Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival


The San Francisco Silent Film Festival (located at www.silentfilm.org) would like to "raise a glass" to all those who joined with the organization in celebrating the art of silent film in 2009. Despite many challenges (economic and otherwise), it was a good year. Those who attended either the Summer Event in July or the Winter Event in December had the opportunity to experience more than one of the films or stars which helped shape the silent era.

We expect 2010 will be even better. We have big plans. And, we are looking forward to the expanded, four day event taking place next July. Happy New Year from each of us at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Eve

What to do this New Year's Eve? Here are a few suggestions . . . .



Or, if you are more of the East Bay persuasion, our friends at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont will also be screening films on Thursday evening.

At 8 pm Abbott and Costello meet The Keystone Kops (1955) will be shown. This riotous comedy stars Bud Abbott and Lou Costello (of course), as well as old timers Mack Sennett, Hank Mann, Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom, and others.

And around 10 pm, the feature presentation, Brother Orchid (1940) will be screened. Brother Orchid was directed by Lloyd Bacon, an actor in some of the Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin films made in Niles. Brother Orchid is a lightweight comedy about a gangster who hides in a monastery. The film stars Edward G. Robinson, Ann Southern and newcomer Humphrey Bogart.

Whatever you decide, happy New Year from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Silent Treatment

The recent San Francisco Silent Film Festival winter event received a nice write-up in the most recent issue of "The Silent Treatment," a bi-monthly newsletter authored and emailed by the good folks at The Silent Treatment website. That site can be found at www.tstnews.net

If you are not familiar with "The Silent Treatment," it's well worth checking out. The site sends out a bi-monthly digest in pdf format. The newsletter "celebrates and promotes awareness of silent cinema," and is intended for both the casual fan and the serious film buff. Subscriptions are free.

Most every issue contains news about screenings and festivals around the United States and the world, notices about new books and DVDs, general news, and profiles and small features about silent film stars and silent film websites. Back issues of the newsletter, going back to 2007, can be found on the site.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Festival favorites

Festival favorites Karl Dane, and the romantic duo of Janet Gaynor & Charles Farrell, are each the subjects of interesting and recommended new books. Notably, each actor has proven a favorite of Festival programmers, and an audience favorite as well.

Dane - who came to fame as the tobacco-chewing Slim in The Big Parade - was seen this past July in Bardeley's the Magnificent (1925). While Gaynor and Farrell have twice been featured at past Festivals, in Lucky Star (1929) and 7th Heaven (1927). The diminutive Gaynor, as is well known, once worked as an usherette at the Castro Theatre, the home of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.



Laura Petersen Balogh's Karl Dane: A Biography and Filmography (McFarland), tells the story of the Danish-born actor who came to the United States in search of a better life. This immigrant from Copenhagen was rapidly transformed from a machinist to a Hollywood star after his turn as the tobacco-chewing Slim in The Big Parade (1925). After that, Dane appeared in more than 40 films with such luminaries as John Gilbert, Lillian Gish, Rudolph Valentino and William Haines until the development of talkies halted his career. A casualty of the transition from silent to sound film, Dane reportedly lost his film career because of his accent. The real reasons, however, may lay elsewhere. Dane was broke and alone at the height of the Depression and committed suicide in 1934.

Sarah Baker's Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell (BearManor) details the fascinating behind the scenes story of the greatest romantic team of all time. From their first iconic pairing in 7th Heaven and in eleven films that followed, Gaynor and Farrell created cinematic romance. Their partnership was so complete that in the minds and hearts of their adoring public, they were as one. Even though both enjoyed successful solo careers - Janet Gaynor won the first Best Actress Oscar and played Vicki Lester in the original A Star Is Born (1937) and Charles Farrell enjoyed a successful television career, playing Vern Albright on My Little Margie - their work as a team stood out. Even decades after their onscreen partnership ended, any mention of Gaynor merited a mention of Farrell, and vice-versa. Behind the camera, Gaynor and Farrell carried on a secret romance that lasted from their first meeting in 1926 until Gaynor's marriage in 1929. Supporting and encouraging each other beyond Hollywood, they were able to maintain a friendship that lasted their entire lives.

