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San Francisco Silent Film Festival

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Silent Discoveries In San Francisco

    Watching movies from the silent era is a participatory experience, a fact driven home this past weekend at the 19th annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival. (Douglas Fairbanks in The Good Bad Man)

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Silents Soar In San Francisco

    How many times can I learn the same lesson? I was going to skip a Sunday morning showing of Douglas Fairbanks’ 'The Mark of Zorro' at this year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival. After all, I know the movie by heart; I owned an 8mm print of it when I was a kid. But my wife and I arrived at the Ca...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Napoleon, Triumphant

    “Thrilling” is the only word to describe the experience of watching Abel Gance’s 5½ hour epic 'Napoleon', at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California this weekend, accompanied by Carl Davis and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. There are two more performances next weekend, and if you don’t make an...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Here Comes Napoleon!

    The San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s landmark screening of Abel Gance’s epic Napoleon with Carl Davis conducting a live orchestra is less than three weeks away. You don’t want to kick yourself afterwards for missing out on this experience: Kevin Brownlow’s 5½ hour ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Alexander Payne, Silent Film Aficionado

    Alexander Payne is once again an Oscar-nominated director, for his wonderful film 'The Descendants' (still my favorite picture of 2011), but you may not be aware that his love of cinema runs deep. When he agreed to introduce Lon Chaney in 'He Who Gets Slapped' at last year’s San Francisco Silent Fil...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Silent Films Soar In San Francisco

    Rare films from around the globe, featuring everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Walt Disney’s earliest animated characters, marked the 16th annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival this past weekend…along with the announcement of the Festival’s plans to screen Abel Gance&rs...

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    Silent Films Live Again!

    To celebrate the 15th year of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, its directors decided to extend the event by an extra day, kicking off Thursday night and screening all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The results were exhausting but exhilarating. As in years past, near-capacity crowds turn...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Stepping Into The Past

    As long as I’ve been attending the San Francisco Silent Film Festival I’ve been promising myself to visit the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum...and this year I finally got there. It’s an easy drive over the Bay Bridge to Fremont, California and the charming village of Niles, which looks much as it did when G.M. “Bronco Billy” Anderson discovered it in the teens and decided to build a studio there. Dedicated volunteers have restored the theater on Niles Boulevard that once showed silent films and turned it into a wonderful museum, filled with evocative memorabilia and early filmmaking equipment. It’s als...

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