Nov 162016
 

Quiet Cinema
An Essay on the Aesthetics of Audiovisual Dynamics

(Taken from the collection of essays in the book Hidden Layers – A Phenomenology of Aesthetic Concealment)

Year – 2016
Publisher – Zarathustra Books


An Emerging Era

In its early stages, cinema was, in the true sense of the word, experimental. It was born in a world of emerging abstract and expressionistic culture, where post-Wagnerian composers such as Berg, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartók and Webern had transformed tonal music; where Picasso, Klee, and Kandinsky had changed the form of painting; where post-Kantian philosophers such as Nietzsche and Heidegger redefined thought. Cinema was destined to grow in a culturally rebellious era – the offshoot of all art forms and philosophy at the threshold of an evolving epoch.
After the initial hocus-pocus of film bewildering audiences with light entertainment, cinema gradually followed in line with the rest of the arts, and began its journey thinking experimental: German Expressionism with Murnau, Lang and Wiene; Surrealism with Dali and Buñuel; Dadaism with René Clair; Experimental comedy with Lubitsch; Abstract Cinema with Walter Ruttmann; Impressionist Cinema in France; Montage Editing with Eisenstein; Poetic Realism with Vigo; Anti-Romantic Realist Cinema with Ozu and Dreyer…all these silent pictures, and more, before a permanent invasion of talking film.

A Reaction To Talkies

The arrival of talkies, however, had its teething problems. In A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929), the director Anthony Asquith even mocked talkies in his silent film, almost suggesting it to be an inferior medium: His characters Sally and Joe go to the pictures. The first film on the bill is a silent comedy with full orchestral accompaniment, and the audience is shown laughing uproariously. When the main talkie feature begins, the audience falls into a state of stunned, emotionless silence. An old lady raises her ear trumpet, and a man is fast asleep nearby.
The arrival of talkies, it would seem, was like a clumsy prehistoric life form, semi-evolved between sea and land. What was it trying to achieve? Was it even an art form? Perhaps the closest form it resembled was a kind of recorded theatre. Little did Asquith and his contemporaries know, that ‘recorded theatre’ was here to stay. As Robert Bresson put it: ‘the talkie opens its doors to theatre which occupies the place and surrounds it with barbed wire’.

Cinema’s Lost Secret

It seemed that silent film was the pure motion picture form. There was no need to abandon it. Yet, like the crocodile which retained its prehistoric aura throughout all stages of evolution, the likes of Dreyer, Buñuel, Hitchcock, and Ozu worked through the sound transition unscathed – retaining the aura of silent film in a new talking era. Those who bridged from silence to sound knew something post-talkie filmmakers would never know. They knew the lost secret of cinema. I suspect they were the only ones who knew the implications of cinema’s greatest mistake.

Cinema’s Greatest Mistake

The mistake, of course, was not the introduction of sound, but rather, the misinterpretation of sound; misusing the soundtrack as an enhancement to images rather than a development of form. It was a mistake similar in proportion to radicalised religion deforming an original principle by recruiting a following of extremists – in cinema’s case, sensory-extremists. Today, I need not look too far to find a sensory-extreme film which terrorises my senses with hundreds of audio tracks in surround sound with 3D images involving computer-generated characters. Yet the foundations of this sensory extremism had already begun in 1927.

The Misinterpretation Of Sound

The new talkie filmmakers instigated the belief that phenomena which were the most unrealistic were the most indispensible to us – but to reject illusion and unrealism, that would be to give up film, to deny cinema! Could it be that cinema was moving away from the rest of the arts again? Composers and painters at the time certainly believed so. ‘My foremost wish is for something the opposite of what the cinema generally aspires to’, Schoenberg once said. ‘I want the utmost unreality!
Silent filmmakers such as Eisenstein believed that film sound would simply become a third-wheel addition to motion pictures, unless it followed its own independent rhythmic path, asynchronously from images.
A fallacy of technology emerged in which an abundance of resources were believed to create better films. But where had the economy and precision of film gone?
Talking pictures instigated favouritism for mimicry and imitation over representation and expression. It strived to replicate rather than interpret. It privileged the acquired skills of filmmakers rather than the inherent. It proposed that moving images alone were imperfect – yet the symphony was no less of an art without images!
Cinema had ceased to be experimental – it became staged – disregarding the work of the original masters of cinema.
Cinema in this early stage of growth moved too fast for silent film to refine its sophisticated experimental form. Much like a baby with too little oxygen from birth, cinema had too little silence, resulting in a medium with severe disabilities in later life.

