• Film

    The Mark of Zorro

    Zorro needs no introduction. Though Douglas Fairbanks, the first Zorro, might. The Mark of Zorro was made in 1920, one year after the publication of The Curse of Capistrano, the original short story from which it was based. Douglas Fairbanks was at that time one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood. He made the move from Vaudeville to film in 1915, with a series of comedies that highlighted his acrobatics and athleticism. While his comedies stood out for his upbeat humor and unrestrained athleticism (he enjoyed jumping through windows), they were, in the end, fairly generic 1910s comedies.  It was only with the Mark of Zorro, and the series of…

  • 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.  The opening night movie was the recent $700,000…