"Shattered all expectations ," "Tremendous," "Electrifying. Riveting," "A blast," and "a fantabulous epic" were just of the tweets referencing the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's presentation of Kevin Brownlow's restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon at the Oakland Paramount. Others tweeted "one of the great silent movies" and "totally / epic. Did not expect the / handheld camera!" As well as "I've never flown to another city just to watch a 5+ hr silent film...until today!" and "cinema event / of a lifetime today. no, / not the hunger games."
Toronto free-lance journalist Eric Veillette flew in for the special screening. Early on in the screening he tweeted "Even if abandoned after the snowball fight it wld still be the greatest 1 reeler ever made." Near the film's finale, Veillette posted "The moment the curtains revealed the tryptich, the gasp was in unison." And after the five-and-one-half-hour epic had ended, he tweeted again, "At closing, the applause for @CarlDavisMusic was ferocious, but got louder when Abel Gance's sig appeared on screen."
The buzz on Twitter by those who have seen Napoleon at the Oakland Paramount has been overwhelmingly positive. Even composer and conductor Carl Davis, who led the Oakland East Bay Symphony in a performance of his original score, tweeted, "Seeing children at the screening of #NAPOLEON gives me hope for the world."
Another film buff tweeted, "In 6 hours, we will belong to the first of two groups the world is again divided into: those who have seen NAPOLEON, and those who have not."
Don't miss out. Two performances remain of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's presentation of Kevin Brownlow's restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon (1927) at the Oakland Paramount. They take place on March 31 and April 1st. For this special event, Carl Davis will again conduct the Oakland East Bay Symphony in a performance of his truly remarkable original score. More info about this very special event, as well as remaining ticket availability, can be found at http://www.silentfilm.org/
[Also be sure and check out Lou Lumenick's glowing first review in the New York Post. In "Gance's 'Napoleon' (1927): About as good as it gets," the newspaper critic himself rhapsodizes ecstatic when he calles Gance's masterpiece "one of the most elusive great films" and his viewing of it "the experience of a lifetime . . . I was so overwhelmed." Lumenick adds, "In the meantime, there are tickets available for next weekend in Oakland, and it's worth begging, borrowing and/or stealing to partake of -- no hype here, honest -- the film experience of a lifetime."]