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December 12th, 2010 by dcastillo100

Rudolph Arnheim states, “The development of the silent film was arrested possibly forever when it had hardly begun to produce good results; but it has left us with a few splendidly mature films.” (pg. 168) With this said Arnheim seems to be a skeptic of the accomplishments silent film era has produced. What could he have expected that could’ve made a silent film produce “good results.” You have film that is silent, black and white, and characters that tell a story and show expression with just their body movements and facial expressions. Could he have expected the next step to be a silent color film?
Arnheim’s mindset on producing a film is an aesthetic way and disagrees with the realism aspect. Telling a story with just body language is what Arnheim favors the most and a film that Arnheim would consider a “splendidly mature film” would be, The Gold Rush. This film, directed by and lead role with Charlie Chaplin, its plot consisted of a train chase scene. From the bad guys planning on stealing the train to Charlie Chaplin stealing the train back, not one word or lip movement was shown, all gestures were enough to convey what was happening and to Arnheim this is probably an excellent film.

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