This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
 

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Certainly Helped My Job Prospects

I needed to get a certified property manager certification in the worst way after losing my position with a local apartment complex firm. When I first eased my way into this job about ten years ago, the boss knew my family and was willing to give me a job without a lot of hassle. He showed me the ropes and in about a year I had most of the finer points of the job committed to memory. I really enjoyed the position and I was good at it. The problems started when he decided to sell off the property to the city.

That meant I was out of work because the city demolished the property in order to build a park.

This Realtor Came Highly Recommended

I looked at the website of a realtor in Denver not long ago because I was frustrated with apartment living. When my wife and I moved here to Colorado a year ago, we both thought we would be happy living in an apartment because it is a luxury apartment complex. We thought we would enjoy not having to take care of a yard or maintenance issues, but we discovered that we actually missed having a nice yard as well as a lot more privacy. We talked about it and figured that we would both be a lot happier if we moved into a home instead of renewed our lease on the apartment for a second year.

Ways to Become a Disney Channel Star

Let me state it at the very onset of this write-up. The chances are slim, and you need to please your stars so that they come in alignment. Becoming a Disney channel star is no child’s play, and you may have to work hard a lot in order to become one. All those stars that you see on the channel have a rich prior work experience to flaunt, and have spent a good amount of time working as an actor in local channels. That makes us believe that even the most top rated stars of Disney Channels didn’t become stars overnight, and have worked really hard to achieve their dream. Therefore, if you’re up for some real strive in the entertainment world, not only do you need to be determined, but also, begin with your training from an early age. While there exists no guarantees or assurances in the glamor world, a nudge in the right direction is what this article can offer you, so that you can work towards attaining your goal. Check out the following pointers that tell you how to go about charting your own path to become a successful Disney channel star.

Get the Necessary Training. Unless you are a star kid, you cannot expect to get a break in a show easily. You need to recognize your talent, work upon it, and groom yourself accordingly. The first step to chasing your dream is to learn the basics of performing. Enroll in a singing, acting, and dancing class, learn various kinds of music, and begin performing at local levels. Not only will it make you self confident about performing in front of the crowd, but it will also make you popular. It takes a lot of determination and strength during such training, and you need to make sure you never give up. What’s more, this field is highly competitive, and hence, you need to keep learning new skills, and create a rich profile that gets you noticed.

Participate in Talent Contests. To get yourself recognized, you’d have to participate in reality shows and music contests that hunt for talented performers for their show. Many shows guarantee a breakthrough to the winner into various Disney channel shows, and hence, this, you should take seriously. Keep in touch with the organizers of the talent shows and contests, and give auditions for all shows. Many high level shows enable online auditioning on their websites, and so, you can register yourself on them, and send your performance video to them. If they like you, they will contact you via phone call or email for the next rounds. If you’re through with the next rounds, you will have to compete with other participants. Here, your training and skills will come handy, and you will have to display your talent in the best way possible, so that even if you don’t win, you at least get noticed.

Check Out for Disney Channel Auditions. You know, you could audition for the channel straightaway, but the truth is, with no achievement in hand, you wouldn’t have fat chances of getting selected. Therefore, after you’ve created a decent portfolio for yourself, participated in a number of reality shows, performed in front of the crowd, and gotten noticed, it’s time you audition for the channel, either through their website, or by going to the audition site personally. The latter is a better option, as you will understand when you see how they actually select people, and what are the various requirements you need to fulfill. Moreover, don’t rely on just one audition, and break down if not selected. There are endless opportunities waiting for you, and you just have to make the maximum use of all.

Hire an Agent. If you think you can handle the pressure of auditioning for multiple shows at various venues, well and good. However, if it’s difficult for you to manage everything, the best option is to hire an agent for yourself, who will keep you updated about the latest happenings, and make use of his/her contacts in the entertainment industry to get you a break. Many aspiring actors and performers do that, and there’s no harm in hiring a person who knows the nitty-gritty of the entertainment industry to help you. However, make sure you don’t hire an agent who has a bad reputation. Do your research, and contact an agent who has a good reputation, and is capable of helping you out in getting that big break in Disney.

If all goes well, soon you can see yourself performing for the Disney channel, and become more and more recognized as your show gets popular. The trick here is ceaseless struggle, and grabbing every opportunity that comes your way. Remember, if you don’t get a lead role in the beginning, do away with small ones. This way, you will keep yourself associated with the channel, and if you’re lucky enough, one fine day, you’ll get your dream role. The role that made Miley Cyrus, Ashlee Tisdale, and Hannah Montana the shining stars of tomorrow. The only trick is to never lose the touch, and keep trying, till you get what you aspire for.

