• Film

    The Spanish Dancer

    The Spanish Dancer is a 1923 film starring Pola Negri, Anthony Moreno and Wallace Beery. It only existed in fragmented form until a reconstruction in 2011 brought together several disperate, and sometimes unknown segments. It showed up at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival as part of its roadshow. The movie can be extremely funny at times, particularly Moreno’s execution scene, where everyone is drunk and hilarity ensues. But the more impressive parts were the larger set pieces involving Negri. The way Negri commands her companions to dance with a wave of her arm while she tells Moreno’s fortune, or how she runs through the crowds at carnivale escaping Beery’s…

  • Events,  Film

    17th San Francisco Silent Film Festival

    I spent the end of the week at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which is, as far as I understand it, the largest silent movie event in the United States. The program covered four days, and I ended up seeing eleven movies, one lecture, and a number of Felix the cat cartoons. The festival does a remarkable job of both brining in the best possible accompaniment, and keeping the audience up to date on the latest news in what is actually a full blown industry attempting to keep silent movies alive. And with that came both good news and bad news. ┬áThe opening night movie was the recent $700,000…