Posting on the modern silent Momentos a few days ago made me think that it was high time there was a Vimeo channel on the Bioscope. There is already a Bioscope YouTube channel, where every YouTube video which features on this blog is gathered together in one handy section, accessible via link on the right-hand column (under Other Bioscope Sites). But though we have been posting videos from Vimeo for some while, there hasn’t been a channel to bring them all together.
Well now there is, and if you look under Other Bioscope Sites you will now see The Bioscope on Vimeo. The link will take you to every Vimeo we’ve featured so far: modern silents, documentaries, pastiches, mashups etc; and as each new Vimeo is added here it will go on the channel. Vimeo, if you don’t know, is YouTube with class. It is the favourite site of up-and-coming filmmakers (film school graduates and the like), who use the site to test of ideas, and as a showcase for work which normally would only get seen on the festival circuit. Comments and likes tend to strees technical and aesthetic achievement, and generally the quality is very high. Moreover, there is a significant body of work within the silent film genre, in its broadest sense.
To celebrate our new channel, I’ve posted some videos to demonstrate the range that exists. At the top of the post we have Michael Fisher’s To a Flame, a visually striking example of an historical subject treated in a modern silent style.
A different approach to silents is taken by Chandler McWilliams for Silent, which the filmmaker describes thus:
Silent is a two minute video created by combining frames from five classic silent films: Metropolis, Faust, Nosferatu, Holy Mountain, and The Dragon Painter and put to the music of Charles Ives’ Hallowe’en. The frames are chosen by custom software that compares data from each of the film’s soundtracks with the data from Ives’ music.
The result is very different to the average mashup of a silent film to a music track, creating something compellingly abstract. (Those sensitive to such things should note that the video features insistent flashing imagery).
Another take on silent films is this six-minute comedy by You Look Nice Today, in which a trio of foley artists discuss the challenges of contributing sounds to silent films. It takes a while to go anywhere and then doesn’t really get there in any case, but if celery jokes are your sort of thing, you’re in luck.
And, finally, a short film. A very short film.