Tag Archives: Silent Film

CMBA FORGOTTEN STARS BLOGATHON: Eleanor Boardman

Hello readers, and happy Halloween! I’ve been so busy these days that I didn’t have time to put together my Hitchcock Halloween blogathon, but stay tuned in the coming days for the announcement of Backlots’ 4th annual Dueling Divas blogathon, which will go on this year as usual!

Today is the final day of this year’s CMBA Blogathon, in which members of the esteemed Classic Movie Blog Association are writing about stars that have been lost in the annals of history. So many stars of yesteryear have faded due to unfortunate circumstance, and as classic film writers, we are doing our small part to bring back some of the glory that these stars enjoyed in their heyday.

The star that I have chosen for the blogathon is the talented and beautiful Eleanor Boardman, a hugely popular star in the silent era with enormous acting talent and uniquely soft yet defined features. Retiring in 1935 and spending a long and healthy retirement out of the spotlight, hers was the definition of a full life, lived her own way. In addition to having been a movie star, Boardman also spent time as a correspondent for the Hearst newspapers and worked in France for the International News Service, writing a column about American life in Paris.

Eleanor Boardman was born in Philadelphia on August 19, 1898, into a strict Presbyterian family. The method by which young Eleanor became an actress is disputed–by her own account, she left home to study art and interior design at the Academy of Fine Art, while former husband King Vidor claims that she rebelled against the stifling atmosphere of her home life to choose a career path of which her parents did not approve. But what we do know is that as a teenager, Eleanor was named the “Eastman Kodak Girl” and by 1922, she had come to the attention of Goldwyn Pictures, who gave her a contract for $750 a week. She moved to California to begin work and soon met and fell in love with up-and-coming director, King Vidor, who had seen pictures of her as a teenager and was immediately smitten.

In 1923, Boardman made Three Wise Fools with Vidor and subsequently made five more films with him as director in the next four years. The most masterful of the six films that Boardman made with Vidor is The Crowd (1928), a beautiful and sorrowful look at a man in social and economic turmoil. Eleanor Boardman plays his long-suffering wife, and gives a magnificent and nuanced portrayal of a woman conflicted between her love for her husband and her obligation to herself. The movie is one of my personal favorite silent films, and it is clear that Vidor understood instinctively how to direct Boardman toward her best work.

Eleanor Boardman and James Murray in THE CROWD (1928).

Vidor and Boardman finally married in 1926, in a ceremony that was supposed to be a double wedding with John Gilbert and Greta Garbo at the Beverly Hills home of Marion Davies. But when Garbo failed to show, Gilbert was left alone at the altar with Boardman and Vidor, who proceeded with the marriage. The photos from this event are immensely uncomfortable.

Boardman’s marriage to King Vidor produced two daughters, Antonia (born in 1927) and Belinda (born in 1930). But in 1931, shortly after the birth of their daughter Belinda, the marriage began to fail and they divorced the same year.

Following her divorce from Vidor, Boardman met writer Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast, with whom she would spend the rest of her life. Boardman decided to retire from films in 1935, and in 1940 she married Arrast. Shortly after the marriage, she was hired by William Randolph Hearst’s International News Service to go to Paris to write a column entitled “Americans in Paris,” to appear in the newspapers once a week. She spent a year in Paris writing the column, meeting socialites and writing to her heart’s content, until she contracted tuberculosis and was forced to abandon the job to go to Switzerland to recover.

With Arrast.

She returned to the United States with Arrast, and following his death in 1968 Boardman moved to Montecito, CA. She spent her remaining years in Montecito until her death at age 93 in 1991.

I was lucky enough to talk to Eleanor Boardman’s daughter, Belinda, a few months ago. The spitting image of her mother, Belinda talks articulately and beautifully about the full life she led with her illustrious mother and father, the parties and social scene of Hollywood, and the careers of her parents. Her words about her mother are always kind. Eleanor Boardman’s star burned brightly for a short period of time, but that was exactly how she wanted it. She lived her life her way.

Thanks to the CMBA for hosting this blogathon. Some of the material for this article comes from an interview conducted by Alan Greenberg with Eleanor Boardman in the 1980s. I have the privilege of access to portions of this interview, and have used it to fill in information about the life of this fascinating star. Many thanks also to Alan Greenberg for letting me listen to it.

