When we champion the modern silents here at the Bioscope, we see them fall into two broad categories. Category one is pastiches of the traditional silent film stle (or what is generally imagined to be silent film style). They are shot in black-and-white, with exaggerated mannersisms, playing with the idea of modern themes dressed up in a silent style.
Then there are modern silents which are a mode of filmmaking that doesn’t look back to the 1920s at all, but rather seeks to strip away dialogue because image is all. It is a form that is starting to flourish with the proliferation of video sites and the chances for filmmakers to make their statements with short films that have the potential to reach thousands more than will ever see them on the festival circuit alone. There is also the strong influence of pop videos underlying such films, where the dumbshow complements the song with telling images that speak volumes by themselves.
All of which is preamble to the above film, Momentos, the latest production on Vimeo from Portguese filmmaker Nuno Rocha. It is sentimental but most expertly done, with a subtle plot twist, and comes equipped with an in-joke since the video we see the lead character laughing at is Rocha’s earlier production, the mesmerising 3 x 3, previously highlighted here on the Bioscope. It is well worth seven minutes of your time, I promise you.