San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2018: The Mighty Recap

Now that I’m home from California, here is my recap of this year’s fabulous festival! Fun fact: portions of this post were written while sitting at the bar of the Pig ‘N’ Whistle restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard, next door to Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre…not an office I get to use every day!

Opening Night Presentation: Wednesday, May 30

I arrived in San Francisco in the mid-afternoon of May 30th, and after doing a bit of sight-seeing among those windy hills (but no cable car-riding–drat those eternal lines!) I took one of those historic streetcars down to the Castro theater. Ah, beautiful Castro theater, how I’ve missed thee. After missing the 2017 fest, it felt “right” to finally be back.

The 23rd San Francisco Silent Film Festival began with a tribute to the late Frank Buxton, who had a lengthy and busy career in TV, movies, and radio (he was a writer on Happy Days and directed episodes of Mork and Mindy, to name a few things). He had been an indispensable member of the festival board, and it was clear how much he was already missed.

Then the lights went down, the great curtains parted to reveal the screen–I do love that quiet, magical moment of anticipation–and the 5-day festival of beautiful restorations and the world’s finest live accompaniment had begun!

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The SFSFF Is Coming!

…That is, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which starts May 30. And yes, I’M COMING BACK, BABY!!

Image Credit: Pamela Gentile for silentfilm.org

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

Currently At The SFSFF!

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!

My Time At The San Francisco Silent Film Festival

So awhile back, when I was planning a trip to San Francisco with two of my best friends, little did I expect that the dates we chose would just happen to coincide with a very cool event. Which event? Why, nothing less than one of the very best silent film festivals this planet has to offer–the San Francisco Silent Film Festival!

Once I knew this, I just had to go, because A) it was the SFSFF, and B) believe it or not, obsessive-early-film-watching me had never been to a silent film festival before. The closest I ever got were my occasional late night Keystone binges accompanied by cheesy popcorn. (Oh…and my numerous Comique binges. Also accompanied by cheesy popcorn.) I had feverishly sought out any elusive silents that played in theaters near me, but bona fide festivals always seemed to be held on the other side of the country.

Since me and my friends were going to be sight-seeing and creating lasting memories together and all that jazz, I decided to spend only a limited time at the festival. But that would be more than satisfactory. Continue reading

I’m California Bound!

So I’ve been busy as Eric von Stroheim editing Greed lately, and here’s why (and, funnily enough, Greed is a tiny bit related!). I’m getting ready for a trip this weekend, a trip that happens to be checking off some very important items on my bucket list. And I am excited. Very excited. In fact, I’m this excited:

excited-fifties-woman Continue reading