Saturday, 15 November 2014

Man of a Thousand Faces

     Since I was little I've always loved to watch movies. My sister and I used to rent VHS cassettes (we loved the idea of watching movies without any commercial breaks) and mostly we were interested in horror movies. Our "forbidden fruit" was not easy to get. Back then, there were two workers at the store: an old lady who was always yelling at us for having such a stupid idea, and her husband who would rent us all the movies that we wanted if his wife was not around. We'd watched a lot of classic horror movies, but for me the best ones were those with Freddy Krueger. Although each time I was scared to death, I just couldn't stop watching them. Now I understand that for a 5-6 years old girl it wasn't the best choice for a movie (a lot of sleepless nights and nightmares) but even so, I'm glad that I have those memories. 
     I remember that I couldn't understand how someone could watch silent films. Without sound and colour, how can they be interesting? Now, when I'm older, I think that they are way better than the mayority of movies that we have in the present mainstream cinemas.
    "The man of a thounsand faces" is the nickname of Lon Chaney, a famous American actor during the age of silent films. 

     I wrote the word "famous" because I believe he was and still is (he acted in over 100 movies)  although he's not popular among the people I know. I ran into him for the first time when I watched the movie "The unknown". To not spoil you the story I will just say that there is this scene, where Chaney finds out about something so devastating that it makes him laugh and cry at the same time. I was so impressed by his acting that I totally forgot that's a silent film - I could swear that I heard him laughing/crying. 
     Lon Chaney was a child of deaf mute parents, so he became a master in expressing himself not through words, but through facial expression and body language. He is mostly know as an actor of horror movies like The Hunchback of Notre Dame or The Phantom of the Opera but the fact is that he was more than that. With his "magic" makeup case he could become anyone. He played a man without arms, a gangster without legs, an old Chinese man who converts into Christianity, a clown or a killer who is dressed up as an old lady. 
     I really recommend you to check him out:)

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