The San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) presented a wonderful showing tonight of “Prix de Beauté,” a 1930 film starring Louise Brooks. This year’s summer festival will continue through Sunday, July 21, 2013. Besides the excellent movies presented at the first-rate Castro Theater in San Francisco, festival-goers are given a high-quality playbill that includes interesting articles about the movies shown, and profiles featured artists and musicians.
The informative slide show presented between movies on the Castro Theater screen provides additional information about the festival, films and general information. For instance, consider these rather exciting developments I learned about from the slide show:
- The 2014 SFSFF moves from its usual July scheduling to May next year. However, the festival won’t run during the Memorial Day Weekend. The SFSFF made the change to insure more availability of film prints, which are shared with other festivals (including Bologna’s July festival, Il Cinema Ritrovato). Film buffs who travel will also have a better chance to attend both festivals, with greater availability of hotel rooms in San Francisco.
- New footage of “The Blacksmith (1922)” — Film historian Fernando Peña, who helped discover additional footage from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” in Argentina in 2008, recently discovered half a reel of unseen footage from Buster Keaton’s short comedy film. I’m looking forward to seeing the new restoration of The Blacksmith on the Castro Theater screen at a future SFSFF.
After the showing of Prix de Beauté at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, a bus service transported opening night party guests to the premises of festival sponsor McRoskey Mattress Company, where a lively performance by “The Frisky Frolics” quartet included a variety of tin-pan-alley era classics.