Learning Become an Actor With No Experience

In this verse, the great playwright has provided clues for aspiring artists, while also expounding a very profound philosophy about life and acting in general. The very life you live is abundant with experiences that you can draw from when acting onstage or on camera. Though you might think that you have no experience in acting or any entertainment job, you have loads of it on the real stage of life itself, playing multiple roles of a son, father, brother or daughter, mother, sister, and so on. Nothing can prepare you for acting, better than life.

That’s the seed of the central idea to grasp, to master acting. In this article, I have expounded this idea some more, which has been already developed into the form of a ‘method acting’ technique, by theater greats like Constantin Stanislavski and furthered by Lee Strasberg and others in USA. I do not claim authority on this subject. The point of this article is to share with you all; whatever little I learned from my teachers.
How to Become an Actor Without Experience?
What is acting really? They say it’s ‘make believe’, but I call it living an alternative reality. It lets you explore the various possibilities of what you could be. Just being your own self can be boring at times. Acting gives you an opportunity to be someone else for a while. It is voluntarily entering into the psyche of another personality and thinking according to a different set of values and constraints. It lets you explore the many parts of you, which you thought never existed. It lets you deeply explore what it means to be human. Some people dub theater as an experimental lab for psychology. I agree with them, but I consider it to be a ‘truth’ lab, where you explore the meaning of being human.

One of the best ways to begin your own acting studies is to start reading some good plays. Select your favorite role, from one of your favorite plays and prepare to act it out in front of an audience. To learn to act, you must act.

Understand Your Character Thoroughly
“With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it’s just not acting. It’s lying.” – Johnny Depp

To play a part or a role, you need to temporarily shed the inhibitions and prejudices that make you. To act a part, you must embrace the character that you are playing with open arms. Understand the plot of the play, as well as the psyche of your character. Understand the circumstances in which the person you are going to play, finds himself. Try to understand why your character behaves the way it does. You must try and embrace the idiosyncrasies of the character and try to relate with it. This is the part of acting, which you deal mostly with your ‘brains’. Firstly, understand the rationale behind the play and the character.

Learn the lines or dialogs thoroughly and explore the thought behind every sentence. This will help you picture the circumstances in which the character finds itself. It’s reading between the lines. Some actors go as far as ‘living’ as that person for a while, to understand him or her. They even maintain a diary of a life lived as that character. The idea is to go as close as possible to being that person.

Draw From Your Emotional Memory
“Find in yourself those human things which are universal.” – Sanford Meisner
Draw parallels from your own life, which will help you relate to the character. In psychological terms, it is about delving deeper into your emotional memory. You have to draw parallels from your own experience and actually try to feel what the character feels. Say the dialogs only when you ‘feel’, the way your character does. Let it come out naturally. Let it flow.

No Substitute for Practice
“For most actors, success is achieved through study, struggle, preparation, infinite trial and error, training, discipline, experience and work!” – Robert Cohen
The process of transformation into a character is gradual. It may be that after months of practice, just a few hours before your performance, in a moment of reflection, you understand who that person really is. You get closer only through practice. Acting techniques differ a lot. You will develop your own process with experience.

Enjoy the Process and Go With the Flow
“An actor has to burn inside with an outer ease.” – Michael Chekhov

You don’t need to be worried about having no actual acting experience, as long as you have lived your life with awareness and sensitivity. Enjoy the drama and process of acting and go with the flow. All the rest will follow.

Join a Local Theater Group

“Work for the actor lies essentially in two areas: the ability to consistently create reality and the ability to express that reality.” – Lee Strasberg
In almost every city, there are theater groups looking for new talent. Join one and audition for a role. Your big break might not happen right away. There will be disappointments early on as you are just getting into the groove of what acting takes, but with dedication, being open to feedback, and the willingness to learn, you will do better.

Enroll For a Good Acting Class

“Study, find all the good teachers and study with them, get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It’s not worth it if you are just in it for the money. You have to love it.” – Philip Seymour Hoffman

There are several theater and film veterans who are willing to share their expertise with newbies, through their own workshops and classes. Find one and get enrolled. You will definitely benefit from their experience. Finding a good teacher, whom you totally trust, is half the battle won. Trust the training program he plans out for you and give it your best. Maintaining a positive frame of mind is exceedingly important.

