The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 13 - 15
The 12th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs this weekend, July 13th through July 15th, at the historic Castro Theatre (http://www.thecastrotheatre.com/history.html). This year, as in previous years, the festival features a remarkable array of rarely seen films including intense romantic dramas, comedic shorts, European epics, British silent noir and Hollywood studio fare. For a complete listing of the films go to http://www.silentfilm.org/filmfestival.htm. Once again it is a chance to see films not avaible on home video the way there were designed to be seen in a movie palace, with live musical accompaniment and an audience. If that weren't enough, this years festival boasts several special events as well as a line up of interesting special guests.
The opening night screening of Ernst Lubitsch's The Student Prince In Old Heidelberg, accompanied by organist, and Seattle favorite, Dennis James, will be followed by an opening night party featuring German food and live music by Big Lou's Polka Casserole (Tickets $40). It gives the film goers a chance to socialize with the guests of the festival. For those wanting to splurge, for an extra twenty bucks, they get admission to the pre-show champagne soiree.
On Saturday morning, special guests, Robert Stone of the UCLA Film & Televison Archive and film critc Leonard Maltin will be in attendence for the screenings of four of legendary comedy producer, Hal Roach's shorts. Maltin, who has a truly remarkable knowledge of classic films, will also take part in, along with TCM's Robert Osborne and other film book authors, a series of book signings through out the festival. San Francisco indpendent bookstore, The Booksmith, sponsor of the signings, will have a table in the mezanine offering a variety of books on silent film throughout the festival. Maltin will be signing books directly after the Roach screening. Check out the complete list of author appearances here, http://www.silentfilm.org/2007festival/2007booksmithrelease.pdf
Later on Saturday, actor and silent film enthusiast, Frank Buxton, famous for voicing Batfink!, and his daughter, Oliva Sears, Founder and President of The Center for the Art of Translation, will perform the live English translation of the Italian intertitles for the Italian Strongman meoldorama, Maciste. Following Maciste, there will be a speical triubte to Turner Classic Movies, who have done some wonderful work in promoting silent film through airings of classic films and distribution of some beautiful DVD sets. TCM host and film critc Robert Osborne and TCM head of programing, Charles Tabesh will be in attendence for the screening of Camille featuring Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino. Osborne will be signing books after the screening.
Actor and writer William Wellman, Jr and Parick Loughney of Geroge Eastman House will be the special guests for the screening of William Wellman's Beggars of Life that follows Camille on Saturday night. Wellman, Jr. will be signing his book, The Man and His Wings: William A. Wellman and the Making of the First Best Picture, preceding the screening of his father's classic flm.
Sunday kicks off with an free-admission event unique to the festival. Patrick Loughney of George Eastman House, Mike Mashon of the Library of Congress, and Rob Stone of the UCLA Film and Television Archive will present More Amazing Tales From The Archive. This year's Tales will demonstrate, through clps and slide presentations, the tough work film preservationsts face trying to save classic movies for future generations. Later in the afternoon, Mike Mashon will introduce, William DeMille's (brother of Cecil B Demille) domestic drama, Miss Lulu Bett.
Sunday night begins with a screening of A Cottage of Dartmoor a sort of silent Britsh Film Noir, introduced by Eddie Muller president of founder of The Film Noir Foundation. Muller, author of the witty and informative, Dark City:The Lost World of Film Noir, will attend a booksigning following the screening. The festival end with The Godless Girl which will be introduced by Scott Simmon of the National Film Preservation Foundation.
For information on tickets to the festival go to http://www.silentfilm.org/tickets/ticketinfo1.htm
For more on the Silent Film Festival as well as silent film events in the Seattle are ,check out David Jeffers aritcle, A Silent Feast, http://www.siffblog.com/reviews/a_silent_feast_003856.html#more