See you next time!

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SILENT AUTUMN 2014

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Every year between their regular annual festivals, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents a smaller, single day event at which patrons are treated to all the vibrancy and excitement of the regular festival, on a smaller scale. In the past, the event has taken place in the winter, but as this year’s large festival took place 2 months earlier than years past, what was previously Silent Winter became Silent Autumn in 2014. As usual, Backlots was there for the action.

The day began with Laurel and Hardy shorts, and though Saturday public transportation schedules impeded my ability to see all of them, I arrived in time to catch the final short. What I saw was choice. I have seen a good deal of Laurel and Hardy, and as a friend of mine put it, “It says a lot about Laurel and Hardy that when you just think about them, you smile.” Though I much prefer their silent comedies to their sound work, I must agree that seeing them in any situation puts a smile on the film fan’s face. I regret not seeing all the shorts, but I’m very lucky that I got there in time for the next showing…a rare treat.

Next up was Son of the Sheik, Rudolph Valentino’s final film and featuring a new score by the Alloy Orchestra. Introducing the movie was noted Valentino author (and friend of Backlots’) Donna Hill, who discussed in detail the intricacies of filming and Valentino’s life at the time. It was a glorious movie with a magnificent score, and Donna’s introduction was a perfect segue into the experience. Valentino has been well-represented at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival this year. The opening night movie of the main 2014 festival was The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a real crowd-pleaser and a Valentino staple, and Son of the Sheik seems to be the ideal way to round out a very Valentino-centric year.

On the lineup after Son of the Sheik was a program from the BFI called A Night at the Cinema in 1914, showcasing several clips and shorts from that year recreating what a night at the cinema might have looked like. An eclectic program, featuring footage of the Austro-Hungarian royal family shortly after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a clip of a representative from the Shackleton Antarctica expedition inspecting the dogs that were to go on the trip, and an early Charlie Chaplin short set in, of all things, a movie theater. My favorite of the program was an uproariously low-budget short film called “Lieutenant Pimple and the Stolen Submarine.” Decades before Plan 9 From Outer Space, this short made the best of its low budget, complete with painted sea creatures and deliciously bad special effects. I have no doubt that if it were released today, it would become an instant cult classic.

“Lieutenant Pimple and the Stolen Submarine” (1914)

Following a lengthy dinner break came what was arguably the cornerstone of the festival, a showing of Buster Keaton’s comedy masterpiece The General. Though this film is shown often at silent film events and festivals, it never fails to draw a crowd and at 7:00, the Castro Theater was filled with devoted Buster Keaton fans waiting to see his most famed work. My mother, who became a budding silent film fan after I brought her to see Wings at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival several years ago, accompanied me to this screening and, I am proud to say, has now seen her first Buster Keaton film.

The General, Buster Keaton’s most famous feature-length film, tells the story of a train engineer in Georgia who is rejected from the army but ends up making quite an impact on the war anyway, in a way that only Buster Keaton can. Accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra, we saw Keaton and his co-star Marion Mack perform clever gags and alarmingly advanced stunts, as well as what is considered to be the most expensive stunt performed in the history of silent film (a train toppling over a burning bridge). One of the things that strikes me most about The General is the characterization of Keaton’s female lead. She is a truly feminist character, often the brains behind solving the film’s complications, unafraid to get herself dirty or scale the side of the train. It is a refreshing look at the “damsel in distress,” as this damsel could clearly take care of herself.

Buster Keaton and Marion Mack in THE GENERAL (1926)

The next film was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, but my mom needed to get home and like a good daughter, I went with her. But yet again, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival met and exceeded my expectations, living up to my oft-repeated assertion that the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is the best festival of its kind on the West Coast.

The main festival is in late May of 2015, and Backlots will be there as always. Stay tuned!

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Announces Silent Autumn

Oh my heavens, readers. It has been way too long since my last post. I feel like I’m faulting at my post as a blogger–but I’ve been so extremely busy lately that it has been hard to find time to sit down and write a lengthy post.

