Silent Cinema

Silent Cinema

Silent Cinema by Brian J. Robb is a new publication on the subject for the general reader that seems to have come out of nowhere. The author has previously written books on Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and Brad Pitt, while for for Kamera Books this is their first book. The blurb promises: “Through a study of the earliest origins of cinema to the stars, comedians and directors who became popular from the late-Victorian ear [sic] to the end of the 1920s, and including a look at the earliest Hollywood scandals of the time, ‘Silent Cinema’ will be a handy guide to the art of cinema’s silent years in Hollywood and across the globe.” It also comes with a DVD including extracts from Son of the Sheik, Phantom of the Opera, The Perils of Pauline, Salome and Orphans of the Storm. And it’s only £5.95 on at the moment. Must be worth a punt.

2 responses

  1. I bought this book (for the DVD) and the text is very basic. It would be great for young people as a means of introduction to silent film but if you are at all acquainted with even the best known silents you won’t learn a lot. In the sections highlighting specific stars of the silent era, the author draws comparisons with today’s celebrities (Doug Fairbanks = Harrison Ford ok. Clara Bow = Paris Hilton what….the….hell!?)

    The DVD is more than worth the price but the text is quite throwaway unless your taking The History of Cinema 101 (for which this book is most likely intended anyway).

  2. I’ve ordered a copy anyway. I think there’s room out there for a general, assume-no-prior-knowledge guide to the subject, especially when most of the market seems geared towards the heavily academic. Comparing Clara Bow with Paris Hilton is a dreadful insult though (to Clara, of course).

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