- The idea of New Silent
Cinema is connected with the fact that at the modern level the development
of the cinematic screen language has ceased to be as essential as it once
was. Much of what happens on the screen can be understood without recourse
to words – we have all grown up with the permanent presence of screen
products in our lives.
The situation can be compared with, for example, children who from a very young age have played computer games. They not only become champions with the joystick, but also begin to understand software, and before long they're fully-fledged hackers. And so, anyone growing up alongside the cinema and television screen already intuitively understands everything that is happening and his entirely capable of digesting the material served up to him.
Evidence can be found in the fact that youngsters watch «collaged» music TV programs, whereas pensioners live on a diet of wordy, detailed soap operas. All this leads to the screen art striving for ever greater visual abstraction. In my opinion, this visual abstraction leads to the psychedelic and design, and the psychedelic and design are what will soon define screen culture.
As a result, screen language will be left with an ever smaller part to play. Its function may eventually be reduced to a decorative function (language has already been reduced to that decorative function in music and sounds have been integrated into music in the same way). Everything that is new that has appeared in cinema in recent times has in some way or another recalled television or video. And if cinema employs what is characteristic of television and video (a wealth of dialogue, handheld camera, jumpy editing, etc) then it is the equivalent of adding sugar and additives to a glass of natural juice. New Silent Cinema is 100% natural cinema, very close to the silent cinematography of old, but at the same time a very different product where, if something extra is introduced, it is never sugar or additives.
Cinema began as a fairground attraction, with screenings in cafes and at fairs. It is possible that cinema can now naturally and organically exist in a modern analogous environment. In a night club, for example, where the viewer will not be dressed in a bowler hat, resting up against his walking stick, but bug-eyed, sipping from a bottle of mineral water.
(c)2000 Petr Tochilin