SF Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents, December 3

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 14, 2016 04:49pm | Post a Comment

SF Silent Film Festival Day of Silents

Launch into the holiday season with San Francisco Silent Film Festival's event A Day of Silents on Saturday, December 3rd at the glorious Castro Theatre. In one epic day, the SFSFF offers six amazing programs with live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra and Donald Sosin!

The silent hits just keep coming as the day kicks off at 10am with a program of Charlie Chaplin shorts Charlie Chaplinmade with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in 1915. Then at 12:15pm, Ernst Lubitsch’s 1926 comedy So This Is Paris roars across the screen to live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin. Sergei Eisenstein’s first full-length feature, Strike (1925), screens at 2:15pm with Alloy Orchestra providing powerful musical accompaniment. At 4:45pm, catch Different From the Others (1919), possibly the oldest surviving film with a homosexual protagonist, which has been restored by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Josef von Sternberg’s The Last Command (1928), about an exiled Russian general who "goes Hollywood," plays at 7pm with music by Alloy Orchestra. The last film of the night brings Gloria Swanson to the screen for Sadie Thompson, the 1928 drama about a San Franciscan prostitute on the island of Pago Pago, at 9:15pm.

See the expanded schedule below, visit for more information, and get your tickets HERE!

Restoration by the Chaplin Project (led by Lobster Films and Cineteca di Bologna
Saturday, December 3 | 10:00am
Live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin
Charlie Chaplin signed with Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in late 1914 after making a name for himself at Keystone. It was at Essanay that Chaplin was able to develop as a filmmaker—where he became truly “Chaplinesque.” SFSFF’s program features three short films that chart this development, all from 1915. His New Job is Chaplin’s first title at Essanay and it has the Tramp working behind the scenes at a film studio. In The Champion, the Tramp wins a championship fight with the help of his pet bulldog. Chaplin plays dual roles in the hilarious A Night In The Show—as Mr. Pest in the orchestra seats and Mr. Rowdy in the peanut gallery.

Restoration by the Library of Congress
Saturday, December 3 | 12:15pm
Live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin
Ernst Lubitsch’s fabled “touch” is on full display in this Jazz Age gem as married couples (Monte Blue and Patsy Ruth Miller, Lilyan Tashman and George Beranger) find their attentions straying to the opposite’s spouse. The ecstatic Charleston dance number is justly famous, with its swirling camera and dizzying optics adding to the film’s feeling of seductive intoxication.

Saturday, December 3 | 2:15pm
Live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra
Legendary director Sergei Eisenstein’s first full-length feature, Strike tells the story of a massive factory uprising in six powerful episodes. Cinematographer Eduard Tisse’s brilliant camerawork gives a semi-documentary feel to the striking workers and their suppression by the czarist factory owners and police. Set in pre-revolutionary Russia, Eisenstein’s dazzling montage is a riveting display of revolutionary filmmaking that changed the face of cinema forever.

Restoration by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project
Saturday, December 3 | 4:45pm
Live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin
Thought to be the oldest surviving film with a homosexual protagonist, Different from the Others was Different From The Othersrecently restored by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Directed by Richard Oswald and co-written by famed psychologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, the film tells a devastating story of queer life under Paragraph 175, the 1871 German law criminalizing homosexuality. Young virtuoso Kurt Sivers (Fritz Schulz) approaches acclaimed violinist Paul Körner (Conrad Veidt) with the hope of becoming his student in early-1900s Germany. Paul agrees to take Kurt under his tutelage, which quickly blossoms into affection, but their relationship is thwarted when a blackmailer threatens to reveal Körner’s homosexuality. Different From the Others will be preceded by preserved newsreels from UCLA, Flashes of the Past: A review of historic events from 1910-1925 / Pathé Exchange, Inc.

Saturday, December 3 | 7:00pm
Live musical accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra
Emil Jannings won the first-ever Best Actor Oscar for his nuanced portrayal of an exiled Russian general turned Hollywood extra. Movie director Lev Andreyev (William Powell), a former Russian revolutionary, is making a Hollywood epic about the Russian revolution when he recognizes his czarist foe—now going by the name Grand Duke Sergius Alexander—in a book of headshots and casts the destitute extra as a general in his movie. Josef von Sternberg’s stunningly photographed The Last Command displays an insider’s look at life and work in Hollywood. Author Anton Kaes wrote that the “underlying project” of the movie was “to probe the magic and mystery—and perils—of double identities inherent in the very nature of film acting.” With Evelyn Brent.

Saturday, December 3 | 9:15pm
Live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin
This first version of Somerset Maugham’s novel Rain stars Gloria Swanson as San Francisco Sadie Thompsonprostitute Sadie Thompson who’s waylaid on the remote tropical island Pago Pago with a sexy sergeant (Raoul Walsh) and a crusading moralist (Lionel Barrymore). The film project was beset by problems from the beginning—the censors were dubious and the studios were reluctant. It was Swanson’s perseverance that won the day. She negotiated with the censors, put up $200,000 of her own money, and handpicked the cast. The film marks Swanson’s greatest performance, and happily for all, it was an enormous success at the box office. Sadly, the last reel of the film is missing. The search is on, but in the meantime the film’s end has been reconstructed with production stills and footage from a 1932 adaptation. Thanks to Dennis Doros who reconstructed the missing reel and Kino Lorber who funded the reconstruction.

Relevant Tags

Donald Sosin (2), Sergei Eisenstein (4), San Francisco Silent Film Festival (5), Film (146), Silent Film (27), San Francisco (300), Alloy Orchestra (2), Gloria Swanson (2), Magnus Hirschfeld (1), Josef Von Sternberg (1), Richard Oswald (1), Ernst Lubitsch (2), Charlie Chaplin (3)