Prepare a Few Performances

“The [Great] Actor is able to approach in himself a cosmic dread as large as life. He is able to go from his dread to a joy so sweet that it is without limit. Only then will the actor have direct access to the life that moves in him, which is as free as his breathing. And like his breathing, he doesn’t cause it to happen. He doesn’t contain it, and it doesn’t contain him.” – Joseph Chaikin

To sell yourself as an actor, besides your portfolio of photographs and resume detailing your past acting experience, what you need are some ready performances of your own. Through these performances, you can showcase the acting talent you possess, to the world. They may be your favorite parts from a play, a famous monologue, a film scene you enjoy performing, or even a self-written stand-up piece. It is essential that you develop such performances and be ready to present them at any moment. In fact, engaging stand-up pieces can even get you a gig somewhere.

Never Miss an Opportunity to Perform

“An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so he must be willing to accept all experiences that life can offer.” – Marlon Brando

To develop confidence in your acting abilities and overcome stage fright is to go up on stage and perform, as frequently as you can. Every venture on-stage and in front of the camera is going to boost your confidence to higher levels and will also help you fine-tune your performance.

Observe and Learn

“One of the most important things I’ve learned about acting is that you can’t separate how you live your life and how you practice your art.” – Larry Moss
You need to always be a sponge, ready to absorb, learn, and observe the performances of great actors, to learn the nuances of the craft. While watching movies, plays, and any performance, study the nuances of a role played by any actor, and especially the masters. By just keeping your eyes open, you can pick up a lot of things.

It Becomes Easier With Love

“Great acting is virtually always heroic and confident. It seems spiritual, easy and profoundly connected. Great actors seem like they are channeling the Gods.” – Anonymous
Why do you want to act? Is it for money, fame, mere validation of the ego, or genuine love for the art. Would you do it if you were not paid for it? If the answer and your motivation is love for the craft and the medium, you are bound to eventually succeed, for only love perseveres when all else fails.

When you need advice, it is always best to go to masters like Stanislavski. His books – ‘An Actor Prepares’, ‘Creating a Role’, and ‘Building a Character’ are highly recommended reading for anybody who wants to seriously learn acting. I wish you all the very best in your endeavors in the future. Your experience offstage and the awareness with which you live your life, is the key you need to unlock your acting potential. Confidence, sincerity, and the ability to let go of yourself will translate into a great acting performance.

Ways to Get a Talent Agent

The basic job of an agent is to get the client’s work noticed by the right people. An agent will fix up meetings various casting directors, producers, or executives, who could give you work that will do justice to your talent. He also acts as your representative while interacting with people regarding your work. Having a good agent is a must if you intend to make it big in any popular field.

Getting a Talent Agent

To get a talent agent, you can search the web for various talent agencies. A talent agent covers a host of professions, such as models, character actors, child actors, singers, and even dancers. Zero in on the agent according to your specialty and other various criteria. Check on the agent’s credentials before you finalize the decision. You will have to mail your resume, along with a picture, for the agent to get an understanding of the talent you possess, and the kind of work you are looking for. In case you have an upcoming performance, invite agents to the performance. If you are able to impress them, your job is a lot easier. Keep approaching different agents even if you meet with rejection in your initial attempts.

Acting

The easiest way to get an agent is by letting them know about you. For this to happen, you should start displaying your talent wherever possible. Short films, street plays, theater, or even random videos on YouTube can help in getting you noticed. Once the agent is convinced of the potential you possess, he will surely find you out, instead of the other way round.

Modeling

The best way to get a modelling agent is to get composite cards or zed cards. These act like business cards for a model, and also help in getting work. It should have about 4 to 5 of your pictures printed on 5×7 cards. Hire a good photographer to shoot these pictures, so that you are portrayed well. Get pictures in different poses and different costumes, like casuals, swimwear, business gear, or even sportswear.

After you have got the comp cards in place, you should look for various agencies. Mail your comp cards to the agencies along with a cover letter. Do not write a thesis on the cover letter; instead, keep the writing crisp and concise, as agents receive a lot of these mails, and do not have time to read long stories. Mention your contact details on the letter for them to get back to you.