The Future Of Cinema

I believe that every filmmaker from the late 1920’s onwards, whether they knew it or not, weren’t creating, but correcting – correcting a momentous mistake because silent film had not yet finished its work. Silent film had not yet completed its task. Silent film was a pure form in search of a new language, for perfection. Sound had arrived too soon.
The future of cinema succumbs to one truth, and every filmmaker should be asking only one question: what kind of a filmmaker would I be had the silent era completed its task before the arrival of sound?

Cinema’s Task

 Learning what cinema’s task should be is too soon to tell, since it is very young indeed. Unlike other art forms, cinema struggles to find an epoch of its own, and rather than being defined by periods of development, it is outlined by stages in technology. Developments in music can be found both in its representation of form and in its dissemination of dissonance. Classical era composers typically constructed a methodic melody-dominated homophony with an implication of instrumental timbre, whereas Romantic era composers, discontent with musical formulas and conventions, were predominantly concerned with timbre, with only an implication of its underlying form. While the Baroque and Classical composers carefully resolved their harmonic dissonances, the Romantic strived to sustain dissonance for as long as possible, with Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde being perhaps the longest harmonic suspension, moving away from common practice harmony and setting the foundation for classical music in the 20th century. Thereafter, ‘dissonance in painting and music’, Kandinsky wrote to Schoenberg in a letter, was ‘merely the consonance of tomorrow’. These two friends – painter and composer – discussed in letters and postcards to each other the harmony of all artistic mediums of their time. They saw colour and timbre in painting and music as one and the same. They saw their work as the end and beginning of an era for all art forms.
By contrast, cinema was mainly measured by emerging technology: the arrival of sound, the arrival of colour, surround sound, and CGI. But that was not enough. Cinema still needed to find its dissonances. Cinema had yet to create its own Tristan and Isolde. Cinema needed a Bach and a Rembrandt before a Schoenberg and a Kandinsky. Cinema needed an era of its own to break out of. Most importantly, cinema needed something valuable to hide: like in music, I believe that it is implications that are the most important discoveries to unearth – discoveries which cinema had yet to make before hiding. Implications are what painting and music achieve: colour in painting gives the allusion of form and movement, and movement and timbre in music gives the allusion of image and form; from this our imagination is aroused. Film, on the contrary, gives everything: form, colour, sound, light, image and movement; from this the imagination is left out of account.
But looking deep in the undergrowth of filmmaking, there are directors, sound designers, writers and cinematographers who have found something to hide: a secret language of audio-vision. This language, I believe, is spoken discreetly – quietly.

The Secret Language of Cinema

While silent images had illustrated sound, the soundtrack had illustrated silence. While light and shadow had been the mystery of silent film, sound and silence became the new timbre of cinema. Quietness – a dynamic of sound – is that elusive ‘implication’ which I believe cinema had been searching for. As light leans on shadow, and sound leans on silence, quietness is the expression of this weight – an expression of audio-vision’s dissonances.
Modern cinema’s secret language is audio-vision, and I will demonstrate, from this new sonic perspective, that audio-vision is lured by quietness – the art of allusion and implication. Yet quietness, to elaborate, has a far richer meaning than reduced volume:

