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Monday, July 16, 2007

Time Travel

This weekend was the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, at the historic Castro Theatre. I managed to get over there for some part of each day of the festival, and the films were charming, glorious entertainment. I am already looking forward to next year's festival.

The highlight (for me) was the Ernst Lubitsch film, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg. This lovely fairy tale brought a smile (and a sniffle) to everyone in the audience.

If this is the only silent movie you ever saw in your life, you would be very lucky indeed. The crisp print of the film was exquisite, and you couldn't help but fall in love with both Norma Shearer and Ramon Novarro. My only other experience with watching Shearer was in The Women (which, to be honest, I find to be an extremely annoying movie) but I could see here immediately the charisma and talent that made Norma Shearer the star that she later became.

And "the Lubitsch touch"... makes his movies worth watching over and over again. If he was Billy Wilder's favorite director...well, what more can be said?