Silent Cinema

Rerun of the cycle "Melodrama and the star system"

This series took place onFrom to

Coordinated by Román Gubern, between the 15th of October and the 15th of April, the Fundación March has been showing one Friday per month a series of North American SILENT FILMS as tribute to the Melodrama and the Star-System. This series,  all of the seven films that composed it, will now be shown again. The first session (Flesh and the Devil) will be preceded by a presentation from Román Gubern, while the fourth session (7th Heaven) will include a presentation from Fernando Rodríguez Lafuente. The rest of the films will be preceded by each of the videos recorded during their presentations along the first screening of the series.

Presentation: 19,00 hours

 Film projection: 19.30 hours

Cinema forged its visual language along its first period of silent films that lasted around three decades. Within this period, the grammar of images in movement was assembled, and although it became very popular, the competence with radio pushed this visual art to adopt sound around 1930. And one of the genres that most polarized the audience was melodrama, a genre deriving directly from the novel and the romantic theatre that scened passionate loves and heartbreaks. The cinematographic melodrama deployed its scenario of amorous turbulence illustrated by the photogenic attraction produced by the close-ups on the faces of the actors and actresses, the vertebral column of the star-system. The screen became a hook for the sight, allowing the audience to daydream. Many times, the rapt attention of the mass in front of the screens, in an intimate emotional communication with the images, has been compared to the attitude of the faithful in a cathedral. But for the worshippers there is no mystic communion as that between the film audience and the close-ups to the faces of the actors, who would become the pillars of the star-system. The close-ups allowed to locate the audience just twenty centimeters away from the face the person admired or beloved. And that dream that becomes figurative presence in an enormous surface allowed to virtually submerge the audience into a fascinating world.

This series of movies about the Melodrama and Star-System of the North American silent films includes seven classical titles, which in chronological order are : The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), The Temptress (1926), Flesh and the Devil (1927), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), 7th Heaven (1927), Our Dancing Daughters (1928) and Queen Kelly (1928).

Román Gubern

Sessions in this series