President: The Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Nottingham. All communications to be addressed to Miss J. O'Sullivan, honorary secretary, Catholic Film Society, 36, Great Smith Street, Westminster, S.W.1.
CHAPLIN AND THE AMATEUR FILM-MAKER Discussing his new film Modern Times. Charlie Chaplin recently told Intercine. the journal of the International Institute of Educational Cinematography, that if he uttered one word he would destroy the character which for twenty years has been identified with him in every country in the world.
He said that talking would localise this universal tramp, whose appeal is independent of language.
THE ADVANTAGE OF THE SILENT FILM Here precisely is the supreme advantage of the silent film, namely its universality. Just so long as the art of film remains silent will it share the limitless appeal of music, sculpture and painting and link hands with the ancient art of mime.
From such beginnings film, youngest among arts, may reasonably be hoped to live to give a new contribution to the deposit of beauty; but once let her daily along the primrose path of sound and talkie and she loses all hope of ever becoming anything but mere entertainment —and not always even that.
SUB-STANDARD WORKERS, TAKE COURAGE!
The sub-standard worker, in other words the amateur, is by his very poverty of means confined to the silent miming film. Let him then have the optimism and the courage of the pioneer in art: he is striking new ground, not raking over old.
The silent film is not a milestone along the way to the complete coloured sterioscopic " talkie." -Silent film is diverse and its development is only just beginning at the point where the professionals have left off.
A DIFFERENT TECHNIQUE There exists an impression that the substandard worker is merely trying to imitate the technique and power of the professional screen. This is entirely wrong. He is rapidly developing a different technique altogether. With the silent miming film there can be utter simplicity of treatment and complete sincerity, both of which characteristics recall with significant emphasis the old miming plays by means of which the mysteries of faith and the lives of the saints were put before the faithful long centuries before film was even dreamed of.
MIMING IN A NEW MODE
Many of the so-called modern inventions are little more than a convenient adaptation of very ancient principles.
Truth remains Truth, but the mode of its presentation varies with the spirit of the age.
Men and women have always responded to the appeal of mime, which is perhaps the secret of the amazing success achieved by the films as a form of entertainment.
All of which brings us to the twentiethcentury Catholic who tries to propagate his faith by making films—through the C.F.S., of course!
THE C.F.S. IN SOUTH AFRICA " I am giving many bioscope shows with two projectors, standard size and 16 mm. silent films. The standard size films 1 get gratis on loan from Johannesburg. We have, however, no 16 mm. Cztholic films yet. You would do me a great favour if you would get into touch with friends who could present us with some films which are discarded but which can still be used. They need not be on spools."
If readers have any discarded 16 mm. silent films, the Catholic Film Society would he very thankful to receive them and undertake to forward them safely to the missionary in question. Please address all communications to the honorary secretary, as above.
We have received an appeal from St, Joseph's College, Mill Hill, on behalf of a missionary in South Africa, who writes as follows:—