Manual Silence is Golden

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This stands to reason, given that the film was both a-homage-to and based-on-a-script-by Jacques Tati. About half an hour of movie passes before anyone says a line of dialogue outside of a recording. In Up , the movie tracks Carl and Ellie's marriage with a long montage that goes through their youth, her infertility, her death, and his old age.

Some of the people involved in the film thought that the bonding sequence between Toothless and Hiccup would never work, because it was somewhere in the range of three minutes long and right in the middle of the movie. Luckily, the filmmakers insisted and even the skeptics changed their mind when the sequence was finished. The romantic flight scene with Astrid is also an aversion of Lull Destruction.


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Both moments are instead held up by wonderful animation and John Powell's hypnotizing score. Films — Live-Action. The silent films of F. Murnau are known for using title cards and written exposition very sparingly, letting the actions on screen tell the story visually. Nosferatu , Sunrise and The Last Laugh are notable examples. Silent films hung around in China for several years after the first Chinese talking films were produced, due to the language barrier with English talking films and the language barrier between Mandarin and other Chinese languages.

While known for being one of the first truly great sound films, Fritz Lang 's M actually contains very little dialogue and nearly a third of the movie is completely silent. Incidentally, this made it quieter than actual silent movies which were almost always accompanied by music , making the moments with sound all the more striking. Carl Dreyer's Vampyr is an almost silent early sound film. The ending of Franco Zefferelli's version of Romeo and Juliet had very little in the way of dialogue compared to the original text's ending. Sergio Leone 's movies were usually very sparse dialogue-wise, letting the visuals and Ennio Morricone's music tell the story instead.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a great example; the film runs ten minutes before anybody speaks. Also, in the final climactic three way duel, there is no dialogue at all for over five minutes, and the film relies entirely on the score, and closeups of the three main character's faces, each trying decide whether to move first. It is widely considered to be one of the most dramatic and tense moments in film history. The opening of Once Upon a Time in the West has no dialogue as a trio of gunman wait for their target to arrive on a train.

The final showdown is over nine minutes long, in which a total of 8 words are spoken. Mel Brooks' Silent Movie , of course. The only spoken word in the entire movie is said by mime Marcel Marceau. In addition to being in black-and-white , Eraserhead has very little music and keeps the dialogue to the barest minimum, while even the tiniest background noises are unusually audible, enhancing the eerie, nightmarish quality of the movie. The Call of Cthulhu , based on the H. Lovecraft classic, which was intended to look it could've been made around the time that the original story was written.

Elias Merhige's Begotten is completely silent. The experimental film Themroc features no intelligible dialogue, but plenty of gibberish, screaming, and grunting. Conan the Barbarian has a deliberately sparse script to let the exquisite music do the talking. A wise move. Charlie Chaplin 's first two sound films, City Lights and Modern Times , were essentially silent films with recorded soundtracks. The latter only had dialogue that came from either recordings or loudspeakers i. Chaplin himself never did a "Talkie" until The Great Dictator , and even then, there are long segments of silent comedy.

No Country for Old Men has several long periods of silence, and no score until the credits. Into Great Silence , a documentary about life in the French monastery of Grand Chartreuse, who keep talking to a minimum. The film Dementia is completely devoid of speech, although a version with narration by Ed McMahon but still no dialogue was later released as Daughter of Horror.

Defenceless: A Blood Symphony features no dialogue, but extensive screaming to compliment the aggressively unpleasant imagery taking place on screen. The film Le Bal , which depicts 50 years of French history through a ballroom in France, includes no dialogue. The Illusionist has no dialogue other than some unintelligible mumbling. The Hungarian film Hukkle has almost no dialogue, apart from a song at the end. The "sound" work of director Tod Browning is punctuated by extended scenes of silence and visual expressionism. By the time he did Freaks he figured out how to do this without resorting to the minimalistically stylized dialogue he used in Dracula Vase de Noces , a Belgian arthouse film from informally known as The Pig Fucking Movie on account of its zoophilic subject-matter, contains no dialogue.

Compared to some of his other incarnations who just won't shut up ; Bumblebee in the Transformers Film Series is a mute who uses the radio of his car form to communicate by playing songs and broadcasting messages that fit his intentions. Most of Jacques Tati 's films are like this.


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  • In the classic French film Mr. Hulot's Holiday as well as in his other films , spoken dialogue is mostly limited to the role of background sounds. When they were released in theaters internationally, Tati insisted that there be no subtitles, as they would distract from the visual gags that make up his films. Tati's films though lacking in dialogue are full of carefully detailed and thought of soundtracks of foleys, ambience sounds and other details which simply can't be achieved "silently".

