If you have not decided what to do with your loved one this weekend, how about a silent film? The Silent Winter Valentine's Day program is this Saturday. Nothing says romance like cuddling up for a good movie, or several good movies.
The all day festival will kick off at 10 a.m. with a showing of 'Snow White' at the Castro Theatre. Anita Monga, program director, explains why the Castro Theatre is a natural fit for the festival, 'The Castro was built in the silent era in 1922...It has 1,400 seats and it has the kind of look of the era that's indigenous to the silent era film. It has a screen that does beautiful, full-frame silent format and it has a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.' Silent films are, of course, silent, but that doesn't mean you sit in silence as you watch the films. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ will accompany some of the films, while others are paired with live music, 'We bring in ensembles. The Castro also has brilliant acoustics for music. We bring in ensembles and piano. Every film we do, always, is accompanied live.'
After 'Snow White' the day will move on to three short films by Buster Keaton. If this is your first step into the silent film genre, Monga says this is a perfect introduction, 'If you are a new comer to silent film this is the place to start. Buster is unsurpassed, incredibly funny and really an amazing filmmaker.'
A fully restored version of 'The Thief of Bagdad' will be shown. Monga exclaims, 'People, now, will love it.' She goes on to explain the philosophy used when putting together the festival, 'We are not trying to do a, a kind of, historical representation of exactly how a silent film would be presented. We're doing something we call live cinema. Kevin Brownlow, the Academy award winning historian, Kevin Brownlow, called this presentation of silent film with live music accompaniment live cinema and that's what we're trying to do.'
Tickets for the all-day event can be purchased for one film, or for the entire day. If you are thinking of only picking up a single ticket, be warned, 'People come thinking they only want to see one and then they end up staying for the entire thing.'
To see all things Diane Davis follow her on Instagram@DSquaredPlus1
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