This course examines the development of visual storytelling from the post-nickelodeon cinema's presentational styles to the expressionistic filmic poetry of silent cinema's twilight years. Taught by noted film historian and accompanist Ben Model, it explores how silent-era filmmakers developed creative ways to invoke the audience's imagination as a storytelling component. Major filmmakers include Griffith, Keaton, Pudovkin, Lubitsch, Chaplin, Weber, and Vidor. We will look closely at silent film comedy, melodrama, and action. Our work will be based on close viewing of films and attention to the interaction between image, music, and the viewer's journey through each film. Films will be screened with live piano accompaniment in class sessions.