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.
Curated by Gary Meyer
Charles Chaplin might be the most recognizable person in the world. His iconic Little Tramp image can be found everywhere. I am guessing that more books have been written about him than any movie star.
One of the many beauties of his work is that they communicate with people who speak any language.
And on Saturday, February 19, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents Chaplin’s 1931 masterpiece, CITY LIGHTS accompanied by the Oakland Symphony under the direction of Timothy Brock, at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre. This is a must see experience for all ages.
By Gaetano Kazuo Maida
Ignore the misleading title. The film opens with what appear to be two Chinese military observers speculating on the work and fate of an expedition that they have been watching from afar through telescopes. One says, “There was a pack of wolves at the summit… he went to photograph them, the wolves were following him. I thought they’d gobble him up, but he came back. I have no idea what they’re doing…” And we are truly and deeply hooked.
By C.J. Hirschfield
At the beginning of the pandemic, TIGER KING was the documentary everyone was watching. It focused on an eccentric and unethical schemer/scammer driven by greed–truly a despicable character. Kind of like the president we were forced to endure on screen at the same time.
Maybe now we’re ready to see more documentaries like the recently-released FAUCI, and now LIKE A ROLLING STONE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN FONG-TORRES, which turn the camera onto people who show up with passion, talent and humility every day– and not just for the money. After a film festival tour and theatrical release the film is now on Netflix.
by Maria Elena Gutierrez
In the animated musical adventure Vivo a music-loving kinkajou called Vivo (Lin-Manuel Miranda) sets out to deliver a song written by his friend Andrés (Juan de Marcos González) to his long-lost love Marta (Gloria Estefan). Along the way, Vivo befriends an energetic young girl called Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) who helps him in his quest. Continue reading
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.