Teaching Silent Films allows you to teach diversity again because there were filmmakers of all colors and ethnic backgrounds. Much of that work has been lost. Some of it is findable. Oscar Micheaux was one of the people I found for my students. He was a hugely successful African-American writer/director and he also wrote novels and he translated his novels into films. One of them is called Within Our Gates and it’s free on YouTube as well and he looked at middle class African-Americans talking in the 1910’s and presented them to the audience in ways that other movies were not and I thin kit’s important for them to know his work in line with Cecil B. DeMille and D. W. Griffith and all those other guys because they’re not the only men – they’re not the only people who are around but if you look at film history classes that’s all they’ve learned and that really bothers me.
So, I think it’s really important to teach silent films because we’re teaching the screenwriters that the visual is important. Much as I love the words more, you do have to think about how they’re shown and, of course, these are visuals that show is the emotion of the moment and I think that they are really beautiful. So, it’s fun for the students — I totally agree with Warren — to have this heritage in their life, to understand that this all came before them. That’s very, very important.
Alice has two persistent suitors, one rich, one poor. Each buys her an engagement ring; the rich man pays cash, but the poor man must pay on installments. He has trouble making the payments, but then he’s injured in an auto accident and the settlement allows him to pay off the ring and propose to Alice.
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