The writers and readers of this site tend to be employed or otherwise disposed during the day such that watching video clips on full volume usually doesn’t happen. If there’s something I really want to hear, I save it for lunch or the end of the day, and I suspect a lot of people do the same thing. This means that there are a lot of us watching a lot of videos– the general tenor of the internet being what it is– on mute. Conventional wisdom suggests that this practice detracts from our experience of these videos. Conventional wisdom also suggests that you never get involved in a land war in Asia, but is Afghanistan even in Asia and anyway that’s not what we’re talking about because the fact is that conventional wisdom can be wrong about videos and about wars (but not about videos of wars), which is why we’re introducing the ALDLAND Silent Film Series.
The concept is simple: some videos are better without sound. Whether they’re made that way or are seen that way for some variation on the modern reality alluded to above, this addition-by-subtraction effect is very real.
The Series’ inaugural feature comes from Oakland, California in 2007. Yesterday afternoon, Amos Barshad included the clip in his possibly prescient (given the Knicks’ loss in Miami last night) contingency plan for the end of Linsanity. It stars a somewhat (i.e., five-years) younger Baron Davis in his role as point guard for the Golden State Warriors, and it comes in the final minutes of a 20+ point win over the visiting Utah Jazz.
I neither am nor aspire to be Chuck Klosterman: a second-by-second analysis of this video hardly seems necessary. Instead, as you watch it (sans audio!, of course), appreciate the silent cinemagic of every shot of Davis, his teammates, Andrei Kirilenko, the fans, and the referee. Sound can improve these visuals in zero ways.