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 Life (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.

Among many other festival highlights is Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates (1920), the oldest surviving Within Our Gatesfilm made by an African-American director, which serves as an intrepid rebuttal not only to D.W. Griffith’s racist epic The Birth of a Nation (1915) but also a history lesson to white America shocked by the 1919 riots. It portrays the early years of Jim Crow, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Great Migration in the story of a young African-American woman who goes north to try to raise money for a poor, rural school in the Deep South. This Saturday, June 4th screening features live musical accompaniment by the Oakland Symphony musicians and members of the Oakland Symphony Chorus, conducted by Michael Morgan.


To see the full schedule and purchase tickets, please visit the SFSFF ticketing page HERE!

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San Francisco Silent Film Festival (9), Sfsff (6), Silent Film (33), Film (202), Castro Theatre (28), San Francisco (388), Louise Brooks (4), Michael Moran (1), Leonard Maltin (1), Illeana Douglas (2)