A Day of Silents 2017 - The San Francisco Silent Film Festival
|Marquee! (Photo by Christy Pascoe)|
2017 ended with a really stellar day at the famed Castro Theater for the Day of Silents. For a short one day festival, the 2017 edition was a really strong lineup, in my ever so humble opinion. The San Francisco Silent Film Festival continues to curate the films from around the globe and this one day fest was no exception.
The day began with the German masterpiece by Lotte Reiniger The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926). The astounding film is a stop motion animated feature using paper cut outs. It is as engrossing as it is magical. It is a film I really adore and this screening was made all the more magical by the wonderful accompaniment of Dr. Phil Carli. The audience, while not a sell out, was large and attentive for the first film of the day. There were many children in the audience (start them young, say I) and it seems they were entranced, as am I every time I see this film. It is a treat to see on the big screen, so do not miss it if you get the chance. If not, you can order it on DVD from our friends at Milestone Films.
|Screen capture stolen from the internet.|
|1950 fashion trends as envisioned in 1924|
Barthlemess is very believable as the young David who is not quite yet a man, just tol'able. Gladys Hulette is charming as his pining love interest Esther. Ernest Torrence is positively frightening as Luke. The climax of the film remains as exciting as it must have been in 1921. The pacing of the film is just right and Henry King got sensitive portrayals out of most of the cast. The downside, (Spoiler Alert) is the dog, Rocket, gets killed. Now Henry King did not have them literally kill the dog, as we saw last summer in the Ukraine/Russian film Two Days. I am still NOT OVER that. Nonetheless, it was an effective use to show Luke's incredible heartless cruelty. I was not alone seen wiping tears away as the lights came up.
I had to bug out after this film so I missed The Rat, Lady Windemere's Fan (I have seen before) and Sex in Chains. It's the holidays and I had too many things going on. But, I got my silent film quotient to get me to the next Memorial Day Weekend.
As this festival is social as well as one for movie lovers, it was good to see old friends in attendance like Thomas Gladysz founder and Captain of the Louise Brooks Society. I picked up his new book on Now We're in the Air. I also had the chance to meet Fritzi Kramer who writes (often hilariously) and cooks over at her blog MoviesSilently. It was a lovely day and as far as I could tell, a good time was had by all.
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival for 2018 will be held May 30 through June 3rd 2018. They usually announce the lineup in March and tickets go on sale. I will be there and hope you can make it too!