In a world where things change in the blink of an eye, is it important to preserve and retain the things that are old? Is it necessary to hang on to the things that aren’t necessary anymore? Is new always better and the old just old? These are questions that no one can answer fully correctly. It always and will always DEPEND. It depends on what the old is and what the new is. But that’s a another story for another day.
Throughout my life, I have always been and I still am fascinated with the past. I remember always moving through my Grandparents’ home in Ibadan (in Nigeria for those who don’t know) and always hoping to discover something new (that was old). I loved that house!! I remember my adventures through my Grandpa’s old home office and sitting on his desk and pretending I was some big corporate lady who took no prisoners! Yes, I was pretty damn awesome! Anyway, I love discovering old junk; Not necessarily in a ‘I love to learn about wars and the political atmosphere’ kind of way but more in a ‘it would be so great to travel back in time and feel what they felt’ kind of way. This love leads me to weird places and this post is about one of them. When I was younger, I dreamed of being an Archaeologist… until I discovered that I had to know “sciency stuff”. EW, right! (haha just kidding, i like science but I just don’t love it. If all you had to do was cut stuff open, mix chemicals and stuff I would be down for that! Just don’t get too intense with the hardcore stuff!). Anyway, even though I can’t analyse pieces of bones to save my life, I dig through history in my own way– through stories and old junk in my grandmamas’ houses. The everyday stories about how people lived way back when are the ones that fascinate me. So you can imagine how passionate I am when I discover something about the past that I never understood fully or paid much attention to. Today I will be writing about the beauty of story telling through silent films.
My interest in this awesome but now unpopular form was sparked by a very random incident. There I was, reading my intro to communications textbook, after procrastinating and scolding myself for watching my umpteenth episode of Daria (the MTV animated show… gosh they don’t make simple things like that anymore *chanelling Grandma K ;)* ), when I spotted a curious picture of an old film.
With my obsession with anything antiquated, I went on Youtube and looked for clips of this curious picture and this is what I found. (feel free to be weirded out, i just enjoy weird sh*t)
This video got me thinking about silent film as an art form and as a unique way of story telling. There is a beauty that silent film captures that is unique in a special way. With silent films, we emphasize our stories with our bodies, plots and so on. A lot of thought has to go into a silent film to make it successful. With silent films, the emphasis is on how you say something and not what you say. There is a sort of universality of listeners with silent films because it shows the story rather than tells it. With silent stories, the audience can imagine and choose voices for themselves. Because of this, the body becomes an avenue through which the story is told. Strange Attractor, a theater company that develops their play (I believe) through the use of the body, captures the spirit of storytelling through silent film in a weird way. Rather than write down the stories, the strange attractors create the stories through their bodies and from then on, thoughts, speeches and genius are born. I am not an expert on all things silent film but I do recognize this art form and hope to learn more about it as a means of telling stories. I urge all storytellers willing to experiment, to try their hands on this form and share it with the world.
NB: I’m not saying that the modern forms of films are not wonderful, I’m saying that there is a beauty that silent story telling captures that the world should appreciate.I hope that you have enjoyed your shopping experience at the story store. If you would like to contribute any form or type of story to the store, feel free to contact me!
Here are some videos with interesting insights on silent films: