Editor’s Message

From Silent Film Quarterly Issue 1:

      The idea for Silent Film Quarterly stemmed from a personal desire to write articles about silent films. As there was no such outlet, I began to contemplate the feasibility of a magazine solely devoted to the silent era. There are a large number of silent film blogs and websites in existence, as well as several extremely active Facebook groups—which told me that the interest was there. Several phone calls to fellow historians assured me that there was a wealth of content just waiting to be written. The pieces began falling into place perfectly.
      One conscious decision I made from the very beginning was to focus on lesser-known silent films. There are about a dozen silent films that seem to receive a majority of people’s attention—films like Metropolis and Sunrise and It and Intolerance. When most people think of Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd—the “big three”—they almost invariably think of The General, City Lights, and Safety Last!, respectively. But these three have so many incredible films between them that often go unnoticed—not to mention the work of other comedians like Max Linder and Harry Langdon.
      With that in mind, I want this magazine to help pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the silent era, as well as the forgotten films of the era’s biggest stars. Obviously this is made more difficult by the large number of lost silent films, but are still many more films in existence than most people realize.
      Much of the inspiration for Silent Film Quarterly also came from countless hours of poring over silent era movie magazines. Photoplay, Motion Picture, and Screenland all influenced the layout and content of this magazine, and I like to think of Silent Film Quarterly as something of a spiritual successor to those magazines that documented the silent era firsthand…
      With your support and a little bit of luck, it is my hope that it will continue to grow and develop. Silent films have played an incredibly important role in my life, as I know they have for many others. May this m!agazine serve as a tribute to that era.
-Charles Epting

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