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San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Joy to the World!

George Heymont | Posted 06.03.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

What if you want something more substantial than a glorified commercial to tickle your fancy? What if you're craving something more satisfying than a severely overpriced bucket of popcorn?

Charlie Chaplin and All That Jazz

George Heymont | Posted 04.20.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

While Charlie Chaplin is adored as a Hollywood screen legend, few people know that he composed the soundtracks for most of his films. Although he could not read music, in his youth Chaplin taught himself how to play piano, violin, and cello by ear. Once he became a millionaire, Chaplin had a pipe organ installed in his home in Beverly Hills.

Your Cheatin' Heart

George Heymont | Posted 02.03.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Some men are luckier in life than in love. Whether they become top athletes, matinee idols, or wartime heroes, their trust in the goodness of people makes them loyal to a fault.

Girls Gone Wild

George Heymont | Posted 11.07.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

Bad behavior fueled by a toxic combination of narcissism, neediness, and alcoholism lie at the core of Halley Feiffer and Ryan Spahn's new movie, He's Way More Famous Than You.

San Francisco Silent Film Fest Leaves You Spellbound in Darkness

Thomas Gladysz | Posted 09.14.2013 | San Francisco
Thomas Gladysz

Silent films can transport us back in time. Movies from the early years of the 20th century are filled with details which reveals the way people used to live, work, think, fall in love, solve problems, act silly, and get by on a daily basis.

What Doesn't Kill You Can Only Make You Stronger

George Heymont | Posted 07.20.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

With nice supporting work from Mitchell Lewis and Gustav von Seyffertitz (I just love the sound of that man's name!), The Docks of New York proved to be a highly atmospheric surprise.

Revisiting the Classics

George Heymont | Posted 06.16.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival recently offered audiences a chance to wonder just how well they knew two classic tales which, over the years, have acquired so many cultural imprints and branding opportunities that people assume they know these stories upside down and inside out.

Old School Hollywood Royalty

George Heymont | Posted 05.23.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

Once upon a time, Hollywood stars were worshipped like gods and goddesses. No photographers were trying to snap pants-less crotch shots as someone stepped from a car. Nor were they terrorizing people in traffic and threatening the lives of innocent bystanders with their self-aggrandizing stunts.

Hearts of Darkness

George Heymont | Posted 03.08.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

The opportunity to experience works like Woyzeck, The Threepenny Opera, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and The Beggar's Opera in an extremely intimate theatre like the 100-seat Ashby Stage make them far more gritty and accessible.

The Rich Live Different Lives From the Rest of Us

George Heymont | Posted 11.10.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

Starring Freida Pinto as a poor, young Indian woman working at a hotel whose physical beauty catches the eye of the spoiled, wealthy son of an Indian businessman, Trishna rests on a painful foundation of rigid caste distinctions, male privilege, and the limited opportunities.

The More They Rehearse, the Better They Fall

George Heymont | Posted 10.08.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

Most creative talents have a professional bag of tricks they like to employ in the course of creating art. From alliteration to asymmetry, from pointilism to pizzicato, these gimmicks help startle an audience and add to an artist's personal style.

Good Things Come In Silent Packages

Posted 09.11.2012 | San Francisco

By Thomas Gladysz The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has more going for it than you might realize. Sure, they're showing 15 features and a ...

The "It" Girl, Clara Bow: A Featured Star at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 12-15

Sean Martinfield | Posted 09.09.2012 | Home
Sean Martinfield

No one needs to be versed in the social mores of the 1920s to appreciate Mantrap. So what if you're too young to understand the culture shock of women's hemlines being raised from their shoe tops to above the knees?

Silent Movies -- When the Stars Were Intriguing

Mark Juddery | Posted 09.08.2012 | Entertainment
Mark Juddery

You've probably heard old-timers talk about how movie stars aren't as good as they used to be. This is a little unfair -- plenty of fine actors are working in the movies -- but in one respect, the new stars really aren't a patch on the stars of yore.

What and Who (as in Doctor) Not to Miss at This Year's Silent Film Fest

Thomas Gladysz | Posted 07.05.2012 | Entertainment
Thomas Gladysz

Festival regular Leonard Maltin says, "The San Francisco Silent Film Festival is in a class by itself." And it's true. Here are 10 things not to miss at this year's event, which is set to start in in a little more than a week.

Silent Film Festival Announces 2012 Line-up

Thomas Gladysz | Posted 07.15.2012 | San Francisco
Thomas Gladysz

Here is the line-up for the 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which is set to take place July 12-15. Many of the prints set to be screened are restorations. All programs feature live musical accompaniment.

The Battle Hymns of the Republic

George Heymont | Posted 06.02.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

During the final 20 minutes of silent film Napoleon, theatre's organ joined forces with the Oakland East Bay Symphony to acoustically anchor an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Napoleon: A Lost Masterpiece Returns

Thomas Gladysz | Posted 04.14.2012 | Home
Thomas Gladysz

If you love silent film, or if you love the movies in general, and if you are not yet convinced that you need to see this rarely screened masterpiece, here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't miss Napoleon.

11 Cultural Highs From San Francisco's 2011 Arts Calendar

George Heymont | Posted 02.25.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

The San Francisco Bay area has such a vibrant arts community that prioritizing events can become a mind-numbing exercise. Here is a slideshow of the 11 most thrilling events I attended in 2011.

Stars of a Golden Age

George Heymont | Posted 02.04.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

In many ways, The Artist resembles A Star Is Born. One film star's career begins to crash and burn while another's takes wing against a background of tremendous churn in the film industry.

Second Chances, Unexpected Outcomes

George Heymont | Posted 01.07.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

Originally intended as a military propaganda film, The Nail in the Boot's basic message is that sloppy workers are capable of sabotaging a country's national defense. Where have similar issues appeared in the news?

Rolling Down a River, Drowning in Denial

George Heymont | Posted 12.13.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

The cost of maintaining a family secret often turns out to be far more dramatic than previously imagined. This summer, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival screened two classics that showed the devastating effect such secrets can have on a family.

Frozen in Time

George Heymont | Posted 09.28.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

How do we honor the dead artistically? In some cases, we commission artists and architects to erect monuments to the memories of those we have lost.

The Silents Are Deafening

George Heymont | Posted 09.25.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

The parade of film festivals through San Francisco's arts calender offers a constant source of entertainment. But if I had to choose one, my favorite would undoubtedly be the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

The Unsung Athleticism of Charlie Chaplin

George Heymont | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

One of the joys of watching a great comic at work is his mastery of the material he has crafted for himself. Whether one is a performance artist or a stand-up comic, whether one is working with movement or text, a great performer's confidence in his craft allows him to take risks required by unexpected events and improvise when an opportunity suddenly presents itself.