Quiet Cinema

Quietness is the unspoken word; the wind in the trees; the tragic loneliness of the father peeling an apple at the end of Ozu’s Late Spring (1949); the pause after the two notes in the Jaws Theme in which the length of each diminishing musical rest is equal to the distance between the shark and its victim.
Quietness is a break or pause that creates unresolved tensions; the blank screen before the film begins; the silence in-between two actions; the empty landscape waiting for a person to arrive – quietness appears within the limits of human expectation.
Quietness is anticipation: a forest without birdsong may evoke the presence of a large animal; a kitchen without a refrigerator hum may evoke the presence of an intruder.
Quietness is withholding: In Herzog’s Grizzly Man (2005), the director listens to a tape containing the sounds of Timothy the Grizzly Man being eaten alive by a bear – Herzog’s concluding words ‘you must never listen to this’ confirms our horror while we waited in quietness.
Quietness is a dynamic which only becomes apparent when associated with other sounds or silence: in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), cutting from inside and outside the spaceship reveals the infinite black universe as truly silent, while inside, much to our absent-mindedness of monotonous sound, we hear room tone. Only after sound ceases, does previously unacknowledged noise become apparent.
Quietness is distance: In Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972), after a dreamy levitation scene on board a spaceship, a Pieter Brueghel painting is accompanied by quiet voices diluted by long reverberations like in a distant painting gallery, and in his film The Sacrifice (1986) a lonely Swedish island is continuously underscored by a quiet ship’s horn and a woman singing from afar.
Quietness is a mode of listening; a filtered coherence; a refinement of sound in which we can decipher the quartertones amongst the clash of other instruments in an orchestra, or when listening to long reverberations of a church bell the quiet ear identifies hidden sub-harmonics and overtones consisting of intervals an octave, fifth and minor third apart from the nominal note.
I see quietness and stillness as a presence, not an absence, and everything else leans on them: sounds give structure to silence; dialogue accentuates pauses; movements weigh on stasis; information shapes the unknown. Quietness is tension and release – it is dissonance and consonance.
The filmmakers who knew how to cultivate this type of quietness, did the one thing least expected of filmmaking: they shut their eyes – and their films resembled what they saw in darkness.

Cinema with Closed Eyes

How superficial is the eye! How inventive is the ear! A ship’s horn imprints in us a whole ocean when our eyes are closed. Just as a telephone makes a voice visible, and a gramophone makes prettier pictures, our eyes, with lids wide shut, begin to see pure cinema again.
But can the viewing of a film provoke profound contemplation in much the same way that poetry allows our eyes to linger from the page, or music allows us to look away from a performance immersed in reflection? This immature art called cinema is starved of reflection, because we’re not supposed to look away – a fundamental feature of aesthetic contemplation. Can we, then, hear away from a film? Or should visual concealments such as framing, shadow and depths of field do the looking away for us?
There is a simple solution: What we see must not always duplicate what we hear. If an image is perfect in its entirety, why give it a sound? Similarly, if a sound can replace an image, why have an image? As we say of colours, sounds or musical notes, their sameness damages or kills each other. It is a matter of necessity. In art, all that is necessary is necessary; all that is unnecessary is valuable. The ordinary filmmaker sees the particular in particular, whereas the exceptional sees the universal in the particular. The type of filmmakers we should aspire to do not restrict themselves to making duplications.
In the opening sequence to Apocalypse Now (1979), an image of a ceiling fan synchronises with the sound of a helicopter.
In Blood of a Poet (1932) by Jean Cocteau, the poet plunges through a mirror which will lead him to the Hotel of Dramatic Lunacies. There is a splashing water effect. We hear a short and sharp cry of voices synchronized with the splash.
In Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (1956), the layout of the prison is constructed by our inner visualization of space. Claustrophobic images of a prison cell are contrasted with sounds of activity coming from large corridors and staircases; we become familiar with the routines of the prison and we map out a structure from geometric echoes – all without the use of sound’s corresponding image.
These films tell us that the language of audio-vision can speak with contrast, representation and concealment, and that what we saw did not duplicate what we heard. What these filmmakers achieved was a motion picture which allowed us to look away, reflect, and contemplate just as poetry allows us to. Momentarily, they shut their eyes, and their films resembled what they saw in darkness.

The Tools of Quiet Cinema

Some of the tools used to refine this sophisticated form of quietness are counterpoint, asynchronism, dissonance, sound leitmotiv, diegesis, distance, audio framing, audio opacity, and the economy of sound:

Counterpoint

 Counterpoint, I propose, is the skill of substituting a sound from its corresponding image. For example, Tati once used Ping-Pong balls for the sound of a lady in high heels. The hidden, quiet use of counterpoint achieves artistic, aesthetic qualities when we become unaware of the actual sound source; we do not protest for the lack of realism, but rather, believe wholeheartedly in the caricature.