    For his film, Playtime , he took a year working on the soundtrack alone. Moon has a number of long silences, though not as many as you'd think for a film about a man, alone, on the moon.

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    The German film Tuvalu is a throwback to the silent era that even goes so far as to have monochromatic film. There is sound and music but no actual words spoken aside from the names of people and places even then, it isn't very often. In Kim Ki-Duk's 3-Iron Bin-Jip , the two protagonists have only two lines of dialogue, spoken at the very end of the film. Documentary filmmaker Godfrey Reggio is possibly the contemporary king of this trope, considering that his -qatsi trilogy of films beginning with 's Koyaanisqatsi are all films with no dialogue in them and the only sound evident being the musical score.

    One of the -qatsi cinematographers, Ron Fricke, also made his own no-dialogue documentary in the same vein as Reggio's documentaries, 's Baraka. The film Marathon , directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Amir Naderi , features a young woman who is trying to complete as many crossword puzzles as she can in 24 hours while riding the New York City subway system. Shot in black and white, its other distinguishing feature is that it features very little dialogue consisting of one brief interaction between the protagonist and a young man riding the subway and a few answering machine messages left by the protagonist's mother and the only soundtrack running throughout the film is the background noise of the subway system.

    The famed Mirror Routine in Duck Soup is performed without dialogue or sound effects of any kind. The Artist is a silent black and white drama about a romance of two actors respectively falling and rising in Hollywood's difficult transition to sound. Subverted in that the lead character realizes that he feels trapped in silence and earns his happy ending when his love shows him that he has the talent to succeed when he accepts the reality of sound films.

    The French short film The Red Balloon has practically no dialogue. Both speech and score cease during the final battle in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , only picking up again when a ship emerges and attacks making the fight far more dramatic. When the Alien Queen is revealed in Aliens , there is no speech or score. French caper film Rififi has a burglary scene that lasts 32 minutes without dialog or music.

    The Heist requires near-absolute silence in order to defeat the burglar alarm. The car chase scene as well as the final battle which took place in the rain contains no music in the Jack Reacher movie. Alfred Hitchcock managed to successfully create dramatic scenes without dialogue even after the silent era ended. Upstream Color has a number of stretches without dialogue. Much of the plot is implied rather than outright stated. After entering the Cirque world what little dialogue they have is mostly Speaking Simlish. As polarizing as Spider-Man 3 was, one thing that even its detractors have nothing but praise for is the quiet, somber, and emotionally charged birth of Sandman.

    The Host had two scenes that were completely void of sound entirely; the moment where the monster first captures Hyun-seo, and the moment where the monster regurgitates a load of corpses and bones into the sewer. Hush is just under 90 minutes long and contains less than 15 minutes of dialogue, which makes sense considering the protagonist is deaf. In certain scenes the ambient noise will also slowly fade out to make it more obvious how the main character is perceiving the world.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had the aftermath of Sirius' death completely silent save for the emotional music which drowns out all other audio , which makes it all the more heartbreaking to watch as Harry lets out of cries of utter anguish while constrained by Lupin. One reason the music was included was that during this part, Daniel Radcliffe reportedly let out a scream so agonizing that the original audio wasn't included in the film.

    In Ant-Man , after Scott shrinks down into the Quantum Realm, we get an extended, very trippy sequence of him floating through a kaleidoscope-like dreamscape as he gets smaller and smaller and smaller. After that ends, there is a smash cut to him floating through that space, and it is absolutely dead silent. With the exception for the intro and the hunter scenes, there's no dialogue in Benji the Hunted.

    The first 10 minutes of The Book of Eli are completely free of dialogue. In Riddick , good portion of the beginning is free of dialogue until the half of the movie. Rey's Establishing Character Moment in The Force Awakens has no dialogue at all until the very end, as we watch her scavenge from a wrecked Star Destroyer, sell the parts for food, and return home to eat dinner all alone, the same as she's been doing for her entire adult life.

    Without a word from Daisy Ridley, we learn her loneliness, independence, desperation to be part of something greater, and feeling of insignificance against a vast and dangerous universe, shown visually when she puts on a salvaged Rebel flight helmet and watches the stars while sitting in the shadow of the destroyed AT-ST in which she makes her home.

    Though intended to underscore the drama, the silence actually unnerved some moviegoers, to the point that some theaters had to post a disclaimer about the moment being intentional.

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    The opening five minutes of Circus of Fear contain no dialogues: allowing The Heist to play out with only naturalistic sounds. This is the entire point of A Quiet Place. A family struggles to survive by communicating with the sign language because the creatures are attracted by the sounds.

