It was almost too good to be true–a whole year flew by, and the festival was here again! After a busy day of travelling I made it to the Castro neighborhood on May 1 with time to spare (I highly recommend a kebab place just down the street from the theater. It gave me new life). Walking into the theater was like revisiting an old (and grand-looking) friend. And I couldn’t have been more ready for:
In my recent review of TheAliceHowellCollection I mentioned that the 101-year-old actress Fay McKenzie, who appeared as a baby in Distilled Love (1920), got to enjoy a special screening of the short thanks to historian Stan Taffel and relative Bryan Cooper. Isn’t that just the best? Well, the news broke recently that Fay passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 16, just two weeks after I posted my review. Amazingly, she had been in films on and off throughout her whole life, starting with infant/child roles in silent films starring such luminaries as Colleen Moore, and eventually becoming known as Gene Autry’s leading lady in the 1940s.
Last year, as some readers may remember, I had to skip the event due to a family vacation abroad claiming most of my travel funds. But this year, I’m making up for it–I’ll be returning to the Castro theater for the entire beautiful festival, and am planning on attending every showing if I possibly can. I might add that the festival spans five days this year, so this is not a challenge I accept lightly. I AM READY. Continue reading →
I have most thoroughly arrived and am taking in Day 2 of the festival! Depending on what time of the day it is in San Francisco right now, I’m either viewing the “Amazing Tales From the Archives” presentation; A Woman of the World (1925) starring Pola Negri; That Night’s Wife (Sono Yo No Tsuma) (1930), a Japanese homage to crime pictures; Mothers of Men or Every Woman’s Problem (1917), a melodrama centering around a suffragette; Varieté (1925), a tale of trapeze artists and sexual jealousy; or Behind the Door (1919), about a “barbarous crew of submariners.”
Or I’m, ya know, asleep because it’s either very early or very late in Frisco…and am resting up for more silents!!
Here’s a little recap of my visit to the festival last year. Regular readers might recall that I only went to a handful of showings, due to being on a separate trip at the time, but those showings were such fun that I couldn’t resist coming back in 2016: My Time At The San Francisco Silent Film Festival.
More to come about this year’s festival when I’m back in MN!