Kate Saccone | “The Work of Cinema is Finished When the Show Begins”: Curating and Presenting Silent Cinema Today

Kate Saccone | “The Work of Cinema is Finished When the Show Begins”: Curating and Presenting Silent Cinema Today | Narratives From the Long Tail: Transforming Access to Audiovisual Collections (2021-2025) | University of Amsterdam, Media Studies | Supervisor(s): Giovanna Fossati, Christian Olesen | September 2021- August 2025 | k.saccone@uva.nl 
My practice-led research project focuses on curating and presenting silent films (i.e., films made during cinema’s first two decades) within contemporary archival and museological contexts. What does curating silent films today entail? What are the constitutive elements of this practice? Positing that silent cinema should be understood in relation to different forms of loss (e.g., material, technological, sonic, historiographic, and temporal), I develop and carry out several curatorial acts to map out the theoretical and practical dimensions of curating silent films today. Inspired by the feminist film scholars who view loss as productive and generative, I advance a critical-feminist and performative approach to contemporary curatorial engagement with silent cinema with the aim of expanding existing conceptualizations of the practice.