“The Language of Silent Film”, Beyond the Blog

Last week, I played my first in-person show at the Cinema Arts Centre since February 2020. Before the show, CAC regulars whom cinema co-director Dylan Skolnick and I hadn’t seen in 2+ years stopped to say hello and to chat. This was always part of our pre-movie ritual before 2020, but this night it meant much more – now that Huntington-area film fans who are part of the movie-going community that the Cinema Arts Centre has built up over the last 45+ years – could go back to the movies,

Our monthly silent film series hadn’t really been interrupted by the pandemic, and had only ”gone dark” for March-May of that year, because we’d pivoted the series to a virtual, live-streamed format – the one that I’d invented or pioneered the week of the shutdown when I launched The Silent Comedy Watch Party.

One of the series’ fans who stopped to talk had an interesting comment. He said he’d hoped I’d used the pandemic time to write that book on silent film accompaniment. He’d warmly encouraged me to do this a few times before 2020. I let him know that I had not, but that I did have another book in the works.

Every once in a while someone suggests I write a book on silent film accompaniment. It’s probably a good idea. I do have a podcast on the subject, The Silent Film Music Podcast with Ben Model, currently in its 10th year and about to ”drop” its 47th episode. I suppose that if someone who isn’t me wanted to sift through all the episodes, transcribe them, and arrange the topics in an order, that’d be a book.

I’m writing this post to let you know that I have begun put my attention to the series of 65 blogs about silent film’s form itself that I wrote and posted from January through October 2021. When the series ended, there were several comments (especially on Twitter) hoping that the series might become a book. This was very reassuring to me, as I wasn’t really sure I had anything here that would warrant being assembled, revised, shaped and published.

I’ve recently begun the process of re-reading and revising the posts, and of organizing them and shaping the whole thing. I don’t know when I will be able to get everything done and out the door, but I can’t imagine that there will be something concrete to talk about until the end of this year.

However, for you and anyone else who enjoyed reading my ”Language of Silent Film” posts lasts year, I wanted to let you know that this may very well be something you will be able to hold in your hand in printed (and probably also digital) form.

Thanks for reading and for subscribing.

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Mike Hickman

I will definitely be in the queue for any books that are published! (And, if you need the services of a beta reader or proof-reader, I’m up for that, too!) As always, a great blog post.

William Ferry

That’s a wonderful idea, Ben. And your silent film blog captures a generally unexplored aspect of film history, so you’d be a trendsetter.