“Silent films were, I think, more different than we know to sound films. We think of it as simply that we added dialogue and in actual fact I think it was an entirely different art form” ~ Peter Weir
The Chimney Sweep
The Chimney Sweep was an incredibly comedic piece of work from start to finish. It started with two men riding onto the screen on the back of a large snail. The scene quickly transformed and it started to feel like a play, loud and bubbly even without the sound. The cast launched onto an energetic dance and I felt as though I could hear the beat to the music and the laughter in their voices. Finally, we reached the chimney sweep in the title when the poor guy was chased through the set by a bunch of people carrying brushes and then proceeded to beat him with them still in keeping with the humour of the rest of the film.
The Drunken Mattress
Mildly entertaining but a much darker kind of humour. The Drunken Mattress seems to serve as a message to steer clear of the evil drink. The whole thing begins with a woman attempting to straighten a rather disheveled mattress. The woman takes it outside so that she can repair it. She walks away for a minute and during her short absence some drunk guy stumbles over and gets in between the mattress layers (as you do). When the woman returns to her mattress, she sews it up, sewing the guy inside (unknowingly one would hope).
But it doesn’t end there. Her mattress repaired the woman proceeds to carry it all over town, which of course she struggles to do since the mattress has gained 200lbs since the first time she picked it up. Hilarity ensues when the mattress falls over walls, down stairs, and finally into a hole. Once safely out of the hole, the woman and her mattress return home, apparently having achieved everything she meant to do when she set out that morning. Nightfall arrives and the woman and her husband clamber into bed, on top of that newly repaired mattress. The man, who has either woken or gotten over the concussion he inevitably had to have, starts to fight his way out of the sealed mattress. The woman and her husband understandably startled then threw said mattress out of the window. One can only imagine the hangover the poor guy must have had the next morning.
Humorous Phases of Funny Faces
This one was cute, and at 3 minutes long it was short and sweet. It featured a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard and then the faces would come to life. The characters drawn would show both emotion and action in their movement and it was cool to watch. It is a very simple film, but seeing where the animation we have today started out is quite something.