By John Bengston
There was hidden interplay between movies filmed in Hollywood and in San Francisco. Buster Keaton filmed scenes adjacent to several San Francisco landmarks, but in each case before they were actually built!
Hosted by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, I will be presenting “Silent Footsteps — From San Francisco to Hollywood” on Sunday, June 6 at 12:00 noon PDT, as part of its ongoing “Amazing Tales Online” series. The webinar is free (register HERE), but SFSFF welcomes new members and support.
By Gary Meyer
For year people have asked where my house of worship was and my answer has always been, “In a movie theater.”And for 40 years the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival has been bringing people together—those who belong to a synagogue, the unaffiliated and everybody else interested in fascinating stories, social justice discussions, and often controversial narrative and documentary movies from around the globe.
We did a random “Vintage Hollywood Valentines” Google search and came up with a treasure trove of images. And if you click on any given image it enlarges with several new images to the right.
Can you name the stars?
But we have gone further. If it is true that the way to a lover’s heart is through the stomach, check out some vintage food cards. Why stop there. We cover growing up, comics and animation and the really bizarre “Vinegar Valentines.”
Plus several renditions of the classic song, “My Funny Valentine” by Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak. Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and more.
By Louise Dunlap
My first reaction is “No way I’m going to review a film with the name “R——.“ I’ve spent too long telling relatives in the nation’s capital how their team’s name evokes bloody skins of the First People of our continent hunted for bounty. Even though this film acknowledges the R-word as a slur, even though today’s reviewers think it progressive for its time, I’m reluctant. Our history is one white person’s version of Indians after another—with Hollywood in the lead. I don’t want to join the thread.
But then I look at the specs.
by Gary Meyer
Of the many film festivals I enjoy each year, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is certainly one of my favorites. I love the fact that the Festival Directors, Anita Monga and Stacey Wisnia, curate my experience. There is only one film playing at a time and all are at the mighty Castro Theatre accompanied by wonderful live music.
You come in the morning for a 10am show and stay until after the sun goes down…most likely around 11pm. A community develops where you run into friends you haven’t seen in years and make lots of new friends waiting in line (to get in, to buy food or use the rest rooms) or while sitting in the theater before the show starts. As the festival progresses through its five days you realize that this is the closest thing to a movie summer camp.
Bring family and friends, especially those who have never seen a silent film on the big screen with live music and a lively audience. They will become converts.
By Warren Haack
(A special virtual screening of THE SIGNAL TOWER is available for members of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival from March 26-April 4, 2021. To learn more and become a member visit SFIFF.)
At first glance this Classic of Silent Cinema would seem to appear as a nostalgic step back into the 1920s, when the Railroads of America dominated many people’s lives. However as the story unfolds, it is imbued with the classic icons of Silent Cinema including jealous lovers, family values and harrowing train wrecks, and is both entertaining and well written. Beautifully photographed on location along the Noyo River in the redwood forests of Northern California with excellent acting, this long lost treasure of Silent Cinema was carefully restored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s Robert Byrne in collaboration with Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stanbury of Photoplay Productions. It bears repeated viewing.