Friday, September 12, 2014

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Silent Autumn

Celebrate the Fall Season with 
Five Silent Film Programs with
Live Musical Accompaniment at 
September 20 at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre
True art transcends time.
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival follows its successful 19th annual Festival (May, 2014) with Silent Autumn on September 20th at the historic Castro Theatre.  For information, please visit
(USA, 1928-1929, Produced by Hal Roach, total running time is approximately 70 minutes)
11:00 AM
This program features the splendid anarchy of the finest comedy team to grace the silver screen. Both Stan Laurel (the thin Briton with the elastic face) and Oliver Hardy (the rotund baby-faced American) were successful comedians before they met, but together they were genius! Many people know the duo from their later feature career which included SONS OF THE DESERT (1933), BABES IN TOYLAND (1934), and OUR RELATIONS (1936), and these rare short silents are sure to be a revelation! Included in the program: TWO TARS (1928), BIG BUSINESS (1929) and a surprise or two! Musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin
(USA, 1926, Directed by George Fitzmaurice, 81 minutes)
1:00 PM
Rudolph Valentino's last film picks up on the story of his extraordinarily successful THE SHEIK. THE SON OF THE SHEIKresumes about 25 years later, and Valentino again stars, this time as the son! Like his father, he's charismatic, athletic, and a ladies man. This wonderful swashbuckling romance is being presented in a new restoration by Ken Winokur and Jane Gillooly from excellent 35mm negative material. Musical accompaniment by Alloy with the World Premiere of their new score!
(USA/UK, 1914, 85 minutes)
3:30 PM
Marking the centenary of the start of World War I, the British Film Institute has put together this glorious miscellany of comedies, adventure films, travelogues and newsreels recreates a typical night out at the cinema in 1914. Cinema a century ago was a new, exciting and highly democratic form of entertainment. Picture houses across the country offered a sociable, lively environment in which to relax and escape from the daily grind. With feature films still rare, the program was an entertaining, ever-changing roster of short items with live musical accompaniment. Among the highlights of this program of 14 short films are a quirky comic short about a face-pulling competition, a sensational episode of the American film serial The Perils of Pauline, an early aviation display, scenes of suffragettes protesting at Buckingham Palace and Allied troops celebrating Christmas at the Front. There is also an anti-German animation film and an early sighting of one of cinema’s greatest icons.
Musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
(USA, 1926, Directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, 75 minutes)
7:00 PM
Consistently listed as one of the finest films of all time, The General was one of Keaton’s favorites as well. In the film, Buster plays Johnnie Gray who falls into the Confederacy through love of his locomotive and his beautiful Annabelle Lee. Orson Welles said: “The greatest comedy ever, made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made.” Musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra.
(Germany, 1920, Directed by Robert Wiene, 75 minutes) 
9:00 PM
The story of the hypnotist Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist Cesare is one of the earliest examples of a "psychological thriller" and one of the best known German films of all time. SFSFF’s presentation will be the US premiere of the restoration of this brilliant German Expressionist film—restored using the original camera negative resulting in a print quality worthy of its classic status. With Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Fehér, Lil Dagover. Musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
Tickets Information
Silent Autumn at the historic Castro Theatre will take place on September 20. For more information and to purchase tickets and passes, go to

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