Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mini-Review/Discovery: "Signs" (short)




I don't know what this is exactly or how it came about, but it proves that silent cinema is not dead. Yes, there are sound effects and some incidental dialogue, but what tell the story are the visuals. Everything we need to know is shown to us. We know exactly who this guy is as soon as we see him.
Another thing that makes the film so great is that it could take place in just about any city in the world. The story and themes are universal.
Though evidently filmed very recently, "Signs" recalls the earliest days of cinema. It is a Chaplinesque tale of trying to find happiness in the big, bad world. Our morose hero is like The Tramp squeezed into a cubical.
I must admit that, upon initial viewing, I was half convinced that this beautiful little short would turn out to only be an elaborate commercial. I suppose this is just residue from watching expensively produced Super Bowl ads this past weekend, but I was afraid that someone was going to crack open a Pepsi and smile at this camera.
Upon further consideration, I come to the realization that the only place in mainstream entertainment where essentially silent cinema persists is television advertising. It's kind of sad. I wonder now if there could be a resurgence of silent movies. Commercials, along with music videos I suppose, have acclimated a new generation to wordless, visual story telling.
I am going to track down the makers of this picture and return with more info.

1 comment:

Elliot said...

I loved that! A little gem.