Monday, February 27, 2012

Strong Statement for Silence

Did you notice at last night’s Academy Awards, the silent film “The Artist” collected five Oscars, including best picture, best actor, best director, musical score and costume design?

What’s up with that? Didn’t silent films go out with Charlie Chaplin, dirigibles and Prohibition?

Yes, “The Artist” has music and subtitles so the audience knows what characters in the film are thinking and saying, just like the silent films of old. But the point is, the actors are in fact…silent!

Don't look now - actors like
Charlie Chaplin might
be making a comeback.
There seems something symbolic, even subliminal, about a silent film reaping top achievement awards in an age when our world is anything but silent.

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, every day we’re bombarded by auditory overload, a cacophony of voices and messages clamoring for our limited attention spans. And the discourse is decreasingly cordial and civil. “Whoever shouts loudest and longest wins!”

So there’s wonderful irony in the fact that in today’s world, afflicted with ever-heightened decibel levels, a silent film should receive the motion picture industry’s highest honors.

Years ago, Dionne Warwick and others sang the popular Burt Bacharach tune, “What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love.” Today, what it also needs more of is quiet, sweet quiet. Who knows – this might be the perfect time for Simon and Garfunkel to reprise their classic tune, “The Sounds of Silence.”

As the Bible affirms, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (Proverbs 17:28). A little silence never hurt anybody.

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