the lost art of silent films

the lost art of silent films

the art of preserving silent films really is a rarity…according to the Library of Congress, approximately 75% of films dating between 1912 and 1929 are lost or damaged. many were released on 35 mm film or other formats, and only about 11% of silent films continue to exist either in foreign language versions or on lesser quality prints. therefore, it is crucial for film archivists to initiate new methods of conservation and preservation so that these treasured classics will last another century.

in recent years, a wave of Hollywood films have paid tribute to the silent era. two of the most notable mentions are The Artist (2011) and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2011). the latter in particular looks at the life of Georges Méliès (1861-1938), who is regarded as one of the forefathers of early cinema. his most famous film was A Trip To The Moon (1902), which was quite ahead of its time and even by today’s standards, still is.

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