Each book is well researched, illustrated, and recommended.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On Chang


If you attended last Saturday's San Francisco Silent Film Festival Winter Event, then chances are you saw and enjoyed the day's first film, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927). It proved to be one of the highlights of the Winter Event.

Introducing the film was New York Times bestselling author Mark Cotta Vaz, whose Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong stands as the definitive biography of the filmmaker. Vaz's remarks were both entertaining and interesting.

Earlier this week, our film blogging friends at The Evening Class posted Vaz's introductory remarks. They are well worth reading if you missed the film - and they are well worth considering again if you were in attendance. Vaz's remarks can be found at http://theeveningclass.blogspot.com/2009/12/sfsff09-chang-1927introductory-remarks.html

Accompanying this blog is a scan of a vintage newspaper advertisement for Chang. The ad dates from 1928. The Star Theater was located in Sonora, California "opposite the post office," as the ad indicates. (Double-click on the image to see a slightly bigger version.) Little is known about this theater, and seemingly there is no entry for it on the Cinema Treasures website. What we do know is that the  theater screened Chang in January, 1928. And its screening, like the Winter Event, made new fans for the film.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mezzanine happenings

Though last Saturday's Winter Event took place on a cold and rainy day during a recession, thousands turned out at the Castro Theatre for what turned out to be a rewarding day of silent film screenings and silent film comradery. Certainly, the community that forms around this special art form is unique. As Festival attendees Donna Hill and Joan Myers commented, "Old friends were found. And new friends made."

Much of the day's socializing took place on the Castro mezzanine. Here are just a few pictures from December 12th. The first is a snapshot of  the rather boisterous crowd at the Winter Event party, which took place after the screening of J'Accuse and before Sherlock Jr.



Many were present - including film historians, festival regulars, first time attendees, and members of the local film community.



In the image above, SFSFF co-founders Steve Salmons (center) and Melissa Chittick (right) speak with SFSFF Board of Directors member Rob Byrne (left). While in the image below,  film documentarian Elaine Mae Woo takes time out for a quick portrait next to a lobby poster. Woo's documentary, Anna May Wong: Frosted Yellow Willows, debuted at Pordenone and has been seen on Turner Classic Movies.



Earlier in the day, Jeanne Eagels authority Philip Ituarte (pictured below) took time out to peruse the book table. Staff was on hand from a local bookstore, Books Inc., which stocked the latest silent film books and DVDs. The mezzanine book table has become not only a Festival tradition, but a magnet for attendees looking for information of their favorite stars and films.



Another Festival tradition are the author book signings which also take place on the Castro mezzanine. Pictured below are theatre historians Gary Lee Parks (seated left) and Jack Tillmany (seated center) in conversation with Balboa Theater owner and Telluride Festival Co-director Gary Meyer (standing right). Parks and Tillmany were on hand to sign copies of their books. Parks is the author of the recently released Theatres of San Jose, and Tillmany is the author of Theatres of San Francisco (which includes material on the Castro) and Theatres of Oakland. Each book was published by Arcadia.



All the goings on pictured here were just a small part of the day's happenings. The next San Francisco Silent Film Festival will take place July 15 - 18, 2010. Programs and other mezzanine happenings will be announced in the Spring.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

When the blogosphere went silent

In case you didn’t notice, yesterday and most nearly every day this past week the blogosphere went silent --- silent film festival, that is!



Today’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival Winter Event  at the Castro Theatre has received a fair amount of coverage across the blogosphere. And not only from local media.

One prominent piece was by Andre Soares, the Los Angeles-based publisher and chief editor of the Alternative Film Guide. Soares, who also happens to be the author of a rather fine biography of Ramon Novarro (a number of copies have sold at the Festival over the years), posted some observations on his always interesting ALTFG blog. Be sure and check it out. Soares is a good writer and his site is always interesting.

SIFFBLOG, the blog of the Seattle International Film Festival, also covered the Winter Event. Our neighbors to the north devoted three entries to the films and stars of Saturday's happening!

