Criterion is releasing three silent films by Japanese film maker, Yasujiro Ozu, in April 2008. These three silent films included: "I Was Born, But..." (1932), "Passing Fancy" (1933), and "Tokyo Chorus" (1931).
Ozu made silent films until 1936, the same year Charlie Chaplin released his last silent picture "Modern Times" (1936).
"...the films released in this collection cover a portion of Ozu's silent career, spanning from 1931-1933. Ozu, along with the majority of the Japanese film industry, was slow and somewhat hesitant of the transition into talkies, feeling that emotions and plot could be best conveyed with expressions and actions, not dialogue. His first sound film was not released until 1936, the same year as Chaplin's final silent masterpiece, Modern Times. These late silents mark Ozu's transition into social criticism as he both blatantly and subtly expresses his discontent with the culture of pre-WWII Japan." - D. Yarbrough
So if you are into collecting silent films, you may like to check this out.
More about Yasujiro Ozu (at sensesofcinema.com)>