Valentino on Silent Film

Valentino comments about himself, his purpose, his relationship to silent film and that art form in general:

“As an actor, it was my express purpose to make people think and silent pictures, devoid of language except for intertitles and that which was primarily imagined, were wonderful vehicles for achieving that goal. Moreover, I was meant to be inspirational, to move audiences to a higher level of thought. What you may perceive of as entertainment, therefore, may instead be considered a form of advanced education.

There’s a purity evident in silent film that is second to none. The elaborate ruses, the exceptional muses, the shortest of fuses, all these can be depicted with fierce intensity, to an even greater degree than in talkies. Fact is, the eye sometimes catches more than the ear. This is a premise that I can ascribe to, especially given my experience in the movie industry. The eyes tell it all, on screen and off. Again, a narrowing of the aperture, that is what watching a silent film affords, in a way very much like meditation. Indeed, most of our dreams are like silent movies. Nothing need be said in order for them to be salient.” ~ Rudolph Valentino