Screenwriting

It is very difficult to write a screenplay, but it is even more difficult to get it produced. That’s where an agent comes in. If you are looking for someone who will help you get your screenplay produced, you should ideally refer to the Hollywood Creative Directory (HCD) or the America Writer’s Guild website. You will get a list of agents from these locations, which are regularly updated. Choose agents who are specialized in the genre you screenplay is about. Also, shortlisting agencies which have just started is not a bad option, as they may not have a lot of clients at hand. Once you have figured out the agencies you want to approach, make a query letter. This should be short, concise, and should have a brief introduction about yourself along with a short description of your screenplay, and your contact details.

Beware of bogus or fake agencies, and do a thorough background check before you finalize one. Normally agents are paid a percentage of what clients earn on every performance. However, go through the contract properly before you sign it, to avoid any confusion on the remuneration and duties of the agent. All the best!

Superstars in WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)

Love it, hate it, or try to ignore it, but the fact remains that World Wrestling Entertainment is one of the biggest players in the entertainment industry today. The World Wrestling Entertainment has been the center of attention ever since it was first launched. Be it the steroids scandal, or be it something raked up by the concerned parents and other institutions, or the various takeovers and acquisitions the company has been in since the past two decades, or be it simply traditional sports rueing the infinite success and fan following this sports entertainment receives.

One cannot deny the fact that the superstars have been an integral part of the success of WWE. The fans should remember that it is these superstars who take the hits, do not care about the risks and put their bodies on the line in the name of entertainment. This is exactly the reason that they have become superstars in the true sense of the word, and are looked up with respect for the amount of punishment they take and the courage they have, to come up night after night, to entertain the people.

For those who are new to WWE, here is a quick description of the stars ladder:

Jobbers: These are the unknown talents who are basically used to give a push in the wrestling ladder to talent that is getting a bit popular as ‘heels’ or ‘babyfaces’ with the crowds. Heels are wrestlers who basically play the bad part of the storyline. Baby faces are wrestlers who play the good part of the storyline. Jobbers eventually get promoted into the mid-card level.

Mid-Card Level: Mid-card level wrestlers are wrestlers who have a bit of popularity amongst wrestling fans. They can either be heels or babyfaces. Mid-card level wrestlers and jobbers are sometimes used as a part of tag teams to create more exciting wrestling storylines and matches.

Superstars/Top-card level: These are the wrestlers who headline WWE shows and pay-per-views. Superstars have a definite screen presence, and a long and complex storyline behind them. They also have the longest feuds, with some feuds spanning three to four pay-per-views.

Here is a list of the contemporary and past WWE superstars. This list is only about those superstars who have the highest fan following ever:

Hulk Hogan: He and Vince McMahon are credited with taking wrestling entertainment to another level altogether in the seventies and eighties. In fact, Hulk Hogan is considered to be an idol of many of the present contemporary WWE wrestlers.

The Undertaker: The Undertaker can be termed as having the most prolific WWE career ever. Also, his characterization is considered to be one of the most innovative in WWE history. Personally, I think he was the inventor of power wrestling. He is still regarded to have one of the most exciting finishing moves in the industry, and that is a feat in itself. He has had at least three different finishing moves during his career, and all three of them sending the crowd in a tizzy when enacted in the ring.

The Rock: Possibly the most famous wrestler to step into the ring – ever. The Rock was one of the first wrestlers to move from wrestling into Hollywood and make a successful career out of it. Though the Rock was one of the most famous and successful wrestlers, today he is seen as a good enough actor as well as a wrestler. He has acted in lead roles in at least three movies. John Cena and Kane have followed his concept of an all-encompassing entertainer. Hulk Hogan too had made a switch from wrestling to Hollywood at his peak, but his switch did not meet with as much success as The Rock’s did.

Stone Cold Steve Austin: If the Rock is mentioned, Stone Cold will not be far behind. The two have been involved in some of the most entertaining feuds in wrestling history. Stone Cold Steve Austin is known to be a rebellious beer drinker who was the bane for discipline and system during his stint as a wrestler for the WWE.

There are, of course other wrestlers that could be added to the list. These superstars are simply the ones who have stood the test of time, and get as much of fan heat today, as they would have got when they had the first peak of their career, a good ten years back.

What’s Entertainment ?

In a world where we find ourselves evermore overwhelmed by-and drawn to-bright images and flashing screens, it is worth asking a few questions about that most important of consumer goods: entertainment. What makes entertainment entertaining? Why do we need it, or do we? What is entertainment, anyway?