A new announcement, however, brings me back. The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, for which I have the highest respect, has announced Silent Autumn, a day-long mini film festival to take place in September at the Castro Theater in San Francisco.

In previous years, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival has hosted a similar event called Silent Winter, but the festival is experimenting with scheduling this year. The 2014 main festival took place in May instead of July, and it seems that Silent Autumn has taken the place of Silent Winter. The lineup is fantastic. Here is what we have to look forward to when Silent Autumn takes place on September 20, 2014:

ANOTHER FINE MESS: Laurel and Hardy shorts (11:00 AM)

The Son of the Sheik (1:00 PM)

A Night at the Cinema in 1914 (3:30 PM), a celebration of the movies at the start of World War I

The General (7:00 PM)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (9:00 PM)

As usual, Backlots will be covering all the excitement. If you will be in the area and would like more information about the lineup, visit the San Francisco Silent Film Festival site here. It promises to be a very fun day!

I’m off to the East Coast on Tuesday, but I promise to make a post before I go. Lots of great things are happening in the classic film world right now, and Backlots will be right there on the pulse of it!

See you soon!

Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival Comes to the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

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Hello, dear readers! I usually make it a point to post at least once a week, but due to an inordinately busy schedule over the past few days, that goal has eluded me. But here I am, ready to post about one of the things that has been occupying my time away from the blog.

In the quaint Niles district of Fremont, CA lives the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, a little theater with a huge heart. It celebrates an integral part of this town’s heritage–one of which few people are aware. When visitors come to Fremont, little do most people know that it was here that one of the top early film companies, Essanay Studios, flourished and produced a multitude of films in the early 1900s. Charlie Chaplin produced many of his early films here. Broncho Billy Anderson, the first Western star, was born out of Essanay Studios. It was a major focal point for the film industry, and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum aims to educate the public about its history through tours, films, and festivals.

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This weekend will be the Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival, an annual occasion that celebrates not only the legacy of Broncho Billy in Niles, but also the art of silent film as a whole. I have been busy volunteering and preparing for this festival, and I am happy to say that it’s going to be a great one this year. The opening night movie will be The Big Parade, the 1925 King Vidor epic that I consider to be among the top 5 silent films ever made. It will be followed by many other great features and shorts throughout the weekend, including a showing of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus and the rarely seen 1928 comedy The Spieler, starring Alan Hale and Renee Adoree.

Sunday is the real kicker. Following group of her films, the festival will be graced with its guest of honor, the beautiful and talented 95-year-old Diana Serra Cary–the former Baby Peggy.

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Between 1920 and 1924, Baby Peggy-Jean Montgomery was the toast of Hollywood. At the height of her fame, her film grosses equaled those of Charlie Chaplin, and she was one of the top three child stars of the silent era along with Jackie Coogan and Baby Marie. In 1924, her career took the turn of far too many Hollywood child stars–her stardom waned after her money was squandered by her father. She was relegated to vaudeville, and ultimately returned to Hollywood to work in bit parts to pay the bills. Later on, wanting to rid herself of the pain of Baby Peggy, she reinvented herself as Diana Serra Cary–becoming a prominent author, film historian, and activist for children’s rights. It was as Diana Serra Cary that she wrote a biography of former Hollywood rival Jackie Coogan, and that she became active in A Minor Consideration, an organization that advocates for children in the entertainment industry. And at 95 years old, she’s still going.

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Diana Serra Cary today.

Now for the big news. I will have the unparalleled honor of interviewing Diana Serra Cary onstage at the Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival on Sunday. If you are in the area, please come out and see Circus Clowns, Peg O’ the Mounted, and the 2013 film Broncho Billy and the Bandit’s Secret in which Diana Serra Cary has an appearance at the age of 94. And see my Q&A with her between films! It promises to be a great day.

Here is the site for ticket information. You can reserve them online, or buy them at the door. I look forward to seeing you there!

TREASURES FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE: Lady of the Night (1925)

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The next film in Treasures From the Warner Archive is one to which I’ve been looking forward for some time. Perhaps the most highly respected film of Norma Shearer’s silent career and featuring the screen debut of a future Hollywood legend (more on that later!), it is a hallmark of the early MGM period and a shining example of the beautiful and complex character-driven narratives that came out of the silent era. The film is Lady of the Night, and it’s a real crowd pleaser.

