For all the jaded film goers out there who just can’t bear to watch Michael Bay remake one more eighties cartoon into an ultra modern-CGI laden-boom-bang-bullshit-extravaganza, San Francisco has some good news for you. Seek relief from excesses and clichés of modern day Hollywood at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Speaking of clichés - it’ll be an evening you’ll never forget.
The screenings are held at the Castro Theater
(located on the corner of Castro & Market), and the films are
usually accompanied by live music. Cross your fingers that you’ll catch
Dennis James playing the Mighty Wurlitzer. The man literally sounds
like an entire orchestra, percussion, strings and brass all emanating
from the same cauldron of magical noise.
The Castro Theater is pretty easy on the eyes, too. Actually it’s
downright incredible. It was built in 1922 and it looks more like a
Spanish cathedral than a movie theater. If I didn’t know movies were
screened here I might mistake it for a pantheon constructed to appease
gods with ritualistic sacrifices. Inside it is no less impressive, a
hodgepodge of diverse European architectural traditions.
of the silent era’s best films have shown up at the Castro’s fourteen
hundred seat theatre. Gem’s show up from all around the world –
samplings from France’s groundbreaking “Cinema of Attractions,” German
expressionism, Italian epics, American comedies, Spanish Soap Operas,
and many more.
Sadly you’ll have to wait until July 10 to catch
the next three day fest, but the advance warning is necessary to make
sure you catch the best movies and the biggest titles. Within the next
month this year’s lineup should be released, and the past thirteen
years have set the bar pretty high, so no one will be disappointed.
So, brush up on your F. Scott Fitzgerald, peep that funky Dixieland,
and remember, the flappers were kind of like the hipsters of the 1920s,
except they managed to exist without “The Simpsons.” Enjoy!