Elsewhere around the local blogosphere, Michael Guillen wrote up the event and each of its films on The Evening Class, as did Michael Hawley on film-415. (Hawley’s piece was republished on another blog devoted to film, Twitch.) Dennis Harvey added some observations on SF360, the blog of the San Francisco Film Society. And Flavorpill and CultureMob and SFist, three other local website/blogs, also gave a shout-out to the event – as did our movie-crazy friends at Hell on Frisco Bay and The Auteurs.

Local print media – and their respective websites – reported on the Winter Event.  On Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on the Festival which not only detailed highlights of the daylong event, but also quoted film preservationist and SFSFF Board member Rob Byrne. And on Friday, 7 x 7 magazine ran an article on their website. The 7 x 7 piece noted that Sherlock Jr., one of four films being screened on Saturday, was hailed by local film critic Jeffrey Anderson as “the greatest film ever made.” Anderson's recommendation is recommendation enough.

The San Francisco Examiner included the Winter Event in their listings, and Justin DeFreitas wrote an article, mostly on Sherlock Jr., which appeared in the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Among other news websites covering the Winter Event were the San Francisco Sentinel.com and examiner.com. Each of these web publications has given the Festival  - both its' Summer and Winter events - considerable coverage in the past.

See you at Saturday's San Francisco Silent Film Festival's Winter Event!

Friday, December 11, 2009

So, just who is Frank Buxton?


If you've ever attended the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, chances are you've seen Frank Buxton. He is the amiable introducer of films and interviewer of guests. Buxton has been associated with the Festival for a number of years. He is not only a pleasant fellow with a big interest in the movies, he has also amassed a rather distinguished record in show business.

At the 2009 Winter Event, Buxton will interview Melissa Cox, the granddaughter of Buster Keaton and Natalie Talmadge. (Buster and Natalie were married in 1921, and had two children.) Their on-stage conversation will take place at the 7:00 pm screening of Keaton's Sherlock Jr.

Buxton's interest in the legendary silent film star goes beyond his involvement with the Silent Film Festival. Back in 1949, when he was a few years younger then he is today, Buxton appeared in a summer-stock production starring Buster Keaton! For a visual record of that encounter with greatness, see the scan below; it comes from the 2001 book, Buster Keaton Remembered, by Eleanor Keaton and Jeffrey Vance.



That production took place at the beginning of Buxton's distinguished and still-going 60 year career . On his website, Buxton describes his career as "lively and diverse," while modestly adding "I have lived for many years on the outskirts of show business with an occasional trip into town."

It's been much more than that. And Buxton is too humble.

Consider this: Frank Buxton wrote "Password," a 1972 episode of the television series The Odd Couple which was voted the fifth greatest TV episode of all time by TV Guide. He wrote other Odd Couple scripts as well, as well as scripts for Happy Days, The Bob Newhart Show, and Love, American Style. Buxton also directed episodes of Odd Couple, Happy Days, and Mork & Mindy. And produced, worked on, and appeared in many other programs.

On television, Buxton has provided the voice for numerous animated characters, and in 1966 teamed up with Hal Seeger for the cult cartoon series Batfink (issued on DVD in 2007). Buxton provided the voice of Batfink for all 100 episodes. He also created the Peabody Award-winning children's show Hot Dog for NBC. The series ran 1970-1971, and its three hosts were - get this - Woody Allen, Jonathan Winters, and JoAnne Worley! It's the only television series Allen has ever done.

Buxton has hosted two television series and appeared on many more. He co-hosted Discovery  from 1962 to 1969, and hosted the game show "Get the Message" in 1964, both on ABC. He also appeared a handful of times on The Tonight Show. Visit this page to see a humorous clip from a 1969 appearance on The Tonight Show. Buxton is the mod looking fellow who tells Johnny Carson a funny story.

Buxton's show business career has run the gamut from live theater to movies, television, radio and even commercials. (Buxton did the very first Xerox commercial.)

