10 Great Films with Little or No Dialogue / BFI

Winner of the best film award at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, the unique and uncompromising The Tribe joins a small but special body of films that involve hardly any dialogue, relying on the purely visual nature of cinema.

Despite the enormity of synchronised dialogue’s impact on the film industry, starting in features with 1927’s The Jazz Singer, there’s a school of thought which claims that the ‘talkies’ somehow compromised cinema’s essence; that the rapid dominance of the spoken word detracted from film’s unique visual potential, dragging it back towards the theatre or even pictorial literature. No serious cineaste would argue against sound’s importance in motion pictures, but there’s also some truth in the purists’ notion: if a picture’s worth a thousand words, is a cinema over-reliant on dialogue somehow devalued? Read more

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