A father is sentenced to 20 years in prison by a judge who has a daughter around the same age. Leaving the courthouse, he sees the judge cuddling with his daughter. “Pretty soft for your kid, but what about mine?” he cries, as he is carted off to jail.

Eighteen years pass, and both daughters are graduating from school–Florence, the judge’s daughter (Norma Shearer) from a select school for young women, and the convict’s daughter Molly (also Norma Shearer) from a reform school. The stark contrast between the lives of the two girls is seen right away–Florence’s world is photographed in a red tint, and her school is surrounded by flowers and trees, her friends smiling and skipping down the path following their graduation. Molly’s world, on the other hand, is photographed in stark black and white, and her school is nothing but a block of cement. She is dressed in a drab black dress, with a simple hat and no makeup. Molly’s world is a grim one, and with nowhere to go and nothing to do, she turns to taxi dancing to earn a living. At the club where she works, Molly is assaulted by a stranger and resists with all her might–kicking, hitting, and biting him. A man by the name of David Page helps wrench the man off of Molly, and to thank him for his kindness, Molly accepts a dance with him much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, Chunky (George K. Arthur). Soon, Molly begins to fall in love with David but David doesn’t see her as a romantic partner, only a good friend. David, an inventor, has invented a device that can crack safes, and Molly advises him not to give his invention to crooks, despite the high price they might pay. “Don’t go crooked, it don’t pay,” she says, drawing on her own experience growing up fatherless. She tells him to sell his idea to a bank, who will use it to keep thieves out.

Molly.

The next day, David goes to the board of a bank to pitch his idea. The meeting was held at board member Judge Banning’s house, and on his way, he bumps into Florence. The two lock eyes, and Florence also begins to fall in love with Dave. This time, it is mutual and they begin dating. One day David takes Florence to his studio when Molly walks in, unaware that he wasn’t alone. She and Florence meet, and after Molly walks out, she says to David “She loves you, David, I can see it in her eyes.” She follows shortly after Molly and finds her sitting in Florence’s carriage. Molly implores Florence to marry David and make him happy. Florence expresses concern for Molly, and when Molly says she can be happy with her own boyfriend, Chunky, the two hug. All ends well with a tinge of bittersweetness at what could have been–with Florence marrying David and Molly marrying Chunky.

It is in the carriage scene that we see the very, very brief screen debut of an actress who would become an immortal Hollywood star. A young actress by the name of Lucille LeSueur had recently come to Hollywood and was being tested out in bit parts. In this role, she plays Norma Shearer’s double for the hugging shot. Within 2 years she would hit it big, and under the name of Joan Crawford, she would become perhaps one of the most important and influential stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Norma Shearer, on the left, with Joan Crawford acting as Molly’s double on the right.

The significance of Joan Crawford’s screen debut against Norma Shearer is lost on very few fans who are familiar with the backstory of classic Hollywood. Joan Crawford’s career skyrocketed very quickly, and by the early 1930s she was one of the reigning queens of the MGM lot. Norma Shearer, always a huge star in her own right, married MGM production chief Irving Thalberg in 1927, becoming not only one of MGM’s biggest assets financially but also gaining an influence and control within the studio that was hard to shake. Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer became bitter rivals at MGM in the 1930s, with both asserting their power to its full extent. Because of her political influence within the studio, however, Norma usually won out, prompting Joan to quip “How can I compete with Norma when she’s sleeping with the boss?” They later appeared in 1939’s The Women playing competitors for a man’s affections–not far from their real life situation.

At its core, the story of Lady of the Night has a complexity that is quite thought-provoking. Much of it, in my analysis, has to do with the fact that Norma Shearer plays the dual role of a judge’s daughter and a convict’s daughter. This prompts the audience to rethink any prejudices they may have had coming in regarding “the girl from the wrong side of the tracks,” and instead judge the characters by their internal qualities. In addition, this dual role shows us the remarkable range of Norma Shearer’s acting abilities. Shearer was one of the rare performers in Hollywood who successfully made the transition from silent film to sound, and 5 years before her Oscar-winning turn in the sound film The Divorcee, Shearer was proving that she had the versatility of the best in the business. As Molly, she is hardened and rough but with a heart of gold–and as Florence, she is soft and demure. The ability to be able to switch from character to character with such aplomb and so quickly is a gift rare indeed.

