Silent movie news – is there even such a thing? Surprisingly the answer is yes.
New silent films are still being made, particularly by young and experimental film-makers. Every modern phone comes with a perfectly decent camera, but good sound equipment is still the preserve of the specialist. Some film-makers choose to learn their craft by starting with silent narrative, and attitude fostered by educators at filmbase.ie and elsewhere.


Old silent films are still being presented, often with live accompaniment by the likes of our friends 3EPKANO and Eoin Mac Ionmhain. Modern soundtracks for silents are all about impact. Rinky-dink piano is out. Drums, guitar, glockenspiel and home-made instruments are in. When you see someone get off a bus with a tuba in one hand and a large saw in the other, you know there’s a film on.

Poster of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis

Most surprisingly of all, old silent films are still being discovered. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is now all but complete, after generations of film-goers made do with half a movie. Who knows what other classics are lurking in the attics and barns of Yukon, Copenhagen and Cloughjordan?

 Rex Directing Rudolph
Rex Ingram Directing Rudolph Valentino on the set of Four Horsemen of the Appocalpse

Well, you’ll know. Every Wednesday the Nenagh Silent Film Festival blog will feature news and opinion from the world of silent film. Expect new shorts, old classics and everything in between. We’ll begin next week with a look at our local idol Rex Ingram. Till then, send any requests, suggestions, anecdotes or advice to the usual address.

— Kevin McGee, Programme Director