The San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2012

(Image: Starts Thursday Blog)

The good news is here at last! 

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has published the schedule of films for the summer event. The festival runs from July 12 through July 15th at the gorgeous Castro Theater. All films are screening at the Castro with plenty of time in between films for a break to nosh at some of the local eateries in the neighborhood. Buy your tickets and/or festival pass here.

Right off the bat, one of the films that I am most excited about seeing is The Canadian, highly recommended from friends who were fortunate enough to have seen it a few years back.  I am also extremely excited to get a chance to see The Spanish Dancer with Pola Negri.  This will be my first Negri silent on the big screen.  We're treated to two films with Clara Bow featured, Wings and Mantrap.  It's always a real pleasure to see anything with Clara Bow.  Wings has recently been restored to much acclaim and has been on the fesitval circuit, I'm looking forward to it.  It's a film I've always enjoyed on the big screen.  The Mont Alto Orchestra will return to San Francisco for this, gotta love it.

Ernst Lubitsch gets to show off the pre-Hollywood spectacle version of a Lubitsch film with The Loves of Pharaoh.  The amazing trailer can be seen here.  The massive sets and huge cast look like it will out-de Mille Mr. Cecil B. de Mille. 
Fans of Louise Brooks will have a new restoration of Pandora's Box to look forward to.  This new restoration boasts some added footage.  The fabulous Matti Bye Ensemble will play for the film, that's an event in iteself.
At the festival last year we enjoyed a rare Marlene Dietrich silent film, this year we will see one of her mentor's.  Josef von Sternberg's late 1920's silent films The Docks of New York.
Not only will be swashbuckling with Antonio Moreno and Pola Negri in the aforementioned The Spanish Dancer, we'll get to see Douglas Fairbanks in his first big action costume role, The Mark of Zorro.  Dennis James will be playing the mighty Wurlitzer and that will be a grand event as it always is.

We're also being treated to what promises to be another wonderful film starring the great Chinese actress Ruan Lingyu in Little Toys

The 1925 version of the hoary tearjerker Stella Dallas starring Belle Bennett is reputed to be the best version.  The fact that Ronald Colman is also cast holds no attraction for me whatsoever.  (Snort, I am lying, bigtime)  I'm looking forward to using a box of kleenex for this one.

Stephen Horne and Donald Sosin will fill out the musical slots as they capably and entertainingly do.

The remainder of the lineup is shown below.  I hope to be doing a bit more blogging about what's in store in July.  This is simply an amuse bouche to get your mouth watering, as is mine!  See you in July!

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 7:00 PM
Opening Night
Accompanied by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra with Foley sound effects by Ben Burtt
USA, 1927, approximately 141 minutes
Directed by William Wellman
Cast: Clara Bow, Richard Arlen, Buddy Rogers, Gary Cooper

The screening of Wings will be followed by an opening night party at the McRoskey Mattress Company on Market Street.

Opening Night Party
McRoskey Mattress Company
Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 9:30 PM

Amazing Tales from the Archives
Friday, Jul 13, 2012 10:30 AM
Archivists and film historians – to be announced! - will shed light on their work to find, rescue, and preserve cinematic treasures for generations to come.

Admission to this event is free. You do not need a ticket, but please arrive 15 minutes early to guarantee a seat.

Little Toys
Friday, Jul 13, 2012 1:00 PM
Accompanied by Donald Sosin on the grand piano
China, 1933, approximately 110 minutes
Directed by Sun Yu
Cast: Ruan Lingyu, Li Lili

The Loves of Pharaoh
Friday, Jul 13, 2012 4:00 PM
Accompanied by Dennis James on the Mighty Wurlitzer
Germany, 1922, approximately 100 minutes
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Emil Jannings, Dagny Servaes, Paul Biensfeldt, Friedrich Kühne

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 7:00 PM
Accompanied by Stephen Horne on the grand piano
USA, 1926, approximately 71 minutes
Dir. Victor Fleming
Cast: Clara Bow, Ernest Torrence, Percy Marmont, Eugene Pallette

The Wonderful Lie of Nina Petrovna
Friday, Jul 13, 2012 9:15 PM
Accompanied by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Germany, 1929, approximately 115 minutes
Directed by Hanns Schwarz
Cast: Brigitte Helm, Francis Lederer, Warwick Ward, Lya Jan

Irrepressible Felix the Cat!
Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 10:00 AM
Accompanied by Donald Sosin and Toychestra
USA, 1925–1929, Approximate total running time: 70 minutes
Created by Otto Mesmer and Pat Sullivan

The Spanish Dancer
Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 12:00 PM
Accompanied by Donald Sosin on the grand piano
USA, 1923, approximately 105 minutes
Directed by Herbert Brenon
Cast: Pola Negri, Antonio Moreno, Wallace Beery, Kathlyn Williams, Adolphe Menjou

The Canadian
Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 2:30 PM
Accompanied by Stephen Horne on the grand piano.
USA, 1926, approximately 88 minutes
Directed by William Beaudine
Cast: Thomas Meighan, Mona Palma, Wyndham Standing, Dale Fuller

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 5:00 PM
Accompanied by Stephen Horne on the grand piano, with Paul McGann narrating.
United Kingdom, 1919, approximately 72 minutes
Directed by Frank Hurley

Pandora's Box
Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 7:00 PM
Accompanied by the Matti Bye Ensemble
Germany, 1929, approximately 143 minutes
Directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Cast: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Gotz

The Overcoat
Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 10:00 PM
Accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra
USSR 1926, approximately 71 minutes
Directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg
Cast: Andrei Kostrichkin, Antonina Yeremeyeva, Sergei Gerasimov

The Mark of Zorro
Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 10:00 AM
Accompanied by Dennis James on the Mighty Wurlitzer
USA, 1920, approximately 90 minutes
Directed by Fred Niblo
Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, Noah Beery

The Docks of New York
Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 12:00 PM
Accompanied by Donald Sosin on the grand piano
USA, 1928, approximately 76 minutes
Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Cast: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova, Clyde Cook

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 2:00 PM
Accompanied by the Matti Bye Ensemble
Sweden, 1920, approximately 106 minutes
Directed by Mauritz Stiller
Cast: Anders de Wahl, Tora Teje, Lars Hanson, Karin Molande

Stella Dallas
Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 4:30 PM
Accompanied by Stephen Horne on the grand piano
USA, 1925, approximately 120 minutes
Directed by Henry King
Cast: Ronald Colman, Belle Bennett, Alice Joyce, Jean Hersholt

The Cameraman
Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 7:30 PM
Accompanied by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
USA, 1928, approximately 76 minutes
Directed by Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton
Cast: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin

The Cameraman screens with the restoration of Georges Melies 1902 film A Trip to the Moon


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