These are a few of the questions I set out to answer in a class I taught a year or so ago: Entertainment in America. And while we couldn’t quite come up with satisfactory answers, even after a semester of reading and discussion, I’d like to try to set down a few of the thoughts that came out of that course here. But I don’t want to shove the partial answers I’ve come to down your throat-that’s no fun for anybody. Rather, what I’ll do in the following is offer a list of questions that you might ask yourself, along with a few resources that might be worth looking at as you search for your own answers to these increasingly crucial questions. I’ll also note, from time to time, the conclusions I have tentatively reached regarding these questions.

Are you ready? Here goes…

What is entertainment? (Too obvious, but we’ll come back to it. If you keep this question in mind as you go down the list, you may find a definition beginning to come together. Try it out.) Even if you know it when you see it, does it bother you if you can’t come up with a good definition of what it actually is?

Is there such a thing as “only entertainment”?
Only Entertainment-Bad Religion
That’s Entertainment-The Jam
That’s Entertainment-Judy Garland
When you read the lyrics of The Jam’s and Bad Religion’s songs, and read about the history of the Judy Garland highlights film, what is your sense of the kind of material that makes for entertainment?

Who needs entertainment? What for? When you are entertained, what are you feeling? Read a Dilbert or Doonesbury comic strip, and try to record what happened inside of you while you were looking at the comic. Did you feel happier? A sense of release? The resolving of tension? Was that entertainment? Would you say that reading the comic strip was the same kind of experience as watching a television show? How? How not?

Are some kinds of entertainment better for you than others? Which kinds? Is it better to play internet poker or to watch a video? Try doing each for a little while and record your feelings. Was one more entertaining than the other? How? Why? Did one make you more aggressive? Less likely to do something productive in the world around you? Did either change the way you felt about yourself? How?

One of the things I was struck by while teaching this course was the way entertainment can work as a substitute for action. If I can identify with a character on TV-on a soap opera, for instance-then I get to feel all the feelings that character feels, without having to do the actions that result in those feelings. I get to feel jealous without having a cheating spouse, excited by the intrigue of adultery without being an adulterer, and intimate without ever actually talking to a living human being. In short, I get to feel. Some researchers believe that feelings are the way we human beings experience our world most fully, but is there a price to pay when we feel our emotions in a way that’s disconnected from the physical world around us?

That is, if we get to feel feelings without taking risks, do we start to lose our ability to risk emotion in the “real world”? I don’t have a definite answer to that for you, but I do have one for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that entertainment is-while maybe necessary for emotional and psychological health-definitely a dangerous substance. Like fire. So, for my part, I’ll still watch a film now and then. But I’ll also think afterwards about how watching that film, getting that emotional satisfaction, affects my ability to act in the real world. You might consider doing the same, it actually turns out to be pretty entertaining.

Tips to Become an Actress

Has acting always been your passion? Does watching Hollywood flicks stir your soul? Do you always wish you could emulate your favorite leading lady? Do you have that burning desire to be renowned all around the world? Well, acting is not only a fantastic career, it is one that can propel you to great heights of fame and popularity. In fact, being a leading Hollywood actress and getting recognition for one’s talent is something every wannabe dreams about. There are times when women or men cannot handle the dizzying heights of success which sometimes even has a negative impact on their personal life. But, becoming an actress is no easy task if you don’t have a godfather in the film industry. Unless of course, you are the daughter of Hollywood’s snootiest and richest couple! For those women, who are struggling to get their first break, here are some tips on becoming an actress.

Essential Tips to Become a Successful Actress

Well, we all know that being an actress may not always require acting skills! However, being trained in this department will help you feel confident and learn the tricks of the trade. There are many institutes that offer courses in honing a person’s acting skills. Enrolling yourself in such a course will help you to go through the basic process. In this manner, you can learn about memorizing dialogs and facing the camera with confidence. Such institutes also teach about various camera angles. For example, if a dialog has to be emoted looking directly into the camera, there are various angles an actress needs to experiment with, to look her best and deliver the dialog accordingly. An acting institute may not teach all the nitty gritties, but surely any auditions that follow will showcase you in a confident light.

A portfolio is a must for any actor. Hire a professional fashion photographer and get some snazzy shots. Try a variety of looks. A fashion portfolio is required at the beginning level for those who wish for a career in acting. Close up, full length, and ¾ view shots are the basic requirement. Keep your costumes or clothing ready. Try a glamorous diva look, a casual look, and even one that only focuses on your facial expressions. You never know which look can impress the next casting director.

