I’ve been thinking about Nosferatu a lot. There’s a certain mastery and charm in a silent film that I think has been lost. While we were watching it, people would get up to get drinks or whatever and I thought to myself, how could you leave? So much happens without a word being said in the film, it’s really quite amazing. I was so involved in the story that I couldn’t take my eyes off it and certainly wouldn’t just for a drink.
I think about what people in the earlier part of the 1900’s thought when moving pictures came to the screen. In some ways, I think I can almost relate even as a modern human well acquainted with movies. I say that, because I don’t see silent films and so to see one for the first time was extremely intense. It felt like I was seeing something brand new even though the movie is almost 100 years old. There’s artistry in telling a story with pictures and music and I think that’s something largely ignored these days; the way music can make us feel and the unspoken aspects of language.
It’s a German film but it doesn’t matter that much. You wouldn’t know it other than the names of the characters being German. You can watch the movie on YouTube with the original score. It’s apparently based off Dracula and is the only production of the studio Prana Films.
I don’t know if it would’ve been scary to people in the 1920’s. It’s eerie and a bit uncomfortable at times, but I wouldn’t say it’s scary exactly. Nosferatu does an excellent job of using tension and anticipation to draw you into the story. The music personifies that tension. It’s not something you see in most movies today. We are trained for immediate satisfaction and we want it fast; quick scene changes, fast dialogue and I’m often asking why? Denying the satisfaction of the resolution is jarring but it makes the satisfaction all the better, when it’s finally given to the audience.
I can’t stand most movies today. They’re formulaic, predictable and lack any discernible style. Not all modern movies and I’m aware there’s people on the indy circuit doing cool things. I mean more of the big blockbuster hits. I often feel like the whole world is McDonalds. This sort of assembly line of food, entertainment, relationships, life goals, etc. There isn’t any artistry in so many aspects of our lives and I don’t really know the reason why. Just eat this garbage that kind of tastes ok in the moment but isn’t anything that makes you think or excites you.
I understand on some level it’s about money. You find out what works and you keep doing it. Particularly in films, it’s hard to get people into the theatre with the advent of the internet. So you make more comic book movies, and sequels and prequels to movies that didn’t need either and what no one asked for. I guess you can take the Disney route and just keep making Star Wars films pretending like its a new story. The thing about Disney is that they have access to most creative and intelligent people and have the financials to support something more experimental, even it flops. Why not try something new once in awhile? Just make sure you only use CGI and make everything look like a video game. I’m kind of tired of it and I can’t imagine I’m the only one.
Now I don’t think theres particularly anything wrong with CGI. I think it can have practical uses depending on the story and how you’re telling it. What I do think is wrong, is that EVERYTHING is CGI. All the sets and special effects are done in a giant green room and added later even when it’s not necessary. I miss good set design and construction, its far more realistic in my opinion than something that still looks like it was made in a computer (although it’s getting better). Maybe most people don’t pick up on it or maybe no one cares that much. I don’t know why it has to be an either or thing, can’t we use different technologies cohesively?
I guess I just want better options and that spawns into most aspect of life. I want better politicians to pick from, I want a better system, I want better movies that are unique and interesting, I want more than just McDonalds. More importantly, I want other people to demand more and better but they wouldn’t keep grinding out comic book movies if other people wanted better (I don’t care what anyone says, they’re boring and all the same).
I don’t know how to do anything about all this either. It’s easy to sit in a comfy chair and complain about dull things on the internet but what good is it, if you’re not going to do anything about it? I’m curious to see if there’s a way to incorporate elements of silent films into modern movies. Is anyone doing that?
Anyone else feel this way about life? Watch Nosferatu, it’s a good thing and humorous in places that probably weren’t funny then, but are kind of funny now.
Well those are my thoughts for today. Until tomorrow!