The annual Silent Film Festival begins today at San Francisco’s landmark movie palace, the Castro Theatre. Built in 1922, the theater was designed by Timothy L. Pflueger (1894-1946), a celebrated figure in Bay Area architecture, whose career originated with the commission for the Castro. Appreciate the power and beauty of a silent film by seeing it as it was meant to be seen: on the big screen with live musical accompaniment. They have hand selected the finest 35mm prints, engaged leading musicians to compose and perform live era-authentic musical scores, and invited filmmakers, authors, stars, archivists, and scholars to provide context and commentary for each screening.
The highlight of the festival is the Sunday presentation of Safety Last, the 1923 classic starring Harold Lloyd. A bespectacled man hanging off the hands of a collapsing clock on the side of a skyscraper, high above teeming city streets, is one of the most indelible images of cinema.
The San Francisco Silent Film Festivel is committed to exploring the broad spectrum of this fine genre. Their programming is a lively and thought-provoking mix of education and entertainment, which combines established American classics, lesser-known gems, rare, and recently restored films, and important international work, including motion pictures from China, India, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, France, and Russia. Over the last 17 years, the festival has presented more than 150 rare and classic silent movies, all with live music performed by the most accomplished composers and musicians in the field; and using the Castro Theatre’s world-famous Mighty Wurlitzer organ to lead the way.
The place to be this weekend is on the City by the Bay… Here’s a link for more info on this weekend’s lineup:
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