Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Come to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival!

CONSIDER THIS BLOG YOUR FIRST WARNING: The event to attend this summer for every fan of Louise Brooks is the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The event is scheduled to take place July 15th - 18th at the historic Castro Theater. For more info, visit the SFSFF website at www.silentfilm.org.

I really can't say much more, but Louise Brooks will shine at this special event - a gathering a like-minded silent film enthusiasts from around the world. Among those scheduled to be in attendance are Ira Resnick, author of Starstruck: Vintage Movie Posters from Classic Hollywood (which features a bunch of posters and lobby cards from Brooks' films) as well as screenwriter Samuel Bernstein, author of the just published Lulu a novel. Those two guests - each of whom will be signing books - are just the tip of the iceberg, as they say. More, much more, will be revealed in the coming weeks.

By the way, if you have never been to the Castro Theater, it is well worth checking out. It is a grand old neighborhood movie place - one of the last standing in San Francisco. It was built in 1922, and Janet Gaynor used to work there as an usherette. I just saw a silent film there last night, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916), with live musical accompaniment by Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields) and Daniel Handler (of Lemony Snicket fame).

And of course, films featuring Louise Brooks were shown there many times over the years. Actually, no theater in the city has shown more Louise Brooks' films over the years then the Castro. Here is a list of some of the films the Castro has shown which I have been able to document.

Love Em and Leave Em (Apr. 7-8, 1927)
Just Another Blonde (June 7-8, 1927)
Beggars of Life (Feb. 17, 1929)
Canary Murder Case (May 19-21, 1929)
It Pays to Advertise (June 8-9, 1931)
When You’re in Love  (June 3-5, 1937 with Criminal Lawyer)
Diary of a Lost Girl (Jan. 22, 1987 with Sadie Thompson as part of “Vamps” series)
A Girl in Every Port (Jan. 23, 1987 with Sadie Thompson as part of “Vamps” series)
Pandora’s Box (Feb. 26, 1987 as part of “Vamps” series)
Prix de Beaute (Feb. 26, 1987 as part of “Vamps” series)
Diary of a Lost Girl (Nov. 8, 1988 with Pandora’s Box)
Diary of a Lost Girl (May 11, 1992 with Pandora’s Box)
Pandora’s Box (May 5-8, 1995 as part of the San Francisco Film Festival)
Pandora’s Box (Dec. 16-17, 1995)
Pandora’s Box (Apr. 2, 1996 with Wings)
Just Another Blonde (July 14, 1996 screening of fragments, as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival)
Pandora’s Box (May 18, 1998 as part of Femme Fatale Festival)
Diary of a Lost Girl (Jan. 14, 2002 as part of the Berlin & Beyond Festival)
Pandora’s Box (July 15, 2006 as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival)
The American Venus (July 14, 2007 screening of a trailer & fragments as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival)
Beggars of Life (July 14, 2007 as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival)

Undoubtedly there were others, but the records - including the local neighborhood newspaper which carried advertisements for the Castro, have been lost. The picture up top is of yours truly introducing Pandora's Box at the 2006 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. And the picture below is of me outside the theater that same year. I hope to see some of you this year.

4 comments:

  1. Damn it, I wish that I could go! That sounds absolutely amazing. :(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely amazing is only half of it . . . . . more to come

    ReplyDelete

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