Asynchronism

 In silent cinema, characters expressed themselves in abundance, yet their dialogue was only partially translated. The inter-title selectively translated dialogue – occasionally with tension delays. For example, in Hitchcock’s The Manxman (1929), Any Ondra reveals some news. Her lover has a horrified expression. We wait quietly. Just before the scene ends, (true to the master of suspense), only then does the inter-title confirm that she is pregnant. In sound-film, due to the expectancy of lips to synchronise with speech, such an asynchronised delay is not conventionally acceptable. The only comparable example is if film were to translate an unknown foreign language with delayed subtitles.
While both sound and image follow a separate rhythmic course in talking cinema’s montage editing, there are subtler, quieter uses of asynchronism: In Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953), dialogue is heard as incoherent noise describing the comical absurdities of summer vacationers at a French seaside resort – treated in much the same way as are the seagulls or ocean waves. Occasionally, characters positioned prominently in the foreground are clearly seen moving their lips, however, no dialogue is heard as other noises are prioritised, and respectively, the spectator has no objection in seeing an empty landscape-shot while hearing dialogue as absurd texture rather than information.
Even more absurd, is Luis Buñuel’s surreal film L’Age d’Or (1930): We hear Wagner’s passionate music. We see a man and a woman make love in a boggy marsh. Now the woman is sitting on a toilet. The toilet roll seems to be on fire. Now we see images of earth erupting and bubbling like lava, and over this image, we hear the sound of a toilet flushing. Unlike the voices in Tati’s film, however, the toilet flush is by no means a subtle, quiet sound, yet the essence and aura of Quiet Cinema’s lost secret is certainly there, as both these absurd movie moments use the artistic tactic of implication.

Dissonance

 Audio-visual dissonance is a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious sensory stimuli. Unlike musical dissonance which clashes a sound with another, film often has the task to find tension between both image and sound.
In Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971), Alex finds himself in the care of Mr. Alexander after having been brainwashed by the Ludovico Technique. When Alex warbles Singin’ in the Rain quietly while taking a bath, Mr. Alexander, to his silent horror, identifies it as the same tune sung when his wife was raped and murdered. The dissonance is evident in the joyful melody clashing with Mr. Alexander’s facial expression.
With the same effect in mind, we are reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951). Bruno, our murderer on the hunt, follows his victim Miriam through a busy fairground. She is aware of his presence, however, being ignorant of her gruesome fate, she naively plays flirtatious games with him. He finally finds a secluded spot; he approaches her; she expects romance; he chokes her to death with his bare hands. The murder is shot like a love scene (beside the ‘tunnel of love’), illuminated romantically by a cigarette lighter. The strangulation is reflected in the glasses of the victim. While this quiet and most intimate horror is taking place, we become aware of the comparatively inharmonious joyful fairground music in the background. Several scenes later, Bruno entertains a pair of eccentric old ladies at a party. With his penchant for the macabre, he demonstrates how to get away with the perfect murder with his bare hands – ‘the true, silent weapons’. A lady reluctantly allows him to demonstrate on her by placing his hands around her neck. As he gently squeezes, he sees a young girl across the room. She wears the same kind of glasses Miriam wore before she was killed. Struck suddenly by an intoxicating memory, Bruno sees the murder replay in his mind, and inadvertently chokes the lady in his hands. At this point, like a remote, dissonant audio-reverie, we hear the ticking, bleating fairground organ playing quietly in the distance again.
Both these films are incidentally an example of diegetic leitmotiv, which leads us on to the next two tools of quiet cinema.

Sound Leitmotiv

 A leitmotiv is usually associated with music, predominantly in the tradition of Richard Wagner, where recurring musical phrases link with a particular person, place, or idea. Perhaps cinema’s most Wagnerian use of leitmotiv is in the multi-character-score for Once Upon A Time In The West (1968). Yet Quiet Cinema’s use of leitmotiv is often found in sounds rather than in music.
In A Place In The Sun (1951), George (Montgomery Clift), has an affair with his lover Angela (Elizabeth Taylor). They sun bathe beside a secluded lake, and Angela tells him of a tragic drowning incident. George silently flirts with the idea of ‘getting rid of his wife’. The scene ends with the sound of a single, distant birdcall. Towards the end of the film, George fights with his wife on a boat, and she drowns in the lake. The scene ends once again with a distant birdcall – a bird which acts as a leitmotiv for murder, guilt, and regret.
It is not hard, however, to find less obvious, even quieter examples of sound leitmotiv, as all subtle sounds which make up the mise-en-bande of recurring scenes in film link to a person, place or idea.
More profoundly though, A Clockwork Orange, Strangers on a Train, and A Place In The Sun are examples of leitmotiv being used as diegetic sound – a sound whose source is visible on the screen (as apposed to a musical leitmotiv score, which is almost always non-diegetic). As the singing, birdcall, and fairground organ were implied to be present by the action of these films, the usual manipulative method of musical leitmotiv in film had been refined, creating a more grounded, material, present sound in recurrence.

