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Victor Sjöström: Articles


Victor Sjöström: 'The Scarlet Letter' & 'Wild Strawberries' on TCM

Lillian Gish in Victor Sjöström's The Scarlet Letter Considering that religious puritans (and their politically correct cohorts) continue to plague the world at the beginning of the third millennium, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter remains as relevant today as when it was first published in 1850. This evening, Turner Classic Movies is presenting MGM's 1926 film version of Hawthorne's story about sex, love, and the evils of religious fanaticism and social intolerance. It's a must. One of the best silent films I've ever seen, The Scarlet Letter has Prestige written all over it. However, unlike so many prestige motion pictures that turn out to be monumental bores, this Scarlet Letter offers on screen everything most prestige movies only offer in […]


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Victor Sjöström: 'The Scarlet Letter' & 'Wild Strawberries' on TCM



'A Lady to Love': Early Edward G. Robinson Paired with Talking Hungarian Rhapsody Vilma Banky

Edward G. Robinson was only 37 years old when he gave this hammy, scene-stealing, over-the-top performance as Tony, a middle-aged Italian grape grower in Napa Valley, California, in Victor Sjöström's A Lady to Love. Robinson is loud, peripatetic, hyperkinetic, and his accent sometimes sounds a bit too much like Chico Marx's. But it all works. It's believable and true, even if not always sympathetic. When Tony notices a pretty blonde waitress, Lena (Vilma Banky), at a cafe, he sends her a letter of introduction. The picture he encloses, however, is that of his handsome best friend and ghost writer, Buck (Robert Ames), rather than his own uncomely visage. He ignores his friend's advice – “It's better to be honest than […]


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'A Lady to Love': Early Edward G. Robinson Paired with Talking Hungarian Rhapsody Vilma Banky



San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2009

The Fall of the House of Usher (top); John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman in Bardelys the Magnificent (middle); Douglas Fairbanks, Lupe Velez in The Gaucho (bottom) Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert, and Lillian Gish are only a few of the superstars to be found at the 14th San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which will take place July 10-12 at the Castro Theatre. Among those scheduled to provide musical accompaniment to the on-screen action are the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Philip Carli, Stephen Horne, Dennis James, and Donald Sosin. Among the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's highlights are: The Gaucho (1927), an adventure tale involving faith and redemption, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Lupe Velez in her first important film role. “A daring […]


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San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2009