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Overemphasised facial expressions


Once upon a time there was, and still is, a blog called Assez Vu. It is my personal blog and it’s kind of a digital collection of odd pictures and other finds from the past whose name literally means ‘I’ve seen enough’. Pretentious enough you might think, but Rimbaud made me do it. He said it first, not me. Well, where did the idea come from? Assez Vu was born out of another blog, or rather, out of a curious ‘visual experiment’ called Silent Ladies’ overemphasized facial expressions. The idea behind it was to find and post pictures that showed actors from silent movies in the act of ‘over-expressing’ themselves. Silent divas were the best: they could easily change from sophisticated smiles and languishing looks to raging and revengeful faces in a handful of seconds. They used their bodies and faces to make up for the lack of sound. Some of them looked realistic, others a bit odd!  Today, one thing is for certain, they are still very amusing.

Florence Turner in “Daisy Doodad’s Dial” (1914)

Clara Bow in “Wings” (1927)

Marie Dressler, Marion Davies, Jane Winton in “The Patsy” (1928)

Louise Brooks in “Pandora’s Box” (1929)

Sylvia Sidney in “Fury” (1936)

Theda Bara in “Cleopatra” (1917)

Colleen Moore in “We Moderns” (1925)

Irma Vep (Musidora) in Les Vampires (1915-1916)

Pola Negri in “The Spanish Dancer” (1923)

Laura La Plante in “The Cat and the Canary” (1927)

And finally here is the lovely Marion Davies, making fun of her fellow actresses Mae Murray, Lillian Gish and Pola Negri by impersonating them in the movie ‘The Patsy’ (1928).

“Real” Mae Murray

“Fake” Mae Murray

“Real” Lillian Gish

“Fake” Lillian Gish

“Real” Pola Negri

“Fake” Pola Negri

The clip from The Patsy (1928):
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