Learning a sport activity or a skill can also help you to bag a role. You can join a Latin American dance class and perfect your moves on the floor. In this manner, you have an added skill. Dancing will also keep your body in perfect shape.

Get an agent and be a little aggressive while on the hunt for the auditions. You have to think about the competition out there, and ensure you keep trying and circulate your photographs among agencies. Follow a strict fitness routine. Maintain a healthy diet to have a well-toned body.

Always make sure you are in touch with the right agencies, and audition as frequently as possible. Do not be disheartened when a first break seems difficult. You need to try till you get that very important chance. Once you bag the first role, give it your best shot and there would be no looking back.

The Entertainment and Moral Divide

The entertainment industry is constantly under scrutiny―whether it is the sex and violence in movies, the language in music, or the focus of video games. As entertainment becomes more progressive, those who are vocal against that progression try to speak up louder to drown out the noise. For them, it is a seemingly winless battle, though as there are few if any instances in which moral disagreement has had a significant impact on the way the industry operates.

Music
Music has long since settled into a groove in which essentially anything is okay. The result is, a music industry that does not provide nearly as much objectionable and public material as it once did. There was one point in the early 1990s, when it seemed like every day had another music artist’s name in the papers alongside that of an angry senator. While albums are still marked with the Parental Advisory stickers that were introduced in those early days of moral objection, the bounds are essentially gone.

Access to music is as free and prevalent as ever, with services like iTunes and MySpace making it nearly impossible to filter out the unwanted noise anymore, and so, for the most part, the watchdog groups have stopped. It’s an interesting result, and has only occurred in the music industry.

Movies
Film has always been subject to scrutiny. After all, it features graphic images of violence and sexuality that can be offensive for a number of demographics, from children to adults and everyone in between. And while violence and sex have essentially wormed their way into mainstream acceptance, there are still plenty of topics that can bring about an uproar in certain communities.

Consider the recent uprisings in religious groups over what they feel is morally objectionable material such, the most recent example of which is The Golden Compass. The film is based on a series of books that depicts a fractured sector of society acting as a metaphor for the author’s vision of the Church. This sect kidnaps and experiments on children, forcing them to stand up and fight back. The result is a series of books that teaches an alternate view of religion, one in which it is not as cut and dry as organized dogma would have you believe. It is a strictly agnostic approach and one that the Church finds offensive.

Similar to their response to The DaVinci Code in 2006, the Catholic League―with its 350,000 members―has decided to boycott the film in the hopes of convincing other Christians to ignore it. The result is a wash of publicity and controversy over a film which is not supposed to be that good.

It is interesting that the current state of moral ethics provides ample space for protest against films that breach religious and racial boundaries (The Passion of the Christ is a good example), but the long time proliferation of sex and violence that has recently seeped into even the most innocent of children’s films and television programs continues.

Video Games
By far the biggest source of discussion and controversy in recent years in regards to moral obligations is the video game industry. Today, the ESRB rates and labels video games between E (for everyone) and AO (adult only). The rating system is effective in telling parents what their children will be facing in a video game. However, the ESRB is a self-regulatory board run and operated by the gaming companies, which has caused many senators and ethics pounding lawyers to grow even more upset at games like Grand Theft Auto, or the most recent maelstrom in Manhunt 2.

Most recently, senators have called for an overhaul of this system for a particular instance in which Manhunt 2, which originally received an AO rating for its violent portrayal of murder, was rerated with an M rating for Mature. No game console will currently support an AO game, meaning that for Manhunt 2 to be released, it needed to be edited and rerated. However, there has now been additional controversy over the leniency with which the ESRB rerated the game.

For the Nintendo Wii edition in particular, which allows players to act out the specific violent techniques with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, senators are concerned as psychologists have come forward citing the damage this can do to a child’s mind.

While video games have continued pushing the same boundaries of sex and violence as films, they have a slightly different hurdle to overcome. Because they are traditionally considered for children, and because acts are specifically handled by manipulating an on-screen character, they pose a more substantial threat for some individuals to the child’s mind. Regardless of how much they might grow or change, they will always be scrutinized for what they allow you to do.

The moral dilemma that strikes any entertainment medium will continue to strike as long as popular media is available to the masses. While music and film have become more accepted over time, the video game and eventually Internet mediums will probably continue to spark controversy, both in the media and in government.

