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San Francisco Silent Film Festival, June 2-5 at Castro Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 24, 2016 12:02pm | Post a Comment

Sf Silent Film Festival 2016

The 21st annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs June 2–5 at SF’s landmark movie palace, the Louise Brooks, Beggars of LifeCastro Theatre, and Amoeba Music is proud to be a sponsor. This year's program features a diverse and lively schedule of silent-era films, all with live musical accompaniment by accomplished musicians from around the world, such as the Matti Bye Ensemble, the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Oakland Symphony musicians and members of the Oakland Symphony Chorus conducted by Michael Morgan, and many more. The line-up is also brimming with new film restorations, including five films that SFSFF has had a direct hand in restoring.

The festival opens on Thursday, June 2 at 7pm with William A. Wellman's Beggars of Live (1928), which features Louise Brooks (in her best American film) as a freight-train hopping runaway who dresses as a boy to escape capture by the police. She joins up with young vagabond Richard Arlen and along the way they encounter a hobo encampment and its charismatic leader, played by Wallace Beery in a performance that Brooks later called “a little masterpiece.” Live musical accompaniment will be provided by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

Special guest presenters include author Leonard Maltin, who will present Laurel & Hardy’s The Battle of the Century (1927) and other comic restorations on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00am, and actress and author Illeana Douglas, who will present Fritz Lang's Destiny (Der Mude Tod, 1921) on Sunday, June 5th at 3:45pm.

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Jill Tracy Performs Original Score for Nosferatu at SF's Presidio Officers' Club, 2/18

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 7, 2016 05:51pm | Post a Comment

Jill Tracy's Nosferatu

San Francisco-based singer, pianist, storyteller, and one-time featured Amoeba Music Homegrown Artist Jill Tracy at Amoeba San Francisco, 2010Jill Tracy brings her mesmerizing score for F.W. Murnau's silent German Expressionist classic Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horrors back to San Francisco with a live performance at the Presidio Officers' Club on February 18th. As part of the venue's Presidio Dialogues series, Jill Tracy will perform the score live with The Malcontent Orchestra during the screening of the haunting 1922 vampire masterpiece, preceded by a short musical set.

Murnau’s Nosferatu was the first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, but it was unfortunately also unauthorized. The Stoker estate sued for copyright infringement and won, thus ordering for the incineration of all existing prints. Luckily for film history and fans of vampires everywhere, a few copies had already been distributed worldwide.

There is no other composer and performer better suited to musically evoke the eerie sensuality of Nosferatu than Jill Tracy. This event is one night only, FREE, and seats are limited, so make your reservations now HERE!

SF Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents, December 5

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 18, 2015 06:19pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Day of Silents

Douglas Fairbanks, Anna May Wong, Harry Houdini, Shanghai, London, Paris…the world is your oyster at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents on Saturday, December 5, at the Castro Theatre. This very special day of silent-era movies will be accompanied by live music from Alloy Orchestra (featuring Roger Miller of Mission to Burma) and Donald Sosin.

Check out this action-packed schedule:

11:00am - THE BLACK PIRATE (1926, USA, Directed by Albert Parker, Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Billie The Black PirateDove, Tempe Pigott, Donald Crisp. 84 min)
The Black Pirate stars the dashing Douglas Fairbanks, full of bravura and charm. The film’s spectacular feats of derring-do include exciting swordplay and breathtaking underwater choreography—all in dazzling two-color Technicolor. Fairbanks plays a nobleman who takes the identity of a pirate to infiltrate and take revenge on the cutthroats responsible for his father’s death. The Black Pirate is not the first pirate story put on film, but probably the most influential.

1:00pm - AROUND CHINA WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (Filmed 1900–1948, compiled in 2015. 68 min)
Take a trip as far back as the days of the late Qing dynasty in Imperial China with this program of rarely-seen films, travelogues, and newsreels. See bustling and cosmopolitan Shanghai in 1900, visit Imperial Beijing in 1910, and cruise the picturesque canals of Hangzhou in 1925 on this odyssey of the remarkable and the everyday. Recently compiled from the collections of the BFI National Archive, the footage was shot by a diverse group of British and French filmmakers—some professionals, but mostly amateurs, including tourists, expatriates, and missionaries.

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San Francisco Silent Film Festival 20th Anniversary, May 28 - June 1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 18, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with the most ambitious festival to date. Join them May 28th - June 1 at the historic Castro Theatre for more musicians and films than ever, and even an extra day!

During the five glorious days of silent-era films and brilliant live music, there will be 21 programs in all, including film historian Kevin Brownlow sharing tales of his personal experiences with personalities from the silent film era, actor Paul McGann narrating the British horror-comedy The Ghost Train, a special movie-and-live-dialogue performance of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair, a program of hilarious Charley Bowers shorts hosted by inimitable showman/preservationist Serge Bromberg, the premiere of a new score for Murnau's The Last Laugh by Berklee College of Music’s Silent Film Orchestra, and Bay Area’s Earplay performing a new composition for Man Ray’s Emak-Bakia.

See the full line-up and get your tickets HERE!

San Francisco Silent Film Festival, May 29 - June 1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 12, 2014 07:25pm | Post a Comment

The 19th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival returns to the glorious Castro Theatre from May 29–June 1. The festival includes 17 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, especially since all films are accompanied by live music! Tickets are on sale now.

Check out some of the highlights:

OPENING NIGHT: THE FOUR HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE (USA, 1921)
The film that made Rudolph Valentino a star and brought director Rex Ingram to prominence, Four Horsemen is one of the greatest of the Great War chronicles. Valentino brought a new kind of leading man to the screen in the role of Julio Desnoyers: the Latin lover. Desnoyers is the favorite grandson of a wealthy Argentinean rancher, who spoils the boy. After his grandfather’s death, Julio moves to France, falls in love with a married woman (Alice Terry) and is finally shamed into joining the army. Based on the best-selling novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez and adapted for screen by June Mathis, Four Horsemen was among the biggest box office hits of the silent era, premiering in March 1921 to great critical acclaim. The film was re-released in a shortened version in 1926, the year Valentino died, and was seen in that truncated form until Kevin Brownlow and David Gill undertook a restoration in the early 1990s. Brownlow and Gill returned the film to its original length with its original color tints, as well as restoring the famous tango to its scintillating splendor. SF Silent’s presentation commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War I, as well as the 25th anniversary of the accompanying ensemble—who started life as a Ragtime and Tango Orchestra. Musical accompaniment by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (9:15 p.m., Thursday May 29)

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