With the exception of Jason and Karl, I've never met the contributing members of the discussion group. I'm not a film critic, student, or even a well-read ("seen" as it were) cinema goer. Frankly, I only picked "Sunset" because I saw it recently (in my pursuit to watch the AFI 100) and I wanted to appear somewhat sophisticated. How did I do?
I've been busy, but my delay in writing a comment about "Sunrise" was mostly due to failing to come up with something interesting to say. Obviously it's a brilliant film. I thought it was daring of the film team to write a story about a man wishing to kill his wife and get away with the murder so he could live with his paramour. It all seemed too 21st century to me, and my wife. Who hasn't thought about murdering their spouse for the insurance money? I mean, it would be so easy, right? Yeah, the cops always suspect the spouse, but if you just planned well enough...and got a little lucky....and were patient and appropriately bereaved...
The brilliance, for me, of "Sunrise," was that I started watching the film believing the wife would be killed and the story would be about whether husband got away with the crime, and I was pleasantly surprised the story went in the opposite direction. In its silent glory, the cast was able to convey a sense of innocent beauty on the initially unsuspecting wife, who, although sensed there was difficulty in her marriage, loved her husband and was almost immediately willing to forgive and trust her husband. I'm not sure that kind of relationship exists today, but it was heart warming, if not dangerously ridiculous.
So there you have it. My brilliant comment. I do enjoy silent films, and although I concede a silent film would never make it with today's viewership, I do think several silent films are among the best films I will ever see (if you have any doubt, watch some Charlie Chaplin and/or "The General").