Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend update #26 - screenings everywhere edition

Here are some bits of news - offered on a regular basis - from and about the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and the world of silent film:

1) Earlier this month, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival announced the line-up for its February 12th annual Winter Event. Along with the  not-to-be-missed Winter Event Celebration Party, there will be a program of three Charlie Chaplin shorts (The Adventurer 1917 / The Pawn Shop 1916 / The Rink 1916) made during his tenure with Mutual, the French film L’Argent (1928), and King Vidor's La Bohème (1926). Further information can be found at 

[Coincidentally, the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael is showing a contemporary film version of the opera La Bohème on December 16 and December 18. More info here.]

2) There are a handful of other silent film screenings coming up in the next month. On Tuesday, December 14, the Mauritz Stiller film, Sir Arne's Treasure (1919), will be shown at the Castro Theatre with a newly commissioned score by John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats). This annual event - the pairing of a classic silent film with musical accompaniment by a contemporary indie rock musician - is sponsored by the San Francisco Film SocietyElla Cinders (1926), in which Colleen Moore stars in a comic take on the Cinderella story, will be shown on Saturday, December 25 at 7:30 pm at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Fremont. And in another annual tradition, the New Year's Eve screening of a silent film at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is now set for Friday, December 31st at 7:00 and 10:00 pm. The Lon Chaney classic, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), will be shown. Internationally acclaimed organist, Dorothy Papadakos, will accompany the film on the cathedral’s renowned Aeolian-Skinner organ.

[Speaking of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. Be sure and check out the recent San Francisco Chronicle article, "David Kiehn, Bay Area historian, traces old films," which profiles the Niles film historian.]

3) Another forthcoming regional event worth checking out is the January 29th and January 30 showings of The Italian Straw Hat (1928), a slapstick comedy by the  acclaimed French director René Clair. The Sacramento French Film Festival is partnering with the Sacramento Philharmonic in the US Premiere of this classic silent film with a new musical score, which will be shown at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. For more info, please visit

[If you can't make it to Sacramento for this special event, or want to check out the film before you do go, please note that the good folks at Flicker Alley have recently released it on DVD in a deluxe edition. This new release is the first ever fully complete edition available to American viewers.]

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