If you would like to watch Lady of the Night, click here. It is worth watching for the tremendous performance of Norma Shearer, and for the place it has in the silent film pantheon.

See you next time!

Live From the San Francisco Silent Film Festival Day 2: AMAZING TALES FROM THE ARCHIVES, SONG OF THE FISHERMEN (1934), MIDNIGHT MADNESS (1928), THE PARSON’S WIDOW (1920), RAMONA (1928), COSMIC VOYAGE (1936)

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Today’s lineup featured an eclectic mix of American and foreign films, 20s films and 30s films, dramas, comedies, and science fiction fantasies. Today’s lineup truly embodies what I mean when I say that the festival takes a holistic approach to silent cinema–at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, anything goes and everything is celebrated.

First up today was a beautiful and informative presentation that the festival calls “Amazing Tales From the Archives.” A yearly program at the festival, it is always one of my favorite events, as the audience learns fascinating facts about our favorite films, and perhaps some that we may never have heard of. Today’s presentation was threefold–first, we heard from Bryony Dixon, the silent film curator at the BFI National Archive, who showed us some breathtaking nature documentaries from some of Britain’s most celebrated early film pioneers. We saw films from Oliver Pike, whose capturing of wildlife provided the inspiration for the current work of David Attenborough, and footage of bees from John Charles Bee-Mason, whose fascination with bees provided the first name in his hyphenated surname. We also saw astonishingly beautiful time-lapse photography of flowers in bloom, photographed by F. Percy Smith. Lovely to watch and a unique experience.

Following Dixon’s presentation was one on Edison’s famed Fred Ott’s Sneeze. Film fans and historians know this piece of footage well–but it turns out there is more to the footage than we knew about. After an extensive history of the 2-second film, we were given an extra few seconds that have just been restored to make a complete film. The extra few seconds are not online, so I will give you the original 2 seconds  of Fred Ott’s sneeze. It was very interesting to see the extra few seconds, and hopefully they will be online to share soon!

Finally, we were treated to a talk about Chaplin and the technology he used in his movies, given by Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and equally legendary Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt. Though Chaplin was initially opposed to sound film, that did not mean, Burtt and Barron tell us, that he did not use the latest technology. Focusing on his last two appearances as The Little Tramp in City Lights and Modern Times, the presentation showed us how Chaplin worked some of his movie magic. I was completely blown away when Burtt and Barron revealed how Chaplin achieved the iconic stunt of roller skating on a ledge in Modern Times. As it turns out, Chaplin used an innovative technique to create the illusion of this dangerous feat. Spoiler alert: Chaplin was not skating on a ledge at all. He painted a transparent ledge onto a piece of glass, and put that glass over the appropriate part of the camera, so that the audience would be privy to the optical illusion while he was on solid ground, in no danger at all. It worked. Take a look at the scene.

Absolutely fascinating.

Next up was a film from the China Film Archive called Song of the Fishermen. It dealt with the difficulties of a family in a poor fishing village in China, and was made long after sound films had become industry standard in Hollywood. As the presenter pointed out beforehand, silent films in China continued on for quite a long time due to the fact that the Chinese people were used to the silent films coming to them from Hollywood, and when sound films started to arrive, they couldn’t understand them. Subtitle technology had not been invented, and due to the Chinese people’s preference for silent films from abroad, Chinese studios also catered to this public demand domestically for much of the 1930s.

SONG OF THE FISHERMEN (1934).

Song of the Fishermen is quite a depressing movie, but a beautiful one. The leading lady, Wang Renmei, is a pleasure to look at and apparently was quite multi-talented. She trained at several elite voice and dance academies in China, and during this screening the festival dubbed her singing voice in whenever her character was to sing the “song of the fishermen.” Her voice is indeed elegantly trained, and the song catchy. It was a well made movie, though the audience definitely leaves feeling quite badly about life.

