When The Artist won the top Oscar on Sunday night, critic Roger Ebert compared it to an episode of The Twilight Zone. “The Academy Award for best picture went to a silent film in black and white,” he wrote. “Its victory will send Hollywood back to its think tanks.”
In this short film by Joe LaMattina of Last Call With Carson Daly, the writer and director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, talks about the challenge of holding an audience’s attention without dialogue, and the magic that happens when it’s done right. “There’s a very interesting process with silent movies,” Hazanavicius says. “The black and white and the lack of sound creates a mystery.”
The Artist has taught audiences in the 21st century that silent films can be a delight. If you would like to explore some of the great films from the golden age of silent cinema, visit our collection of Free Movies Online, which includes works by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, G.W. Pabst and many more. The Silent Films section appears about halfway down the page.