Pordenone, Italy – The eagerly awaited Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (Pordenone Silent Film Festival), Edition 32, begins this week. Some standout films from the first 2 days include “Lucrezia Borgia,” a 1922 German epic starring Conrad Veidt and directed by Richard Oswald, and “Beggars of Life,” a classic road picture directed by William A. Wellman and starring the luminous Louise Brooks. I loved the jazzy score performed by Günter Buchwald + Emsemble for Beggars of Life; it worked so well for the gritty dramatic aspects of Wellman’s film.
The venue, Teatro Verdi, is a terrific place to see a film, with comfortable seats and good viewing angles. I’ve been experiencing the scourge of the cell phone, which should be shut off prior to the film but come on at times during it. I see it much less later in the day, when the serious silent movie fans stay for the last show, which went until 1:15 AM this morning.