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Sunday, June 08, 2008

San Francisco 13th Silent Film Festival

July 11-13, 2008
San Francisco

Press Release of Event
Stolen Moments interview with Stephen Salmons

SAN FRANCISCO − Tickets are on sale now for The 13th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival, scheduled for July 11-13 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. “This is our most ambitious festival yet,” announced Artistic Director Stephen Salmons.

“We’ll present 12 programs, all with live music, in the space of 30 hours – it’s an all-out silent film marathon, designed to showcase the astonishing breadth and depth of the silent era.”

“In regard to music, we’ll welcome back many of the performers who were a hit at the 2007 festival,” Salmons said.

“The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will accompany both the Opening Night presentation of Harold Lloyd’s 1927 comic masterpiece THE KID BROTHER, and the ethnographic drama THE SILENT ENEMY (1930), which is set in the time before Columbus and depicts the struggle of the Ojibway Indians to survive hunger.” Pianists Donald Sosin and Stephen Horne, who brought down the house at last year’s festival, will also return.

“Donald Sosin will accompany Carl Theodor Dreyer’s MIKAËL (1924), an emotionally charged drama considered to be a landmark in gay cinema, and Lotte Reiniger’s dazzling THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED (1926), not only the earliest surviving animated feature but the first made by a woman” Salmons reported. Stephen Horne will play for the gritty, humanistic THE SOUL OF YOUTH (1920), the bizarre Lon Chaney-Joan Crawford, THE UNKNOWN (1927) and the Japanese avant-garde tragedy JUJIRO (Crossways, 1928).

Also returning will be pianist Michael Mortilla to play for the fast-paced Colleen Moore comedy HER WILD OAT (1927), and Clark Wilson to make the Mighty Wurlitzer roar for the THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928), a macabre love story whose disfigured protagonist provided the visual inspiration for Batman’s arch-nemesis The Joker in the soon-to-be-released The Dark Knight. Wilson will also play for the uproarious Marion Davies comedy THE PATSY (1928) directed by King Vidor, which will close the festival.

Bay Area ensemble the Baguette Quartette, who specialize in Parisian dance hall music of the 1920s, will make their festival debut with comedy provocateur René Clair’s LES DEUX TIMIDES (Two Timid Souls, 1928). “The combination of Clair’s innovative visual comedy and Baguette Quartette’s high-energy tangos and fox trots is a match made in heaven,” Salmons said.

The festival will also present the third edition of its free-admission spotlight on film preservation, AMAZING TALES FROM THE ARCHIVES, and, throughout the weekend, screen shorts preserved by students of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation through the Haghefilm Conservation Fellowship.

Titles include: LES FROMAGES AUTOMOBILES (The Skipping Cheeses, 1907) by George Méliès; an expedition to the Swiss Alps in LOST- A YODEL (1920); and detective Nick Carter solving the mystery of THE LAST CALL (1922).

“We’re delighted to present these rare shorts, saved from extinction by students of the Selznick School, as part of our ongoing effort to promote the importance of preserving world film heritage,” Salmons said. Last year’s popular raffle will once again occur at select programs throughout the festival weekend, culminating in a Grand Prize $5,000 Shopping Spree at San Francisco’s own McRoskey Mattress Company.

For complete program information and to buy tickets, go to the newly revamped festival website at www.silentfilm.org.

June 9, 2008- More information listen to the latest Stolen Moments: Stolen Moments - Donna Hill's San Francisco Silent Film Festival interview with Stephen Salmons.

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