Saturday, June 4, 2016

Some Snapshots from this Year's San Francisco Silent Film Festival

This year's San Francisco Silent Film Festival has been a lot of fun. I've gotten to see old friends (like film historians Donna Hill, John Bengston, Mary Mallory, and David Kiehn) and make new ones (like film historians Laura Horak and Shelley Stamp) and talk silent film with those who, like me, are passionate about the subject. I also got to speak with Jan-Christopher Horak  about Louise Brooks, whom he knew, and his days in Rochester, NY. And, I got to see a Louise Brooks' film on the BIG screen -- the William Wellman-directed  Beggars of Life (1928) with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. (Their score included the familiar theme song from the film.) Here are some snapshots from the Festival.

The marquee of the historic Castro Theater.
Some of the 1,000 attendees begin to line-up for Beggars of Life
One of the pre-show slides.
Another of the pre-show slides.
One of the pre-show slides about Beggars of Life.
One of the pre-show slides about Louise Brooks.
The swell new Beggars of Life poster by Wayne Shellabarger.
Copies of the 2016 program.
Me at the signing table, with Joan Craig (author of Theda Bara, My Mentor), and Paramount Pictures
executive Laura Thornburg

Some of Pola Negri's jewelry from A Woman of the World, directed by Malcom St. Clair.
By the way, A Woman of the World is a really terrific film. I hope someone releases it on DVD. It would be a sensation!

Louise Brooks and Beggars of Life on the big screen once again.

I was thrilled: a snapshot of David Robinson and I at this year's Silent Film Festival. Robinson is one of the world's great film historians. We spoke about Louise Brooks, who Robinson worked with when she began submitting articles to "Sight and Sound" in the late 1950's. He is also the author of many books, and was kind enough to sign 16 of them for me! (His bestselling "Chaplin: His Life and Art" from 1985 was source material for the 1992 Richard Attenborough film "Chaplin," starring Robert Downey, Jr.)
And a snapshot with the great David Shepard. I spoke with him about his valiant, long ago efforts to try and save
the now lost Louise Brooks film, The City Gone Wild.
It was a great pleasure to meet Laura Horak, author of Girls Will Be Boys


Louise Brooks in a storefront window.

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