Archive for the ‘film festival’ category
Next year, an entirely new kind of silent film festival is coming to Hollywood. The Laugh and Live Film Festival, presented by Los Angeles-based film historian Sparrow Morgan, will be the first festival of its kind: focusing on reviving, not just interest in silent film, but the very medium of silent film itself.
The Pictorial is, quite frankly, STOKED.
Sparrow Morgan is a Los Angeles-based film historian who has founded the festival in honor of Douglas Fairbanks Sr.– a man who was an early champion of the medium of film itself, as a founding member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding faculty member of the UCLA film school. It is a fitting full-circle tribute, naming a festival dedicated to the revitalization of silent film in honor of a man so vital to the medium itself. Morgan is also responsible for founding of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Fairbanks Memorial: a yearly celebration of silent film and the history of Hollywood, taking place on the Fairbanks Lawn at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, coinciding with the birthday of Douglas Fairbanks Sr, on May 23.
The festival’s first press release was recently released and it is with the highest of excitement that we post it here:
Los Angeles based film historian Sparrow Morgan is proud to
announce The Laugh and Live Festival, the first and only event showcasing contemporary silent films.
Scheduled for May 2012, time, date, and details on speci!c events will be forthcoming.
Founded in honor of Douglas Fairbanks Sr, for whose charming book of advice the festival is named, The Laugh and Live Festival aims to increase the participants’ and audience’s understanding and appreciation of
silent film not only as an historical art form, but challenges them to consider silent film as a viable modern format.
“Interest in silent film has been increasing in recent years, but most of the viewing public still consider it an acquired taste, something one needs a film degree to understand, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Morgan. “Silent film, especially the early one-reel nickelodeon serials, were made with the express purpose of entertaining a wide audience. It was all about the action, the drama, and the excitement, not unlike modern day soap operas. The art came later.”
It is in this spirit that The Laugh and Live Festival will be offering a lecture track devoted to the entertainment and enrichment of the general public, as well as workshops and lectures for aspiring filmmakers hosted by historians and filmmakers alike.
The crown jewel of the Laugh and Live Festival will be its screenings of contemporary short-format silent films by student and non-professional filmmakers.
A gorgeous print of Elia Kazan’s 1960 drama Wild River, restored by The Film Foundation with the help of Fox and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, screened at tonight’s TCM Fest to an audience that, largely, had never seen the film before.
Yours truly included.
Curtis Hanson, director of LA Confidential and Wonder Boys, and a member of the Film Foundation’s board of directors, introduced the new print with pride and it soon became all too apparent why he was so excited to have the privilege. A Kazan film is always good, but Wild River was simply superlative and held it’s audience relentlessly captive. A quieter film than Streetcar, a more genteel film than Waterfront and lacking the ATTENTION WORLD, THIS IS A MESSAGE FILM banner of, say, A Face in the Crowd … Wild River is still nothing if not a masterpiece. White knuckled suspense, searing drama, steamy romance and a bold social statment manage to weigh in beautiful balance under Kazan’s eye. I am resisting the urge to fall into an analytical gush-fest…suffice to say, thank GOD the Foundation restored this exceptional and criminally overlooked film.
And then what do I do? I turn right around and indulge in one of the most famous examples of Hollywood escapism ever filmed: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Top Hat. Robert Osborn introduced the beloved 1935 musical, Fred and Ginger’s most popular, and told the audience that of all the films being shown at the festival this is one of the ones he would choose to see.
And he’s right. Fred and Ginger weren’t made for the constraints of a TV screen. Up on the big screen, their decadent world simply shimmers. And oh, those splashy musical numbers and, most important of all, Fred’s feet!! The audience was in a near-constant fit of laugher, proving that even after 75 years, Hollywood’s depression-era escapism still is an effective panacea.
And I wonder … how much of it has to do with the timelessness of the material, and how much of it has to do with the fact the unstable world we live in is as hard pressed for audiences today as it was for audiences then … maybe it’s both.
To any and all interested in attending the upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival here in Hollywood, consider this your gentle reminder that the event kicks off in exactly 7 days. Passes are extortionately high priced, but you will be able obtain single tickets to individual screenings at the box office. $20 is still high for one ticket, but if it means admission to the newly restored version of Metropolis with live music from the Alloy Orchestra at Grauman’s Chinese?
Just might be worth it.
The official screening schedule has been released and hopefully some of you Pictorial readers will be present—we’ll be there and how!
On November 12, The Jules Verne Film Festival will present a special 40th Anniversary screening of Sam Peckinpah’s classic 1969 Western The Wild Bunch.
The event, to be held at the beautiful Million Dollar Theatre in the historic Broadway district of Downtown Los Angeles, will feature a special homage to the surviving principle leads—including the legendary Ernest Borgnine— who will be on hand to receive the “Jules Verne Lengendaire Award.”
The Jules Verne Festival is such a great, unique event, so why not spend an evening with a classic film, some silver screen legends and, in doing so, demonstrate your support for the preservation of film as well as Los Angeles’ architectural heritage! This one is a no-brainer.
Tickets are only $15 and proceeds go to the JVA Nature & Education Program. For more information and full lineup, visit the Jules Verne festival website