Diegesis

Quiet Cinema’s use of audio diegesis uses transition, blending, disorientation, and eliminations of sound. In Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante (1934), Père Jules (Michel Simon) cleans a record on his barge. As he brushes around it, to his surprise, he hears music playing. He stops. The music stops. We see this process happen a few more times before cutting to the cabin boy who is sitting opposite playing the accordion – now confirming where the real source of the music is coming from. Vigo made a joke using a disorientation of diegesis: perceived for a fleeting moment as music in Père’s mind (non-diegetic or meta-diegetic), the music is then logically explained as physical in the room (diegetic). The scene continues: Père plays the record on the gramophone, and we cut to the exterior of the barge. As the gramophone plays quietly in the distance, Jean, the captain of the canal barge, dives into the water, and a non-diegetic score by composer Maurice Jaubert is heard. Jean sees his lover Juliette in a vision under water. She calls to him with silent lip movement. Jaubert’s music harmoniously compliments the gramophone music in a diegetic to non-diegetic transition, blending the real and fantasy world together.
In Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1966), a young boy flees from a battle scene. He arrives at a quiet spot beside a river to catch his breath. However, a soldier has spotted him, and shoots the boy in the back with an arrow. The boy stumbles towards the camera, and finally falls to his death in the river. Upon his fall, the impact of the body in the water is not heard – the sound of water has been eliminated. Is this perhaps the quietest form of meta-diegesis? Is this absence of sound what the dying boy is experiencing?

Distance

Tarkovsky’s persistent use of distant sounds possesses the quality of another world. His dream-like films often detach our spatial awareness of sound, manipulating diegetic noise to behave like an ambient musical mood. As already mentioned in his films The Sacrifice and Solaris, distant sound is present in all his other films. In Stalker (1979), we see a spoon, a bowl of fish, religious paintings and tiled floors submerged and eroded by water – a whole civilization and history drowned in a stream of liquid memory. We hear the faintest trickles of translucent, distant water droplets. In The Mirror (1975), a boy wakes and sees his mother washing her hair. The room is wet. The ceiling collapses under the weight of water. Again, liquid droplets are heard from a distance, and all images of movement have their sounds completely muted. We hear a rumble like a distant ocean heard through a long and reverberant tunnel.
Distance lowers the volume of a sound, but it can still have intensity. When I was once asked at a music school, “if you can describe yourself with a musical dynamic, what would you be: forte or piano?” I replied: “fortissimo from so far away, you can barely hear me”.

Audio Framing

The goal of audio framing, I propose, is to focus audience attention upon a subject by manipulating the perspective of sound. For example, if the sound’s source is very far away, the audience gathers more information about the sound’s surroundings and reverberation than specific detail. The positioning of sound is what makes an audio frame, whether it is behind a wall, at the end of a room, outside the room, in the foreground, directly behind the camera or out of view from the visual frame.
In Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Fear Eats the Soul (1974), bars, frames, walls and objects are persistently positioned in front of his characters Emmi and Ali to create a sense of isolation. A memorable shot features the newly wed couple – ostracized for their race and age differences – celebrating their marriage in an incongruously upmarket restaurant. The mise-en-scene is symmetrically made up of solitary furniture, with Emmi and Ali isolated in the distance like a still-life painting. Framed by a partitioning wall and doorframe, they almost blend into the wallpaper.
An audio equivalent of this type of isolated framing is a kind of sonic partitioning wall, such as a conversation from another room, or a radio playing over an intimate discussion.
If the cinematographer is responsible for visual framing, then the sound designer is responsible for audio framing. The quiet use of framing is distance, and, as the next tool of Quiet Cinema will demonstrate, in audio opacity.

