Tuesday, March 21, 2006

2006 San Francisco Silent Film Festival Preview

"True art transcends time." That's the slogan of the popular San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held annually in July at the Castro Theatre. Though these films predate pre-code, it is always a treat to see them the way they were meant to be seen - in a grand movie house with live music. It is amazing to me that many of these films evoke more true emotion and feeling without saying a word than many of today's cookie-cutter movies. Last year's "The Sideshow" was just such a film, a B-picture in its day, but still powerful, funny, and poignant.

Four of the films on this year's program have been announced:

Frank Borzage's Oscar winner "Seventh Heaven," with Best Actress Janet Gaynor.

Tod Browning directs Lon Chaney in "The Unholy Three," another sideshow tale!

A brand new 35mm print of "Sparrows," with silent film queen Mary Pickford.

"Show People," a satire of Hollywood starring Marion Davies and gay film star William Haines and lots of cameos from other big names of the era.

Five more features will be announced later this spring. The 11th annual festival runs the weekend of July 14th-16th.


Maya said...

Jeff--Girish pointed me over to your site. It's great to have someone in the Bay Area focus so passionately on the pre-code material. I look forward to reviewing your posts and to checking in for upcoming information.

Jeff said...

Thanks maya - glad you are enjoying my blog!

viola1 said...

Thanks so much, Jeff. I've marked it on my calendar. Silent films? That.is.awesome. I haven't really seen one I don't think, but I totally agree with your assessment, that they can convey more through their acting than a bunch of hollow dialogue found so often in today's flicks. I think the closest I've been to silent films is "Singin' in the Rain" -- but now I can actually see a film from that era. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again. Such a great blog!