Here are some brief bits of news - offered on a regular basis - from and about the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the world of silent film:
1) "It has recently become axiomatic that film criticism is in crisis." If you hadn't known, or perhaps had an inkling, or just had your doubts - be sure and check out the article about film scholar David Bordwell in today's New York Times. It's an interesting read. Bordwell is, of course, best known for the book he co-authored with Kristin Thompson and Janet Staiger, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style & Mode of Production to 1960 (Columbia University Press, 1985). Bordwell, now retired, also has an active website and blog.
Of that well known book, Manhola Dargis wrote in the New York Times: "Though well received, the book had its detractors and continues to draw criticism for, among other things, its cut-off dates and insistence on the coherence of the Hollywood style. The book alone certainly didn’t reintroduce history back into film studies, but its insistence on the historical conditions that control and shape 'textual processes,' along with the depth and breadth it brought to writing film history, has been profound. The discipline’s new emphasis on cinema’s past has been rewarding, but it also suggests that film studies has entered a nostalgic, even elegiac stage: many scholars have turned back the clock to write about early and silent cinema at the very moment that others are theorizing about the end of cinema in the digital age."
2) Are you looking to get rid of a playable upright or baby grand piano that can be tuned for a professional? We would be delighted to take it off your hands to use for the festivities surrounding the 15th Anniversary Festival, and beyond. If you or someone you know has just such a piano, please email San Francisco Silent Film Festival office manager Lucia Pier. Or give us a call! Contact info can be found on the SFSFF website.
3) Excitement continues to grow around the screening of the restored Metropolis at this summer's San Francisco Silent Film Festival. This very special event will mark the first showing of the restored version in Northern California! The world famous Alloy Orchestra will debut their score for the film!! And as well, archivists Paula Felix Didier and Fernando Peña of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina (the team responsible for bringing the lost Metropolis footage to light) will be in attendance and introduce the film!!! It's an event not to be missed!!!! KINO has just launched a mini-website all about the newly restored Metropolis. It contains lots of stuff, including a history of the film, stills, artwork, video clips and more. [Image courtesy of the Deutsche Kinemathek.]