Buxton produced, directed and co-starred on the Bill Cosby Radio Program, and has hosted his own talk radio show on KABC in Los Angeles. (Buxton has also written two highly regarded books on the history of radio, Radio's Golden Age and The Big Broadcast.) And, his movie credits include work as a writer and voice actor on Woody Allen's debut film, What's Up, Tiger Lily (1966).

These days, Buxton lives in Seattle-area, and is currently involved with commercial work, live theatre, and improv. He performs regularly with The Edge, a Seattle-based group, and appear on the webcast CookusInterruptus. It is well worth checking out.

Frank Buxton serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. He has done so for many years. If you should encounter him at tomorrow's Winter Event or at the Summer Festival (he is a regular attendee), be sure and shake his hand. You'll be shaking hands with a gentleman and a scholar and an entertainer of many notable accomplishments.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Guest blogger: Rob Byrne writes about color in early film

Today's guest blogger is Rob Byrne. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, as well as a film preservationist. This past summer, Byrne worked at the Nederlands Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. On Saturday, Byrne will introduce the Filmmuseum's restoration of the Abel Gance masterpiece, J'Accuse (1919).

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It has been estimated that as much as 80% of the silent films of the 1920's were released in colored versions.  These colors, however, were not produced using the "natural" photographic color that we are familiar with today.  Instead, they were manually applied to the black and white film material after the photographic developing was complete.  Actually, color had always been a component of silent cinema, and even some of Thomas Edison's earliest films featured hand painted sequences, including Edwin S. Porter's 1903 The Great Train Robbery.

During the twenties, the most prevalent coloring techniques were tinting and toning.  Tinting is a process whereby the black and white film strip was immersed in a bath of aniline dye, thereby coloring the entire image.  To visualize the effect, think of a pencil drawing on white paper that is then tinted with a colored watercolor wash.  Toning, on the other hand, was a chemical process whereby the image-carrying emulsion on the film was replaced by a differently colored element.  To imagine a blue toned image, visualize that same pencil drawing, but this time the figures have been drawn with a blue pencil.  These techniques were sometimes combined in the same film strip, often creating stunning visual effects.

While colored film was the norm during the silent era, the majority of prints we see today are black and white.  This is because latter-day copies of the originals were made on black and white film stock, but without copying or recreating the original colors.  This is why today most people associate silent films with black and white, though the opposite was actually the case during their original exhibition.



Blue tinted image from opening title sequence.

Fortunately for all of us, the restoration team at Nederlands Filmmuseum had at their disposal the only known surviving colored copy of J'Accuse, from which they were able to deduce and recreate Abel Gance's original tinting and toning scheme. The film is rich in color, often tempering, and sometimes heightening, the dramatic impact of the cinematography.  Particularly haunting are the images and colors in the climactic final reel which features powerful combinations of the tinting and toning techniques.



Combination of blue toning and magenta tinting

This Saturday, thanks to the epic efforts of Nederlands Filmmuseum and Lobster Films, Abel Gance's original cinematic vision will make it's North American theatrical debut at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival Winter Event.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Considering Abel Gance

In 1968, the BBC televised a remarkable documentary about the French director Abel Gance. The film was Abel Gance: The Charm of Dynamite, by the English film historian and film maker Kevin Brownlow.

Brownlow's documentary is exceptional in many ways. One of its notable aspects is the footage of Gance himself - from the mid-1960's when the director visited England upon the occasion of the showing of his films, and earlier from the 1920's during the making of his masterpiece, Napoleon. That film, today, is considered one of the greatest of all time.

However, it wasn't always so - just as Abel's Gance's reputation wasn't always fixed. As Brownlow notes in the documentary, "For Gance, recognition came ridiculously late. Most people in the industry had forgotten his existence for 30 years. For 12 of them, he could find no work what-so-ever in the cinema. . . . Since the end of the silent era, the man who had taken the cinema further than any director except D.W. Griffith had been forced to sit down and wait for everyone else to catch up."

On Saturday, December 12th at 2:00 pm, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival screens the other Abel Gance masterpiece, J'Accuse (1919). While not the monumental tour-de-force that is Napoleon (1927), J'Accuse is still a truly remarkable film. Saturday's showing at the Castro Theatre should not to be missed.

