In a few weeks, on Saturday, February 14, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival holds its winter event at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. The festival shows films from the silent era as they were meant to be seen, on the big screen in a beautiful vintage theater (the Castro was built in 1925) with live music accompaniment.
I began going to the festival only 4 years ago and I wish I knew about it earlier. This is the sixth winter event, and the summer festival in July started 16 years ago. I keep hearing about spectacular finds of lost silent films, and always look forward to the day I can see them at the festival. This year, the winter festival schedule includes some Charles Chaplin shorts and two feature films: L’Argent (1928) and La Boheme (1926). L’Argent, directed by Marcel L’Herbier, is adapted from an Emile Zola novel, runs 168 minutes, and concerns love and fraudulent business practices. La Boheme, directed by King Vidor, stars Lillian Gish and is a love story about a playwright (John Gilbert) and a seamstress (Gish). Edward Everette Horton plays a part in this 95 minute film.