    Justified in War for the Planet of the Apes. Most of the time the apes speak with the sign language and most of the humans have lost the ability to speak and everything else because of the Simian Flu. You Were Never Really Here : Many scenes play out with no dialogue, and there is little in the way of exposition, preferring to use visual storytelling.

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    Downplayed in Avengers: Infinity War during the climax. After Thanos snaps his fingers, the following sequence takes place without any background music and subdued ambient sounds and dialogue, to drive home the impact. Aint Them Bodies Saints features a few sequences of silence or limited dialogue. A Ghost Story features very limited dialogue. Other than the opening few scenes, some untranslated Spanish, and a single scene featuring a long speech, the bulk of the film is completely free of any speaking.

    Live-Action TV. Buffy the Vampire Slayer : "Hush" is without dialogue for over 27 minutes straight, nearly two thirds of the episode. It's considered one of the creepier episodes there are and the silence only ups this factor. In all this time, the only dialogue is in the background music at the very start of the sequence. This continued in other episodes and is even used in the opening shots several times, most notably in the second episode where the only thing said in several minutes is a meaningful phrase.

    The first act of the Frasier episode "Three Valentines" is done in almost complete silence. Niles has a few lines at the start of the scene, but the rest of the scene involves just a few barks from Eddie and a few mutterings from Niles as he prepares for a date. The original Mr. Bean series is famous for its lack of dialogue. Not so with Bean or its Animated Adaptation. Mr Beans Holiday was much more in keeping with this style.

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    Which style works best in movie form is up for debate. This builds up the Twist Ending , since the final scene has the minuscule "aliens" speaking English, while we never hear the protagonist speak at all—obscuring the fact that she's actually the alien, while the supposed aliens are human astronauts. The parts of "Once Upon a Time" set in , as a way to differentiate them from the scenes. Particularly odd to a modern viewer seeing "Very very old film style" segueing to merely "old" to say nothing of how it painted the 4th wall.

    Switched at Birth aired an episode called "Uprising" which is told entirely through American Sign Language and subtitles. One of the main characters is deaf. Monty Python's Flying Circus had a silent-film-style sketch with a man attempting to undress in public. The opening sequence of The Walking Dead episode "Seed" has no dialogue, just ambient noises as unspeaking characters scrounge for supplies at a walker-infested house.

    It's very effective at conveying just how long they've been doing this, and how badly their scavenging existence has beaten them down. Sesame Street : Elmo imagines the world without sound. And Bob told Elmo that how it's like to be deaf, No sound. Vikings : the blood eagle execution scene serves as the climax of an episode and is played with soundtrack music only. The final act of "Exodus, Pt. Only the musical score is heard during a few flashbacks and the iconic final scene of Jack and Locke staring down the shaft after blowing the hatch open.

    Season 2's first episode, "Man of Science, Man of Faith", also has no dialogue in its cold open, which at first appears to be an unknown character's flashback, but is actually showing Desmond's morning routine inside the Hatch, ending with a shot looking back up the very same shaft at Jack and Locke, establishing that this is a continuation of the same scene. The people shown instead deliver their dialogue in either American Sign Language conveniently subtitled for viewers who don't know much about it , written word, or a combination of lip movements and descriptive body language.

    The entire meal at the A. Yes, it's even been done in music: John Cage 's "4'33''". Subverted, in that the idea behind the song is that the ambiance and occasional audience chatter, non-silenced cellphones going off, etc. This has roots in an experience in a soundproof chamber that Cage had: He expected silence inside of it, only to hear a "high sound", his nervous system, and a "low sound", his heartbeat. Cage then came to the realization that proper silence doesn't exist.

    And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music. And will the breezes blow the petals from your hand? And will some loving ease your pain? And will the silence strike confusion from your soul? Occasional rounds on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue are played in silence, with the possible exception of Colin Sell's piano, and Barry pointing out this makes great radio. The majority of Cirque du Soleil shows, particularly in The '80s and The '90s , have little or no dialogue.

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    If the characters talk at all, usually they are Speaking Simlish or a non-English language which also goes for the lyrics of the songs in each show. Ballet is always wordless. In place of speech, there's a language in the precise miming motions of the dancers. Video Games. Dragon's Wake : The game uses no text or dialogue to tell the story. Instead, the plot is conveyed through images shown during loading screens, paintings that the player can discover in the levels and the events of the game itself.

    The one means of communication and interaction available is "singing" a near-melodic tone, and the only text is in the title, the pause screen, and the credits. As you explore the ocean, the player is never given any written word or dialogue, the story is told through the scenery and the few images that the player finds. Many Myst -style games are like this. You get a short speech in the prologue or opening scene, the occasional bit of dialogue when you encounter another character Interactive Fiction takes this to the logical extreme: no graphics, no sound.