Like Gance's reputation, J'Accuse has traveled a tumultuous path to its current high standing in film history. Gance's film is a pacifist epic set against the backdrop of World War I - or the"Great War" as it was then termed, delineating the tragedy of that it's waste and carnage.

At the time of its release, J'Accuse established Gance (then only 29 years old) as the most important director in Europe. Though a huge hit in France (and in England, where it was also well received), the film was truncated at the time of its American release in order to blunt its powerful antiwar message. In the United States, it fared poorly.

Gance had attended a gala showing of J'Accuse in New York City in 1921. Griffith saw the film, and was so impressed (as would the New York Times) that he arranged its distribution through United Artists. However, it's not certain if the film played in the San Francisco Bay Area. (A quick search of the San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune did not turn up any instances of the film having shown locally, at least through 1922.)

However, it did show elsewhere. Here are two vintage newspaper advertisements. Each dates from 1922.



The first newspaper advertisement, for the Orpheum, dates from February and comes from the Marion Daily Star in Marion, Ohio. [Notably, that newspaper was once owned by Warren G. Harding, a publisher and politician in the early days of the century who succeeded America's wartime leader, Woodrow Wilson, as the 29th President of the United States. J'Accuse showed in Marion while Harding was in office.] The second newspaper advertisement, for the Garrick, dates from September and comes from the Manitoba Free Press in Winnipeg, Canada.

Like so many other silent films, J'Accuse has long been out of circulation. (It's convoluted history, and the history of its restoration, is another story . . . .) Saturday's showing at the Castro is a rare opportunity to see a great film on the big screen. It should not be missed.

For Saturday's screening, Robert Israel will perform his original orchestral score adapted to play on the Mighty Wurlitzer.The film is being co-presented by Alliance Française of San Francisco, with the generous assistance provided by the Consulate General of France.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Less than a week to go!


There's less than a week to go till the 5th annual Winter Event - at which the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents a glorious full day of glorious silent cinema. (As you can see from the picture on the left, we are hard at work with last minute details.)

The 5th annual Winter Event takes place on Saturday, December 12th at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

Tickets are selling fast, though tickets do remain for each show - as well as the always fun Winter Event party. For more information on tickets and availability, please visit this page.

Need another reason to attend the Winter Event ? How about the book and DVD table on the mezzanine. As with past Festivals, Books Inc will be selling new and recently released books about silent film, as well as a generous sampling of silent film DVD's from the likes of Flicker Alley and Milestone. And what's more, there are author book signings taking place and a couple of exciting new DVD's will make their debut at the Festival. (We can't tell you which - its a secret.) You never know what you'll find. And anyways, books and DVD's make for a special holiday gift - for yourself or a friend.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Walt Disney

Walt Disney was born on this day in 1901. Happy Birthday Walt!

Over the years, the Silent Film Festival has shown a number of early Disney works, including the Silly Symphonies in 2006, and Alice’s Wonderland in 2003. (Virginia Davis, the live-action star of Alice’s Wonderland, made an appearance at the Festival that year!) This past July, the Festival showed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts.

Wikipedia has a nice article on the life and work of Walt Disney. And just recently, the Walt Disney Family Museum opened here in San Francisco. Be sure and heck it out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

When Chang came to town, part two

As noted in a prior blog, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927) proved to be a popular film. It played all around the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including at least two showings in Berkeley.

Back in the 1920's, films usually played a week in major cities like San Francisco or Oakland. In smaller markets, and on a second or third run, films usually played for two or three days. Those were the circumstances behind Chang's showing at the Lorin Theatre in Berkeley in October, 1927.



Chang returned to Berkeley the following year - and in a most uncommon venue. Like a few other select films of the time (such as Cecil B. DeMille's King of Kings - a favorite of the Methodists), Chang was screened for the public in a church. In this instance, it was shown at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley in January, 1928. The church billed the film as "unusual" "informing" and "enthralling." The screening didn't seem to be a fundraiser, as admission was free. Perhaps this screening, which included a lerformance by a lyric soprano, was just a social occasion provided for congregants.


