San Francisco Silent Film Festival: Articles


'The Doll' Movie: Greedy & Gluttonous Church Officials + German Mary Pickford in Early Ernst Lubitsch Comedy

The Doll with Ossi Oswalda and Hermann Thimig. Early Ernst Lubitsch satirical fantasy starring “the German Mary Pickford” has similar premise to that of the 1925 Buster Keaton comedy Seven Chances. 'The Doll': San Francisco Silent Film Festival presented fast-paced Ernst Lubitsch comedy starring the German Mary Pickford – Ossi […]


'Amazing Tales from the Archives': SFSFF Remembers Pioneering Female Documentarian & World War I Era (!) Sound Films

“Amazing Tales from the Archives”: Pioneering female documentarian Aloha Wanderwell Baker remembered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival – along with the largely forgotten sound-on-cylinder technology and the Jean Desmet Collection. 'Amazing Tales from the Archives': San Francisco Silent Film Festival & the 'sound-on-cylinder' system Fans of the earliest […]


Women's Suffrage Movie: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family at SFSFF?

Women's suffrage movie Mothers of Men: Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Are females too emotional to be objective? Women's suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? […]


Sight and Sound: 'L'Inhumaine' Mixes Sci-Fi & Sex + Fernand Léger Sets

Sight and Sound: Directed by Marcel L'Herbier, L'Inhumaine features Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc in a great-looking (Fernand Léger sets) mix of science-fiction and sex melodrama. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': Sight and sound integration For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” […]


Rare African-American Film, Frank Capra 'Accidental Silent': San Francisco Silent Film Festival

African-American film 'Bert Williams: Lime Kiln Club Field Day' with Williams (in blackface) and Odessa Warren Grey: Early 20th century rarity.* Rare, early 20th-century African-American film among San Francisco Silent Film Festival highlights Directed by Edwin Middleton and T. Hayes Hunter, the Biograph Company's Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913) […]


'A Night at the Cinema in 1914': Charles Chaplin, Pearl White and The Great War

Charles Chaplin in 'A Film Johnnie' (1914). 'A Night at the Cinema in 1914': From The Great War to Charles Chaplin and Pearl White Imagine, if you will, that you can go back one hundred years in time, when people were enjoying a new and pervasive art form: motion pictures. […]


'Sherlock Holmes' Movie Found

Sherlock Holmes with William Gillette. 'Sherlock Holmes' movie found at Cinémathèque Française Sherlock Holmes, a long-thought-lost 1916 feature starring stage performer and playwright William Gillette in the title role, has been discovered in the vaults of the Cinémathèque Française. Directed by the all-but-forgotten Arthur Berthelet for the Chicago-based Essanay production […]


Sneeze Face, Cheese Mites and Techno Charles Chaplin: 'Amazing Tales'

Sneeze face, cheese mites, and techno Charles Chaplin: San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2014's 'Amazing Tales from the Archive's (image: Fred Ott's 'sneeze face' in the short film 'Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze') The “Amazing Tales from the Archives” presentations at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which […]


Gender Roles & Social Hypocrisy: 'The Girl in Tails'

Einar Axelsson and Magda Holm in 'The Girl in Tails' Gender roles & social hypocrisy in silent era effort 'The Girl in Tails' Poor Katja Kock (Magda Holm)! She spends most of her time serving others: sewing and mending for her brother (Erik Zetterström), humoring her grouchy father (Nils Aréhn), […]


'Midnight Madness' Movie Lacks Both 'Midnight' & 'Madness'

Midnight Madness with Clive Brook and Jacqueline Logan. 'Midnight Madness' movie lacks both 'midnight' & 'madness' Screened at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Midnight Madness has a very curious title: there is no “midnight” or “madness” to be found in the film. The story's original name, The Lion Trap, […]


'Song of the Fishermen': First Chinese Movie to Win International Award

'Song of the Fishermen': First Chinese movie to win international award depicts social inequalities in China during the Great Depression The story of Cai Chusheng's 1934 drama Song of the Fishermen / Yu Guang Qu, screened at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, begins in a small coastal village […]


Louise Brooks: San Francisco Silent Film Festival Kicks Off

Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté. Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté: 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival Louise Brooks will kick off the 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, the SFSFF will screen Augusto Genina's Prix de Beauté a.k.a. Beauty Prize at […]