Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coming Up: Silent Film Festival

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has a something-for-everyone program coming up on Valentine's Day at the Castro Theatre. Because of the venue, the audiences & the quality of the films, these are some of the best movie events in the City. I'd like to see all 4 movies, but I have the stamina for only 2 at the most.

It's often more efficient to use the Internet, but this afternoon I bought my tickets at the festival's scrappy little box office on Market Street. I was puzzled about the festival's use of live musical accompaniment for Sunrise, since I know that this movie already has a great soundtrack. As if on cue, Stephen Salmons, the festival's artistic director, appeared from behind a screen, & I had a fascinating discussion with him about silent film music. In the case of Sunrise, it was originally also distributed in a silent version for theaters that were not yet capable of sound. So it is entirely true to the original experience to have someone play an original score to go with it, as Dennis James will most likely do.

If you've never heard Salmons talk before, you should know that he is an awesome speaker & a passionate film geek. It was pretty cool having this chance encounter with him. Sometimes you learn more by not using the Web.

No comments: