This n That

This n That is my monthly posting on old news, new news and various tidbits that strike my fancy.

In case you've not read about this, maybe you've had your head burined in the sand?  Kevin Brownlow's massive restoration of the Abel Gance epic Napoleon will screen at the Oakland Paramount Theater in March/April 2012.  Carl Davis will be on hand to conduct his score for the film with the Easto Oakland Symphony Orchestra.  Four performances only, in the SF Bay, no other dates for the US are planned.  Tickets can be had at Ticketmaster.


In the 1920s, Diana Serra Cary was known as "Baby Peggy." Signed to a million dollar contract at age five, this child actress was once one of the biggest little film stars in the world. At this special event, Cary will speak about her remarkable life in Hollywood more than 80 years ago, her recent work as a writer and film historian, and her lifelong love of books and reading.

Diana Serra Cary will be in conversation with arts journalist Thomas Gladysz. A short Baby Peggy film will also be shown. More info at the SFPL website.

This special event will take place in Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Public Library. A book signing with Diana Serra Cary will follow.


Milton Sills Alert!  I make no secret of my love for Milton Sills.  Sadly, I cannot be in LA for the screening of the 1928 film The Barker (also featuring Douglas Fairbanks Jr - equally hubba hubba)

Cinefamily @ Silent Movie Theatre (in LA)

The Silent Treatment Series: THE BARKER (1928)
Dir. George Fitzmaurice, 1928, 35mm, 80 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 - 8:00 PM

$10 / free for members

It’s hard to imagine that the majority of films from the silent era, despite their level of cinematic innovation and critical acclaim, could all but vanish from our narrowing narrative of film history. The Barker is the exemplar of lost classics — originally a hit play on Broadway, and adapted for the screen in 1928 with a stellar cast including the likes of burgeoning stars such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Betty Compson (who received an Academy Award nomination for her performance). Such was the film’s success that it merited two further high-profile remakes in 1933 and 1944, plus a syndicated Lux Radio Theater adaptation. And somehow, a film that managed to remain in the public consciousness for nearly two decades has disappeared. The Cinefamily and The Silent Treatment are proud to launch this picture back into the limelight with a spectacular 35mm print so crisp that it’ll leave the images lingering in your mind long after the curtains close. The film has a hopeful take on the troubles of modernization, when the greatest carnival barker in the world turns his back on the antiquated biz, only to rediscover his passion through the exploits of his city-bound son. Come participate in the resurrection of this fantastic film, and let your mind reel at the thought that something this good could go missing for so long! The evening’s feature is also one of the first films to utilize the “Vitaphone” process, so get ready to also experience a restored version of its original music/effects/minimal dialogue track!


Soviet Film Posters (many from the silent era) have been on display in New York at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery.  The exhibition ends July 30th, but you can view the posters by clicking the link on this page marked "images."  Some wild poster art, including several Soviet posters for Harold Lloyd films like Safety Last and Buster Keaton.  Fabulous exhibit that I wish I could have seen in person.

Have you purchased a DVD and absolutely loathe the score?  What do you do?  Do you watch the film in silence?  Do you grit your teeth and watch it anyway with a score that neither fits the film or your taste?  I admit, I'm rather traditional in my silent film score taste.  Well, you have another option to remedy a silent film headache.  Ben Model, acclaimed historian and performer has created with modestly priced and wonderful alternate scores for many films on DVD.  The scores can be downloaded to your iPod, PC or burned on a CD to synch with the film.  Check it out! 


Ronald Colman will be the star of the day during TCM's Summer Under the Stars on August 4th.  Scheduled are three silent films with the divine Ronnie.  The White Sister (1923) with Lillian Gish, Kiki with Norma Talmadge (directed by Clarence Brown) and Her Night of Romance with Constance Talmadge.  Don't miss them!


The Silent Treatment is a quarterly newsletter that relates to silent film.  TST is also the presenter/promoter for the monthly silent film screenings with Cinefamily and The Silent Movie Theater mentioned above.  Brandy and Steve do great work and if you want to keep yourself in the loop, the newsletter is free and delievered to your email inbox.  Back issues are downloadable at the TSTNews website.  Always free and always worth a read!


Lastly, I've been offloading bits and pieces of memorabilia, including some really nice vintage postcards of Rudolph Valentino.  You can check out my eBay auctions here or search for the seller ID rudyfan. More good movie stuff and decorative pieces and some vintage jewelery (including bakelite) will be posted soon.


Meredith said…
I remember seeing some of the Potemkin posters in digital form when the BFI posted them a few months ago but imagine they would be just glorious in person. Also that alternative film scores website is great, thanks for sharing! Might have to pass that along.

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