Next up was a bit of an odd movie–part light comedy, and part dark drama. Directed by Cecil B. De Mille, Midnight Madness is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew set in an African diamond mine, with several twists from comedy to drama and back again. It was quite unusual, and at times the leading lady, Jacqueline Logan, reminds the viewer of Clara Bow, and at other times she is reminiscent of a Hitchcock victim. I enjoyed the movie for the novelty of it more than anything, as I haven’t really seen anything else like it. Perhaps a second viewing would help me warm up to it a bit more, but as of right now, it was simply an amusing novelty.

The festival’s love for Scandinavian cinema continued next, with a screening of the Swedish drama (with some very funny bits!) The Parson’s Widow, about a new, young parson in a Norwegian village who has to marry the deceased parson’s elderly widow. He hatches a scheme to pass his fiancee off as his sister so she may live in the house with them until the old woman dies. But after a while, he begins to truly care for the widow. It is ultimately a sweet story of love and acceptance, and the plot is quite advanced for 1920. The woman who played the elderly widow was apparently quite sick during filming, and passed away shortly after the movie was completed. Nonetheless, she gave a remarkable performance. I really enjoyed this movie. It was tight and nearly flawless in its execution. Beautiful direction by Carl Dreyer and great performances all around.

After The Parson’s Widow came Ramona, a newly found print of the 1928 film starring Dolores Del Rio and Warner Baxter. There have been several versions of the Ramona story, including one with Mary Pickford made in 1910, but this one may be the best. It tells the story of a young girl who, after discovering she is half Native American, is free to marry the Native American man she loves despite her cruel adoptive mother’s reservations. It then turns into a story about the hardships they face as a couple, with love turning to tragedy. It is a very interesting story, and a wonderful movie. This particular print was found in the Czech Film Archive and restored beautifully. The original score played by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra was also perfect for the film, and added a great deal.

Finally, a children’s science fiction movie out of the USSR in 1936 called Cosmic Voyage. Like China, Russia continued making silent films long after Hollywood stopped, and had a great silent film tradition that lasted through the 1930s. This film was a great choice with which to end the night, as the lighthearted nature of the plot about an experimental trip to the moon kept the audience engaged and excited at a very late hour. The Russian title cards (some quite ridiculous–my favorite was “You collect the atmosphere, and I’ll rescue the cat!”) were read aloud very enthusiastically, and at first I found it distracting as I wanted to read the title cards myself (I speak Russian), but after a while I realized how funny this man’s delivery was. I got really into it and by the end I had completely eschewed reading the title cards at all, in favor of listening to him. Great movie for 10:00 at night.

Thanks for reading, and see you tomorrow for day 3!

 

 

Backlots at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Earlier this evening, I received confirmation that Backlots will be at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival as an official member of the press. This will be my third year at the festival, and it stands as one of my favorite festivals to cover. Held at San Francisco’s beautiful Castro Theatre, I find the ambiance to be perfect, and the programming and festival speakers to be of the highest quality of any film festival I have attended. I feel immensely privileged to be able to have this experience year after year.

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE (1921).

This year’s lineup features some real treasures, including a presentation of the Rudolph Valentino classic The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as the opening night movie. Painstakingly restored by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, the print comes directly from Brownlow’s Photoplay Productions and the screening promises to be quite an event. It is followed by an opening night party at the McRoskey Mattress Company down the street, which is an opportunity to mingle with other like-minded silent film fans in the glamorous upstairs room of McRoskey’s overlooking Market Street.

One of the things I love about the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is its attention to world cinema–it gives the audience a true smorgasbord of movies, a holistic and full approach to what the tradition of silent film means on a grand scale. Throughout the festival there will be movies from Sweden, the former U.S.S.R., China, and the UK, as well as ample opportunity to see American favorites and crowd-pleasers. The festival is presenting a newly found print of Ramona, and we will see the world premiere of a new restoration of Douglas Fairbanks’ The Good Bad Man, made possible by a collaboration between the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Cinematheque Francaise, and the Film Preservation Society.

Douglas Fairbanks in THE GOOD BAD MAN (1916).

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, this festival is not to be missed. Please visit their website at http://www.silentfilm.org for tickets and more information. On my end, I will be live-tweeting during the festival and blogging every night, so be sure to tune in for live updates as they happen, beginning on May 29.

See you there!