An excerpt from Dana Stevens’ “CAMERA MAN”
(Greatly updated December 3, 2022)
In this genre-defying work of cultural history, the chief film critic of Slate places comedy legend and acclaimed filmmaker Buster Keaton’s unique creative genius in the context of his time.
Buster Keaton will be celebrated at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive during the month of December, 2022. Starting Sunday, December 4 with SHERLOCK JR. and two shorts and continuing through Wednesday, December 21, five features and 15 shorts will be screened with musical accompaniment. Author Dana Stevens will introduce several programs. Continue reading
By Marilyn Freund
There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and cats on the internet. People love cat videos, and if you have any doubt about the universal truth of that, let me throw a few numbers at you, based on my admittedly cursory research. Continue reading
Part Two- What I Will Be Seeing
By Meredith Brody
May 4, 2022
I learned my lesson early with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival: GO TO EVERYTHING.
The first year I attended, I cherry-picked only the movies I hadn’t seen before. The ones I went to were such a revelation – both in the presentation and the group experience – that my heart hurt as I walked away. What a MAROON I was. Even a movie I thought I knew well would be a fresh experience, featuring as it did not only live music, but one of the world’s great audiences. There’s a kind of euphoria that sets in when you commit to seeing everything on offer. Continue reading
As a child in London Charles Chaplin had a life of poverty and hardship. He was sent to a workhouse twice before he was nine years old. He got little to eat and there is speculation that is why there are so many food scenes in his movies. Continue reading
February 18, 2022
By Nancy Friedman
Its running time is just 87 minutes. It has only three main characters. Its filming locations were confined mostly to downtown Los Angeles and studio soundstages.
But in its way Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film City Lights qualifies as an epic—and so does the story behind the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s one-night-only presentation of this silent masterpiece, accompanied by the Oakland Symphony under the direction of Timothy Brock, at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre on Saturday, February 19.
Possibly the best documentary about Chaplin is The Unknown Chaplin. In three parts you can watch here it captures the cinematic genius as he was never meant to be seen. Using countless reels of rushes, outtakes, and abandoned films Chaplin had wanted destroyed, film archivists Kevin Brownlow and David Gill have meticulously crafted an essential and fascinating documentary homage to the Little Tramp who will no doubt keep us laughing until the last flickering frame.
We suggest that you watch The Unknown Chaplin after you see City Lights.