.
A powerfully emotive film with character depth, well-acted, and well-written! Ranked #82 in AFI's Top 100 Films From The Last 100 Years.
The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Sergei Eisenstein was a brilliant filmmaker. Countless films have borrowed scenes from this classic movie.