Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Silence Is Golden

There was a fault on the DVD and one whole episode was lacking its soundtrack. I ploughed ahead with it anyway. It had subtitles so I wasn't missing any important information- and the actors faces told me all I needed to know about what was going through their heads. After a while I barely noticed there was a dimension missing. Some critics argue that the movies were at their best in the silent era- when acting and image were everything and a lazy film-maker wasn't able to fall back on his composer to jack up the emotion and suspense- and I have some sympathy with them- and an admiration for directors of the sound era who won't use non-diegetic music.  In this soundless episode we had a race against time (very D W Griffith) to save an innocent man who was in danger of having his head bashed in by a couple of guys who thought he was a murderer. Suspense was built (just as Griffith would have built it) by cutting between the speeding rescuers and the escalating situation in the lock up garage. The baseball bat was poised at the man's neck, the cops were closing in with levelled firearms; I didn't need the music going boom boom to tell me what to feel.
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