• Film

    Underworld (1927)

    The beast is sleeping. Passed out from too much booze and too good a time. The gangster’s ball is over, and all that is left is him passed out on a table, and his woman about to be assaulted by the man’s enemy. He is warned of the danger. Shook. He is still sleeping, or in a stupor. He slowly raises his eyes, aware of the danger, aware of the alcohol poisoning his system, aware that his body cannot move like it should. He is awakened, he screams. He grabs at himself, trying to force himself out of the chair. Staggering through a hallway filled with confetti up to his…

  • Film

    The Docks of New York

    The crowds are overflowing at the bar. They seem to be in a constant state of riot. Or is that dancing? Either way, the man pushes them aside, sometimes violently, without thought, as he approaches his date. She raises her head. Curious and kind of sad. The Docks of New York has little more plot than this. It’s the story of an uncertain one-day romance between a suicidal good time girl, and a brutish sailor who stopped her from drowning herself. It was by far my favorite film of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The way George Bancroft treads through the water-like flow of human bodies in the bar…