You can read the program essay for our 2006 screening of Seventh Heaven here Our own age usually prefers its film romances to play out between people who are rich, or at least comfortably well off. Silent film, on the other hand, loved its poor people; and the ethereal, peerlessly … [Read more...] about Seventh Heaven
Workers of Silent Cinema Unite!
This feature was published in conjunction with the screening of Fragment of an Empire at SFSFF 2018 While silent cinema has its share of silk-hatted swells, champagne, and cotillions, the working class at the bottom of the income pyramid is by no means neglected. Miner strikes, child labor, … [Read more...] about Workers of Silent Cinema Unite!
After World War II, Rome became a center of international film production, not only as the hub of the Italian film industry, but also by attracting moviemakers from around the world as a cost-effective and picturesque location for increasingly spectacular international productions. But long before … [Read more...] about Trappola
Tony the Wonder Horse
This feature was published in conjunction with the screening of No Man's Gold at SFSFF 2018 Not for nothing these popular, if often cheaply made, westerns were nicknamed Horse Operas, requiring of actors one paramount skill, ridership, or at least the ability to sit convincingly in the … [Read more...] about Tony the Wonder Horse
A Throw of Dice
India’s film industry, often referred to as Bollywood, has been a major player in world cinema since 1947 when it exponentially increased movie production with influential directors such as Bimal Roy and Mehboob Khan at the helm, creating a national cinema that came to define the Bollywood … [Read more...] about A Throw of Dice
The State of Preservation
An Interview with Jon Wengström of the Swedish Film Institute Home to the masterpieces of Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller, among other treasures of Sweden’s Golden Age of silent cinema, the Swedish Film Institute (SFI) has been a vital ally for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival for … [Read more...] about The State of Preservation
There’s an easygoing, friendly manner to actor Harry Carey. His smile, the wrinkle around his eyes, to say nothing of that aura of quiet inner strength, reminds one of John Wayne at his best—only Harry Carey was projecting those qualities from the screen when Wayne was still in high school. Carey … [Read more...] about Soft Shoes
Silent but not Silenced
Outsiders and Outcasts of Silent Cinema From Chaplin’s Tramp to Hart’s good-bad man, from Pickford’s ragamuffins to Brooks’s lost girls, many of silent cinema’s most enduring images were of outcasts and outsiders. Whether portrayed with slapstick humor, grim realism, or experimental lyricism, … [Read more...] about Silent but not Silenced