Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies: A 5-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Collection of 12 Restored Films From the Blackhawk Films Collection, Presented by Flicker Alley

by Michael Covino

In the newly restored comedies that Charlie Chaplin made for Mutual Films in 1916 and 1917, Chaplin has rarely looked better—in fact, probably not since 1916 and ‘17. The Mutual two-reelers followed his stints at Keystone, where in 1914 Chaplin introduced the baggy-trousered, mustachioed Tramp with the bowler and the cane,  and then at Essanay, where he made his first great comedic short, The Tramp . Continue reading

San Francisco Silent Film Festival: Not Just A Custard Pie: Dining Dos and Don’ts from The Surreal World Of Silent Film Comedy

by Paul F. Etcheverry

Can anyone question the value of humor in the early days of the seventh art?  In its 19th edition, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (May 29–June 1) offers up belly laughs and bemusements amidst its diverse programming in the historic Castro Theatre.  The festival includes 17 wonderful silent-era features in preserved and restored prints, one program of extraordinary silent shorts and rarities, and the ever-popular “Amazing Tales From the Archives” program. 19 programs in all, and you won’t want to miss one!  Not to mention that all films are accompanied by live music! Here’s a rundown of some of silent cinema’s most comic, culinary moments. Continue reading