    Not only is the gameplay silent, the story often is too, because it's a pain to program NPCs who can talk and most creators don't bother to include descriptions of the auditory environment more's the pity. With a typical parser, you can "say [dialogue]" if you wish, but you'll get no response.

    Brawl is told entirely without dialog disregarding Calling Your Attacks. The only time anyone speaks is when Snake breaks the fourth wall. The Caveman arc of Live A Live. Justified in the fact that language hasn't been invented yet. Another World is another game which uses dialogue-free cutscenes to tell its story.

    Everyone in Limbo are rather silent, unless they happen to be animals. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon : To really hammer down the lonely atmosphere of the game, most of the game is spent silent, with no BGM and no one to talk to. Becuase the game is lauded for it's emotional and beautiful music, the tearjerking effect when said soundtrack is actually used has much more impact.

    Yume Nikki is also dialogue-free. Needless to say, this is a contributing factor to the staggering amount of Wild Mass Guessing it's become infamous for. The beautiful environments of Talon IV show you the story of the fallen Chozo civilization, and there are plenty of written logs lying around in case you couldn't figure it out yourself. Samus is quiet, but you can tell she's thinking something.

    A narrator was added at the start of and end of the game in the PAL version onward, but other than that, the atmosphere remains the same. The Path has no speech at all; instead the tone of conversations is conveyed through character animation, music and color. The "tutorial" instructions are two lines long, and expected to be ignored. Textual descriptions of items encountered are also quite sparse. Aside from a few sound clips from the Boy, the story is told solely through animation, and the hint signs show pictures instead of words.

    The only non-system text in the game is in a small bonus unlockable storybook. The Misadventures of P. Winterbottom as a homage to silent films has absolutely no dialogue or narration. Happens during some of the more Dramatic and Heartbreaking moments of Asura's Wrath. They Bleed Pixels has screams and Black Speech , but the only intelligible words are occasional bits of writing. Episode I of the Xenosaga trilogy was notable for taking place largely in cavernous, abandoned except for the occasional monster areas and having no dungeon or town background music, leading to several long segments of the game where the only noises are the character's own footsteps and whatever might be happening in the background around them.

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    The second and third games fix this by having near-constant background music playing away in towns and dungeons. Don't Look Back has a title screen and a few lines of instructional text, but no dialogue. Snow Bros has a rare Mega Drive version that features original cutscenes similar in style to those from Zero Wing , but with neither Engrish nor Japanese text.

    Both of the 'escaping prisoner' sequences in Chrono Trigger feature minimal dialogue and no background music, unless you get into a fight or witness something plot-relevant going on. It's more effective the first time due to Chrono being by himself in a dungeon that has almost no living prisoners left in it. Fe , aside from the main menu and a few in-game hints, completely lacks dialogue; the titular protagonist instead communicates with fellow forest creatures by "harmonizing" with their vocal patterns, similar to the aforementioned Journey.

    Web Original. This amateur film , consisting of no sound other than background music. The Hitler Rants video where Hitler is informed of nothing and says nothing. The Gift is an excellent example. It tells the view a time, place, and plot with only one arguably unnecessary snippet of dialogue. And, during such a moment, I think to myself stop. Quotes like speech is silver, silence is golden remind me to sometimes avoid doing that unnecessary, filling up space talking.

    Yes, I can be extroverted and yes I enjoy talking, but not to everyone or all the time. And then there is the other side of the coin: times I caught myself doing the opposite, not speaking, driven by confusion or passive aggression. Then I am basically giving people a silent treatment. Speaking about silence: over the years I have heard experiences of individuals who either offered or participated in silence retreats for instance by IofC. Travelling to a more or less exotic destination to sit in nature, away from society without speaking.

    There are many variations on these types of retreats. This to cope with reality without nature knowing their social, professional and bank account status. Pretty humbling. Nevertheless, going back to the silence retreats and leaving society, I never really thought about it in further depth. Or in relation with my spiritual islamic tradition.

    But recently, during the holy month ramadan, I came to realize that pretty much most — if not all — prophets and key figures, such as Mary, from the Abrahamic traditions received some sort of revelation in the midst of withdrawal from society and whilst being in silence. This got me thinking: if these historically inspiring change makers, who lived in different times from our own, sought silence and withdrawal — then how much more do ordinary people like you and I need that given all distractions we have nowadays?

    I think we are hungry for spirituality and a deeper connection with ourselves outside of our daily life structures. And different hypes and trends coming and going is the proof of that pudding. So what does this tell me? Well, it serves as a beautiful reminder.