|Betty Balfour in CHAMPAGNE.|
Believe it or not, before Hitchcock became the Master of Suspense, who made light hearted comedies. A lot of you out there may not have known this. I sure as heck didn't know this fascinating fact. And you know what, he was very good at this. Comedies are hard to do, but Hitchcock was able to make a film that made me laugh. Again, very interesting camera set ups and angles, plus a really neat shot of seeing Betty and Jean as seen through the bottom of a champagne glass!!
On the piano for the screening was the incredible Judith Rosenberg, who was making her SF Silent Film Fest debut! In case you forgot, Judith is one of the pianist that plays at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and I was so excited to see her performance! She just nailed it! She was fantastic!!
|Isabel Jeans (L) & Ivor Novello (R) in DOWNHILL.|
However, the film does have a happy ending, but only after we learn some very valuable lessons: never help your best friend out and never trust women because they will wreck you life! Sounds misogynistic, doesn't it? Well this is what I got out of this film as well as the previous one. Women had a rough time back then. Women having premarital sex and partying and having fun? Blasphemous!! FYI: the film's American alternative title was When Boys Leave Home.
Providing musical accompaniment was the amazing Stephen Horne, who played the grand piano, accordion, flute, and....to be honest I lost track on how many instruments he played! The man is literally a one man band!!
|Lilian Hall Davis (L) & Carl Brisson (R) in THE RING.|
Here we see Alfred Hitchcock making a film that is not the norm: a boxing film! So far I have seen a crime thriller, a comedy, a drama, and now a boxing film! This proves that he was more than capable of making specific genre pictures. Now what's really interesting is that each film showcased his use of experimentation with the camera and using his unique techniques towards storytelling. We will see the love triangle scenario come up again, but this is the only time we will see a boxing film! Another fun film fact: THE RING is Hitchcock's only original screenplay although he worked extensively alongside other writers throughout his career.
Once again the Mont Alto Orchestra provided the musical accompaniment, along with a Foley artist to provide the ringside bell sound. Everybody was amazing, as always!
|L-R: Carl Brisson, Anny Ondra, & Malcom Keen in THE MANXMAN.|
This was my favorite film of the day! It had it all: a great love triangle, forbidden love, lies, secrets, and betrayal! It contains all the hallmarks of a great Hitchcock film! Most of these themes would reappear in many other of Hitchcock's movies. But I think this is one of best and is largely overlooked. I hope all of his fans will rediscover this overlooked cinematic classic!
Stephen Horne once again provided the accompanied, and was just fantastic! Joining him was Diana Rowan on the Celtic harp. These two make beautiful music together!!
Day Two was just amazing!! Remember tickets for this event are still on sale now so buy them before they sells out! To purchase tickets, and to learn more about the SF Silent Film Festival, and how to become a member, visit their website at http://silentfilm.org.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!