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Letter: You’ve Done It Again

To the Editor:

Valley News, you’ve done it again! You prompted me to leave my warm stove and venture up dark, snowy back roads to be delighted and transformed by actors knocking themselves out to make us laugh, shriek and cry — and love life all the more.

This time it was Nicola Smith’s preview of the Parish Players’ presentation of Silents are Golden. Rob Mermin presented his labor of love, narrating a hundred clips from old silent films featuring the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Lillian Gish, Greta Garbo and Mary Pickford. Mermin spoke warmly and movingly, bringing his theme alive through his own expressive face and movement.

Smith’s write-up had hooked me with this: “What modern film acting sometimes omits, in its pursuit of the close-up, is what Mermin terms the ‘rhetoric of gesture.’ ” Smith quotes Mermin as observing that there is great power in “expressing emotion and thoughts through the body,” or, in Mermin’s paraphrase of Marcel Marceau, “the silence of the soul.”

I went because of the article — true for quite a number of other happy audience members. We got what you promised, and more. We all thank you.

Judy Pond

Norwich

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A Vermont Mime Speaks! ... of His Love for Silent Films

Monday, February 25, 2013

In the fall and winter of 2007, mime and Circus Smirkus founder Rob Mermin holed up at his home in Montpelier, with a tough (but someone’s got to do it) job ahead of him. Commissioned by the Green Mountain Film Festival in Montpelier to produce a program on the artistry of the silent film era, Mermin spent the long, dark, …