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.
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.
In the Silver Screen Suppers recipe collection there are now around 8,000 movie star signature dishes. I’m totally intrigued by what my idols liked to eat, and stars of the silver screen often surprise me with their strange leanings towards tripe, tapioca, and sweetbreads.
I’ve rustled up a few recipes provided by stars featured in this year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival for Eat Drink Films. Why not eat like a movie star for the duration?
Despite the silver screen temptations of a Film Festival one must get outside, take a walk, breathe the air and see some related sights. Bring your jacket because it is, after all, the unpredictable summer in San Francisco. Mark Twain may not have really said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” but it is apt.
If “Marketing” had been an accepted term for the handling of a motion picture in 1968, my title for the two years I spent nurturing 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY would have been Marketing Strategist for Stanley Kubrick and MGM and for the subsequent two years, for Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
Dan Chaissan’s contribution to the 2001 anniversary coverage in The New Yorker: “Anybody There?” April 23, 2018) has occasional insights but is filled with inaccuracies and false conclusions. With the opening of “Stanley Kubrick, The Exhibition” at the London Design Museum and the two month Kubrick season at the British Film Institute, it seems an appropriate time to set the record straight.
I have always been intrigued by food and the role that it plays in our lives. As the noted food historian Ben Rogers says, “Food is, after language, the most important bearer of cultural identity”. I feel that what food signifies goes beyond that, it defines who we are and shapes the lives we lead. On top of that, I also think that food is a unifying force. It has the power to bring people together under the most mysterious circumstances. I started work on this project when a producer friend Yutaka Tachibana asked if we could work on something to celebrate 50 years of Japan and Singapore’s diplomatic relations. I felt that food would be a perfect vehicle as both countries are crazy about good food and because there are so many stories about food that have moved me. Hence we started to look into the food of each country that we could incorporate into the story. We settled upon two iconic dishes from each country, Bak Kut Teh and Ramen. Themes such as acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation appear in the film. I want to celebrate relationships, not only amongst people but also between food and people. It is a reminder that more than just sustenance, food can warm our hearts and feed our souls.