Clyde Jeavon: The Significance Of Silent Film

Decent Essays

Many people initially view archives as unmediated documentations of history. Critical, precious time capsules, which record the past in order to advance the future. The East Anglian Film Archive website, has a variety of different videos which show films that have been marked as meaningful enough to archive. One video involves an interview with Alfred Hitchcock by an old Anglian television company. Whereas, a different video which is filmed in 1935 shows a typical day of young children in their primary school in Cambridgeshire. This video depicts the difference in traditions and urges audiences to make comparisons between modern day schools and 1930’s institutions. Within the second video the children drink milk with cod liver oil. This seemingly small occurrence in itself is historically important, as during the 1930’s it was discovered that cod liver oil was effective in preventing a common disease, rickets. By archiving this day at a children’s primary school, the audience observing the media are able to understand more about 1930’s medicine, the school system and historical differences. It is extremely important to observe what pieces of media are archived as despite the differences between archiving a day at a …show more content…

Jeavon’s states that “Approximately 80% or more of silent film… has been lost”. He continues his point by supporting the perspective that archiving is an extremely subjective and selective process, by stating that silent films hadn’t always been held in a high regard “silent films had all the commercial appeal of last week’s weather report”. Many films were simply not regarded as special enough to archive. Despite silent films being of interest now, the historical and cultural context at that particular moment time affected the significance of the films and lead to the loss of ‘one third of film history to

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