The Best Silent Movies

In this day and age, when we want the original soundtrack of every movie on our iPod, and where there are many awards for dialogs for films, it is hard to imagine how people ever watched silent films, and even appreciated them! But yes, there were some really powerful silent films that depended on intense acting to carry them through, that were hugely successful and effective in driving the point across, or entertaining, without a word being spoken. This article lists all the movies that set high standards at the dawn of the movie making era.

Best Movies of the Silent Era

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Director – F. W. Murnau
This romantic movie starring Janet Gaynor and George O’Brien tells the story of a married small town man who embarks on a torrid affair with a girl from the city. Caught up in the affair, he reluctantly agrees to kill his wife, but realizes that he cannot go through with the plan, as he still loves her. He apologizes to the wife and they make up.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Director – Robert Wiene
This movie starring Friedrich Fehér, Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt is supposed to be the best horror film of the silent era. It tells the story of a doctor, who uses a somnambulist to kill people. The story is told as a flashback by one of the characters, and has a twist at the very end. It received critical acclaim, and was also adapted into a drama and an opera, besides serving as an inspiration for horror filmmakers for many decades after its release!

Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
Director – Buster Keaton
This silent comedy starring director Buster Keaton, is about two poor men vying with each other for the love of a beautiful girl, who they both want to marry. One of her suitors is the bad guy, and the other is good. When the bad guy steals from the girl’s father to give her a gift and blames it on the good guy, the good guy offers to solve the crime, but is banished. Eventually the girl finds out who the real thief is and makes up with the good guy. Although the film received a lukewarm response at the time, it has since gone on to be considered as a classic.

Seventh Heaven (1927)
Director – Frank Borzage
Starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, this movie is based on a Broadway play which was very popular in the 1920s. It is a sweet romance about how love blooms in unusual ways. When a poor man claims that a pretty girl is his wife, to save her from her sister and the police, they are forced to keep up the charade. Which means they have to live as husband and wife although they barely know each other. The story is about how they slowly but surely fall in love with each other, and how the impending war affects their relationship.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
Director – Rex Ingram
This family drama, which has traces of supernatural towards the end, tells the story of a family, revolving around the four men in it – the grandfather, his two sons-in-law, and his grandson. The grandfather is the one holding the family together and after his death the sons-in-law return to their respective homelands, one to France, the other Germany. The story follows the life of the grandson, with the Great War providing the backdrop for the story. Considered as one of the earliest anti-war film, it received critical acclaim as well as commercial success. The tango sequence in the movie is famous.

The Gold Rush (1925)
Director – Charles Chaplin
The Tramp is caught in a fight between a prospector and a fugitive, while on his way to the Klondike Gold Rush. In the fight, the prospector receives a blow to the head and develops amnesia, while the fugitive dies. After the Tramp reaches the town, decides to stop prospecting, and falls in love with a saloon girl, the previous prospector asks him to help him search for his claim. They are successful, and the movie ends with the Tramp becoming rich, and romancing the saloon girl. It is one of the highest grossing silent movies, and largely considered by critics as the best of Chaplin.

Director – D. W. Griffith
A drama set against the backdrop of the Civil War, it documents the relations between two families – the Camerons from the South, and the Stonemans from the North. The movie shows how the war tears friends and family apart. It follows their struggle through the Civil War, as well as the Reconstruction Era. But all’s well that ends well, and finally, friends and lovers are reunited for a happy ending. This is considered to be a technically sound and technologically advanced movie for its time, although there is a racist undertone to it. Upon release, it caused quite a furor in many places, with riots and murders taking place. But in spite of all this the film is one of the highest grossing of all time.

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Director – Sergei Eisenstein
This movie starring Vladimir Barsky and Grigori Aleksandrov, tells the story of the 1905 Russian mutiny that occurred on the battleship called Potemkin. It is one of the earliest and best propaganda films in the history of cinema, and in 1958, at the Brussels World’s Fair, it was declared as the ‘greatest film of all time’. The story tells of the rebellion of the crew of the battleship against the Tsarist regime officers. The rebellion brought on a street demonstration. The Odessa steps sequence, where the civilians are massacred indiscriminately by the police, is famous.

Metropolis (1927)
Director – Fritz Lang
Starring Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Brigitte Helm and Alfred Abel, the movie is set in 2026 in a dystopian society, where there exists a wide chasm between the rich class and the worker class. The son of the Master of the City falls in love with a common girl, and the movie follows him as he tries to find out her identity and bridge the socioeconomic gap between the two classes. The film was hailed as a pioneer in technical and visual effects. Although the story failed to impress and generated a lukewarm response from the masses, it is still considered as one of the greatest silent films to be made.