Besides other local screenings, Chang also showed in nearby Lodi, California. That screening took place in October, 1927 at the Lodi Theatre, which was part of the local T & D chain of theatres.


As the advertisement notes, the New York Herald-Tribune said the picture "contains the most exciting moment in motion picture history!" The local newspaper, the Lodi  Sentinel,  even went so far as to state, "Chang towers head and shoulders above practically everything which has come to the local screen during the past year." Find out for yourself on Saturday, December 12th, as the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness at the Castro Theatre. Further information here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

When Chang came to town

Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927) is an unusual motion picture. Shot entirely in present-day Thailand, this thrilling adventure film tells the simple story of one family's survival on their small farm on the edge of the jungle - a way of life that often pits them against forces of nature. The film was nominated (along with F.W. Murnau's Sunrise and King Vidor's The Crowd) for "Artistic Quality of Production" at the first ever Academy Awards.

It also proved to be a popular film, drawing crowds around the United States. The film  played in the San Francisco Bay Area. In San Jose, for example, Chang opened at the Mission Theatre on S. First Street. The advertisement below ran in a local newspaper.



Josephine Hughston, one of the very few female film critics in the Bay Area, praised the film. She called it "remarkable," and wrote in the San Jose Mercury Herald, "There are plenty of real thrills in the picture, not of the carefully rehearsed kind, but of the sort where a few inches more in the leap of a beast would have meant the death of the camera man or a native. Chang is a picture to be seen by everyone, and a picture to be remembered."

According to a later newspaper advertisement, near the end of it's run all San Jose was marvelling over Chang. See for yourself on Saturday, December 12th at the Castro Theatre as the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Musicians at 2009 winter event

Keeping in the mind the old axiom that "silent films were never truly silent," the San Francisco Silent Film Festival has always sought to engage leading musicians to perform and sometimes even compose live, era-authentic, musical scores to accompany its programs.

In the recent past, for example, the Festival has engaged Philip Carli, Stephen Horne, and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra among others to accompany films. The upcoming winter event, set for December 12th, has an equally distinguished line-up of musicians. Accompanying films on the 12th are Robert Israel, Dennis James, and Donald Sosin.


Robert Israel (pictured right) has been hailed as “one of the world's finest practitioners of the art of silent film accompaniment.” A protégé of the legendary theatre organist Gaylord Carter, he made his professional debut at the age of 17. Israel served as music director of special events for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, 1994-2005.

In addition to live performances, he and his orchestra have recorded scores for numerous films. More on Robert Israel's many accomplishments can be found at his entry on IMdB.

At the Winter Event,  Robert Israel will perform his original orchestral score for J'Accuse  (1928) adapted to play on the Mighty Wurlitzer.



For over 40 years Dennis James (pictured left) has toured under the auspices of the Silent Film Concerts production company performing to silent films with solo organ, piano, and chamber ensemble accompaniments in addition to presentations with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Europe providing historically authentic revival presentations.

Back in May, Dennis James was the subject of a profile on examiner.com. That article can be found here.

At the Winter Event, Dennis James will accompany two Buster Keaton classics, Sherlock Jr. (1924) and The Goat (1921), on the Mighty Wurlitzer, aided by foley artist Todd Manley with special sound effects. Dennis James will also accompany West of Zanzibar (1928) on the Mighty Wurlitzer.



An acclaimed silent film accompanist for more than 30 years, Donald Sosin (pictured right) regularly performs at major film festivals in America and Europe. He is the resident pianist for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, BAM and the Museum of Moving Image, and frequently accompanies silents at other repertory houses and archives. Sosin has also premiered his orchestral scores on TCM and recorded numerous scores for DVD releases.

Donald Sosin and his musical partner, Joanna Seaton, have an extensive website devoted to their various musical activities. Donald also maintains a blog.

At the Winter Event,  Donald Sosin will accompany Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927) on the piano with an original score.

To here and see these musicians "in action," join us at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival Winter Event on Saturday, December 12th at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Further information about the day long event can be found here.