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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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Celebrate 100 Years of Chaplin's Little Tramp with SF Silent Film Fest's Charlie Chaplin Centennial Celebration

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 16, 2013 06:17pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music is thrilled to join the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on January 11th at the Castro Charlie Chaplin The KidTheatre for a day-long centennial celebration of Charlie Chaplin's beloved "Little Tramp" character. Yes, 100 years ago the Little Tramp appeared in Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), the funniest of the Keystone films that set the stage for Chaplin’s ascendancy as a star. This "little fellow," as Chaplin called him, became an icon of world cinema and catapulted Chaplin to fame.

SFSFF's celebration will feature three programs of Chaplin's indelible contribution to cinema. Three comedy shorts from Chaplin's time at the Mutual Film Corporation - The Vagabond (1916), The Cure (1917), and Easy Street (1917) - start the day off, with piano accompaniment by John Mirsalis. Chaplin's first feature, The Kid (1921) will be preceded by the aforementioned Kid Auto Races at Venice and accompanied by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conducted by Timothy Brock. Preceding The Kid, compete in the Charlie Chaplin Look-Alike contest! Come dressed as the Little Tramp and win a prize! The Gold Rush (1925) will also be accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra conducted by Brock. Timothy Brock is an acclaimed composer/conductor specializing in concert works of the early 20th-centure and silent films. He restored Chaplin's original scores for The charlie chaplin shortsKid and The Gold Rush.

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Long Beach - The International City

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 29, 2011 01:36pm | Post a Comment

LONG BEACH

Long Beach aerial view


Long Beach
is the largest city in The Harbor region and the second largest in LA County. Its old nicknames, "Iowa by the Sea" and "Iowa under Palm Trees" came from the large numbers of white middlewesterners who moved there in the middle of the 20th century. Depending on opinions, it's also nicknamed "Wrong Beach" and "Strong Beach." A popular acronym for the city is "LBC," which originally stood for Long Beach Crips (as well as Luton Borough Council, Lakeside Bible Camp, Lymphoid Blastic Crisis, Linux Based Cluster, Loose Bladder Construction and many other things). Now, most people use it to mean "Long Beach City" or "Long Beach, Cali."

Long Beach Lighthouse
The lighthouse in the distance
 

To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here. To vote vote for Orange County neighborhoods and communities, vote here.

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Red Wing and Young Deer, the First Couple of Native American Silent Film

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 20, 2010 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Cast and Crew Members at Inceville in Santa Monica taking a break from filming to pose for a group photograph, circa 191
Cast and Crew Members at Inceville in Santa Monica, circa 1915

Before the emergence of Hollywood and the studio system, moviemaking was something of a free-for-all, open to anyone that could afford it. In the US, that privileged group was almost exclusively white and male. Roles for minorities were usually crudely stereotypical, minor, and liable to be played by a white actor in yellowface, brownface, blackface or redface. As a result, some minority figures attempted to start their own alternatives. In 1916, Oakland resident Marion Wong made the first example of Asian-American Cinema with The Curse of Quon Gwon. A few years later, Anna Mae Wong and Sessue Hayakawa began making films. In 1918, John Noble invented Black Cinema with Birth of a Race. He was soon joined in his endeavor by Oscar Mischeaux.

In the Land of the Head Hunters movie poster Nanook of the North Poster

True Native American cinema beat them both by almost a decade. The mainstream view of Natives at the time was generally less murderously hateful than those of contemporary Asians and blacks (or the Natives' ancestors). In fact, Natives were widely adored and fetishized, what Frank Chin would later term “love racism." Natives, regardless of reality, were reduced to mere metaphors and symbols… for stoicism, honor, strength, &c. Edward S. Curtis's 1914 In the Land of the Headhunters and Robert Flaherty's 1922 Nanook of the North have little to do with reality, but did reflect well-meaning white men’s attempts to portray their subjects with some respect, even if it meant they had to fictionalize and stage everything.

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Los Feliz - The Mideast Side's "Pill Hill"

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 16, 2010 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Pendersleigh & Sons Map of Los Feliz
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Los Feliz

Los Feliz is a neighborhood in Los Angeles' Mideast Side and Hollywood area, neighbored by Beachwood Canyon, Griffith Park, Atwater Village, Silver Lake, Franklin Hills, Sunset Junction, Little Armenia, Thai Town and Franklin Village. To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here.

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