They say actions speak louder than words, and in a film, silence can change the whole meaning of a scene, a feeling and the tone. A brand new video essay from Fandor Keyframe titled “When Words Fail in Movies” takes a look at the quiet moments in features and asks, “What does silence say?”
Composed of fifteen scenes featuring classics such as “The Matrix,” “The Godfather: Part III,” “Lost in Translation” and “La Dolce Vita,” the video starts off stating that sometimes we can’t hear the characters, but we can see them whisper, talk, scream and express many other emotions in silence. Whether it be someone showing pain with a silent scream, annoyance with a glance, loneliness with a hug or betrayal with a look, a moment without words (or audio drowning out the scene) can mean so much.
The clip also provides overlaid text on the scenes to give viewers more of an explanation for the use of the silence, which range from comedic to suspenseful moments. Check out the Fandor video below and see which other films made the cut.