Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More snapshots from the festival

We found a few more snapshots from the recently concluded 2010 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. So here goes.

Back in 2006 at the winter event, the Silent Film Festival screened Chicago, the celebrated 1927 silent film which starred Phyllis Haver, Victor Varconi, and Eugene Pallette. Like the musical Chicago that won Best Picture and five other Oscars in 2002, this original 1927 version descends from a 1926 hit Broadway play by Maurine Watkins. It’s a terrifically entertaining mix of humor and melodrama as well as a pungent critique of trash journalism. The film was a smash-hit in 2006, and was once again this year as a DVD. As a matter of fact, the just released Chicago DVD from Flicker Alley was the best-selling DVD at this year's Festival - and for good reason. This deluxe 2-disc collection includes two excellent bonus films: The Golden Twenties (1950), a compilation documentary feature and Oscar-winning Lauren Lazin’s The Flapper Story (1985), in which several self-declared children of the roaring twenties look back on their youthful lives.

At this year's event, the "gang from Chicago" showed up to sign copies of the just out DVD. Each was vitally involved with this new release. They are, from left to right, film preservationist David Shepard, Flicker Alley's own Jeff Masino, and Rodney Sauer of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Sauer's group provided the musical score on the Chicago DVD - as well as playing for the 2010 presentation of Diary of a Lost Girl.

BTW: the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra's score for the 1929 Louise Brooks' film, Diary of a Lost Girl, was very good! Let's hope they release it on CD sometime! Brooks' many fans would snap it up in an instant.

Another signing of related interest, so to speak, was the "Kevin Brownlow and Friends" signing which took place following the 1928 Norma Talmadge film, The Woman Disputed. This signing featured the British film historian and two other authors for whom he wrote an introduction to their books. They are, from left to right pictured below, John Bengtson (author of Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton and Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin and the forthcoming Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd), Kevin Brownlow himself, and David W. Menefee (author of Sarah Bernhardt in the Theatre of Films and Sound  Recordings).

We'll be posting more pics in the near future. But in the meantime, here is a link to the Nitrateville message boards with lots of individual accounts of the Festival. If you missed the festival, these individual messages may inspire you to attend next year! And here is a link to a long, post-Festival report by Jeremy Matthews on the Moving Pictures website. And here is a link to another post by Adam Hartzell from the local GreenCine.

With that said, we'll leave you with just a few more pictures. The first is of Gregory Paul Williams (on left, author of The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History) who came up from Los Angeles for the Festival, and David Kiehn (on right, author of Bronco Billy and the Essanay Film Company), who came from the wilds of Fremont, where he helps run the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.

And the last couple of pictures are of the two mezzanine vendors. Each added a lot to the overall festival experience. At left is Rena Dein of Niles, and at right is the gang from Books Inc. (Market Street).

1 comment:

  1. A few further thoughts at