The Mark of Zorro (1920)
Director – Fred Niblo, Theodore Reed
The movie stars Douglas Fairbanks as a rich man who poses as the masked Zorro, to stand up for the commoners in his town. He is their savior, and materializes whenever there seems to be wrong going on somewhere, and stamps his sign ‘Z’ on the face of the wrongdoer. There is, of course, romance involved, and when not posing as Zorro, he is Don Diego Vega, who is courting a beautiful girl. When his lady love’s family is being troubled, Don Diego reveals his identity and saves them. The movie has a dose of comedy as well, and it won the hearts of audiences when it was released.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Director – Carl Dreyer
Starring Maria Falconetti and Eugène Silvain, this movie is an account of the time when Joan of Arc was held as a captive by the English on the charges of heresy. Jeanne d’Arc was a young French woman who guided the French army in the Hundred Year’s War, and emerged victorious in many battles. The plot of this silent movie revolves around the trial of this brave woman, who refuses to stray from her claim that she was guided by God through dreams. She refuses to change her belief about it in the face of the many tortures and the deceptions that she is put through. The final test is when she is told that she will be burned at the stake if she doesn’t change her claims, and although initially she signs a confession out of fear, she later resiles and is given a public execution. It is listed in the top 100 and also as the most influential movie of all time.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Director- Rupert Julian
Starring Mary Philbin, and Lon Chaney the movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Gaston Leroux. The movie had a pretty successful run, thanks in part to the climax which had been changed to cater to the taste of the audience. The scene when the lead actress unmasks the phantom, earned the movie the 52nd spot on Bravo’s ‘100 Scariest Movie Moments’.

A few more movies which deserve to be on this list are mentioned below.

Movie

  • Safety Last (1923)
  • Grass (1925)
  • Nosferatu (1922)
  • Un Chien Andalou (1929)
  • City Lights (1931)
  • Intolerance (1916)
  • The General (1927)
  • Flesh and the Devil (1926)
  • It (1927)
  • Wings (1927)
  • Girl Shy (1924)
  • The Big Parade (1925)
  • The Wedding March (1928)
  • The Iron House (1924)
  • Man with the Movie Camera (1929)
  • Les Vampyres (1915 – 1916)
  • Don’t Change Your Husband (1919)
  • A Dog’s Life (1918)
  • The Docks of New York (1928)
  • Our Dancing Daughters (1928)
  • Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)
  • Lady Windermere’s Fan (1925)
  • He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
  • The Thief of Baghdad (1924)
  • True Heart Susie (1919)
  • Pandora’s Box (1929)
  • Underworld (1927)
  • The Marriage Circle (1924)
  • Napoléon (1927)
  • The Freshman (1925)
  • The Crowd (1928)
  • The Kid (1921)
  • Way Down East (1920)
  • Broken Blossoms (1919)
  • Greed (1924)
  • The Last Laugh (1924)
  • Faust (1926)
  • The Immigrant (1917)
  • Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ (1925)
  • The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)

Director

  • Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
  • Merian Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
  • F. W. Murnau
  • (1929) Luis Buñuel
  • Charles Chaplin
  • D. W. Griffith
  • Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
  • Clarence Brown
  • Clarence G. Badger
  • William A. Wellman
  • Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
  • King Vidor
  • Erich von Stroheim
  • John Ford Mcenry
  • Dziga Vertov
  • Louis Feuillade
  • Cecil B. Demille
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • Harry Beaumont
  • Fritz Lang
  • Ernst Lubitsch
  • Victor Sjöström
  • Raoul Walsh
  • D. W. Griffith
  • Georg Wilhelm Pabst
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • Ernst Lubitsch
  • Abel Gance
  • Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
  • King Vidor
  • Charles Chaplin
  • D. W. Griffith
  • D.W. Griffith
  • Erich von Stroheim
  • F. W. Murnau
  • F. W. Murnau
  • Charles Chaplin, Edward Brewer
  • Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin
  • Ernst Lubitsch

These were some of the masterpieces of the silent era. If you take a look at the history of silent movies, you will realize the amount of effort that went into making them. The only major element was acting, there were no other distractions like sound effects or elaborate visual effects. The actors had to portray every nuance with their expressions, unaided by sound. That is something! There was a lot of talent that came forth in the era of silent movies. Most of the time, the ‘staff’ was a one man unit – director, producer, actor, all rolled into one. Time to revisit the age of silence and pay our respects.