Title Cards

In Silent films I like on August 27, 2009 at 7:19 am

Watching Jean Epstein’s 1928 adaptation of E.A. Poe’s “Hall of the House of Usher”,  La chute de la Maison Usher. Strange thing: instead of the common practice of inserting translated intersitials (or subtitled ones), this DVD had a  translator reading the cards in a heavy French accent.

It was disconcerting, placing me somewhere lost in time — not when the film was made, but not sitting in my living room 2009 either.

This method also created the sensation that the title cards were the voice of a narrator.  This  had never occurred to me.  After some thought, I realized that I’ve always seen the title cards as a tool to be used by the filmmaker — like a long shot, a close-up, or a music sting.  And, like most tools, the better filmmakers use them sparingly.

So, a sincere thank you to the folk over at Image Entertainment for a misguided notion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: