With the current success at the cinema of The Artist & Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (not itself a silent film but its main storyline centres on the work of the early cinematic pioneer Georges Méliès) everyone is talking about a silent film revival.
Eureka’s Masters of Cinema catalogue invites the viewer to sample a vast body of work that makes use of the silent aesthetic, featuring films from Murnau (Sunrise, City Girl, Nosferatu), Lang (Metropolis, Frau Im Mond, Testament of Dr Mabuse) and Buster Keaton amongst others and later this year Carl Th. Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc.
The ‘silent’ camera was allowed an incredible mobility that simultaneously “opened up” the inner world of the film, and encouraged new and ingeniously inspired ways to represent both ideas and emotion. Even when particular silent works might not be best characterized as “Expressionist,” the mantra of the silent cinema might nevertheless be summarized as such: “Let the image express what words cannot.” And as Norma Desmond put it so well in remembrance of her pedigree: “We didn’t need dialogue. We had FACES.”
F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise (1927) and City Girl (1929) were major inspirations for Michel Hazanavicius’ writing and creation of The Artist (2011). Amongst the last of the sophisticated silent movie utopia classics, Sunrise won 3 Academy Awards in 1927 and was voted one of the 10 greatest films ever made in the hugely influential once-a-decade Sight & Sound film critic’s poll in 2002.
In 2009 when Sunrise was first released on blu-ray in the UK by Eureka Entertainment, it became the very first silent movie, anywhere in the world to be produced on Blu-ray in 1080p HD.
Sunrise and City Girl both feature in Eureka Entertainment’s MASTERS OF CINEMA series alongside over 20 other silent movies. As a distributor, when including EUREKA’s other silent titles, the label has more silent titles than any other British label.