“The thing that makes Talmadge a star is the look in her eyes,” MGM studio head and star-maker Louis B. Mayer once said of actress Norma Talmadge. One of the most popular stars of the silents, her career ended after two poorly received talkies, and she is nearly forgotten today. If Talmadge is … [Read more...] about The Woman Disputed
Presented at the Paramount Theatre, Oakland on December 2, 2010 The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, with the Pacific Film Archive and the Paramount Theatre presented Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc, an Oratorio with Silent Film on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 7:30pm at Oakland's … [Read more...] about Voices of Light / The Passion of Joan of Arc
Harry Langdon’s movie career peaked in 1926, the year two of his best films were released. He had come to Hollywood after nearly 30 years in vaudeville and refined his gently bumbling stage persona into a unique child-man character referred to as “The Little Elf.” Having graduated from two-reel … [Read more...] about The Strong Man
A woman with bobbed hair wears a form-fitting qípáo dress, holds an evening bag, and raises her hand in greeting as she alights from an airplane. This arresting image was used to advertise British American Tobacco Company cigarettes and illustrates the emergence of Shanghai’s “modern woman.” By the … [Read more...] about A Spray of Plum Blossoms
“Each boxing match is a story,” Joyce Carol Oates wrote about the enduring appeal of the centuries-old blood sport. “A highly condensed, highly dramatic story ….” Long a popular subject for writers, from Homer to Colette, these compact dramas also drew the attention of cinema’s pioneers who sought … [Read more...] about The Shakedown
At the end of the 20th century, Melissa Chittick and Stephen Salmons had a dream to share their love of silent cinema with fellow San Franciscans and they founded the Silent Film Festival. Fifteen years later, the reality of their amazing creation has outstripped their wildest dreams. Today, the … [Read more...] about Salmons Talks!
Italian Director Mario Camerini’s legacy has been tainted because he made films under the Mussolini regime. Film director and critic Carlo Lizzani wrote of Camerini as “sweetly slumbering through the 20 years of Fascism.” While Camerini spent much of the later Fascist era directing light, socially … [Read more...] about Rotaie
The stunning resurrection of Fritz Lang’s futuristic fable Metropolis to its epic original cut, a version believed forever lost, began in a modest Buenos Aires cinema museum in the spring of 2008, when a rusted film can turned out to contain a 16mm negative of the entire 150-minute silent film. The … [Read more...] about Metropolis