Audio Opacity

Quietness is a form of audio opacity – more specifically, it is a degree ranging from opaqueness to translucency. An opaque sound could be a muted, incoherent conversation, or an indistinguishable noise. Translucence, however, has more to do with awareness; it is the thin line between consciousness and sub-consciousness, where sound is clearly prominent, yet largely ignored – much like traffic noise. Rather than understanding audio opacity as dynamic degrees, it is a manipulation of our comprehension of sound.

The Economy of Sound

Socrates said when looking at various items of luxury for sale: “How much there is in the world that I do not want”. While Robert Bresson is frequently quoted on a similar philosophy regarding economy in his films, the director Carl Th. Dreyer was perhaps, visually, even more economical, and he said much the same to his cinematographer as Socrates said to the shopkeeper: Dreyer’s films are like a clean, fresh, brilliant white sheet of linen thrown onto the screen, as he often shoots his scenes with high exposure. The choice of objects positioned in kitchens and living rooms in his films Ordet (1955) and Gertrud (1964) were arranged spontaneously and artlessly, as if creating a natural disorder from unconscious habit or routine. Before shooting a scene, however, Dreyer would gradually take an object away, piece by piece, until he was happy. The end result was an almost empty room, and what remained were the select few items considered aesthetically balanced. What remained, were precisely selected and isolated items within a frame, with the impression of a fortuitous presence.
Film sound, respectively, is also a process of selection and elimination; it is perhaps the one true freedom of sound unique to cinema, for in real life, we have to live with the cacophony of earth without the luxury of selecting sounds for a balanced mental soundtrack.
Since ‘cinema’s greatest mistake’ in misinterpreting sound after the silent era, perhaps the most destructive consequence was the lack of economy in many films thereafter. While silent film had selectively translated implied sound and dialogue economically similar to Dreyer’s mise-en-scene, the talking cinema filmmakers (the sensory extremists) sonically translated, imitated and replicated images in abundance.
Bresson, who cherishes economy in film above all else, and who is one of the masters of Quiet Cinema, puts it most succinctly: ‘The things one can express with the hand, with the head, with the shoulders!…how many useless and encumbering words then disappear! What economy!’

The Misleading Tools of Cinema

On an empty chessboard, much becomes possible, then midst in play, we are devoted to limitation; the perfect match starts with nothing, then progresses to millions of achievable moves, then ends with one – checkmate. A perfect work of art starts with artists bravely hurling themselves into an empty, meaningless void, then gradually find themselves with every conceivable opportunity, then, with a firm grasp, they take control, limit themselves, and end their journey with the absolute; not one more brush stroke on the canvas, not one more note on the manuscript, not one more second of running time in the film edit – the artist’s own creative checkmate. Yet a problem has arisen in recent times of abundant technology which has reversed this process: We start with everything, glimpse past the absolute, and often end with nothing. In particular, the misled filmmakers start with a wealth of technology and an unnecessary amount of technicians, then rather than limiting themselves, they interfere and conflict with one and other, only to resolve with a dissatisfying compromise, ultimately producing an empty film only consumable by the masses of people struggling to relieve boredom.
The fallacy of technology is in perceiving the value of tools in themselves, rather than their outcomes. If I were to think only of a hammer, I would miss the nail, whereas if I were to use the hammer as an extension of my arm with only the outcome in mind, I would hit the nail. In film, there are usually hundreds of people with hammers – collectively hammering over the course of months and years an empty, meaningless hole in the cinema screen.
The special few who had succeeded in hammering several nails created a gallery of their life’s work. However, the quietest of these filmmakers muted their tools and silently hit a hidden nail – a nail that no one else could see.

The Quietest Film

The quiet film – the one which expresses, implies, withholds, anticipates – is one which is inspired by the proposed tools of quiet cinema. An even quieter film is one which closes our eyes and savours the darkness of the black screen before the film begins, fading in for as long as possible, like the opening to Visconti’s Death in Venice (1971). Quieter still, is a film which prolongs its tension like the unending harmonic suspension in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.
The quietest of all, are the lost secrets of cinema; forgotten films waiting to be discovered – waiting in silence in a dusty projection room film can.

Copyright © 2016 by Danny Hahn – London, England.


Quiet Cinema was written in 2016 as a large essay resulting from a series of lectures Danny had delivered at film universities in London.
Below is a video collage of films discussed in Danny’s lectures and essays relating to the themes of Quiet Cinema.

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