The 10th Anniversary San Francisco Silent Film Festival kicks off at the Castro Theatre on Friday, July 8 with a classic Harold Lloyd feature: 1926's For Heaven's Sake (8pm). Though Lloyd is still undervalued as a silent comedy star, and few of his films spark name recognition from the average film buff (Safety Last being the exception), Lloyd is about to receive a major reconsideration, courtesy of his granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd and the Harold Lloyd Trust. This year marked the 112th anniversary of Harold Lloyd's birth, and many of Lloyd's features are touring the country in a distribution deal with Sony Pictures, to be followed by New Line Home Video's rollout of Lloyd's output. Introduced by Suzanne Lloyd and accompanied by Chris Elliott on the Mighty Castro Wurlitzer, For Heaven's Sake promises hilarity as Harold tries to save a mission to win the heart of the missionary's daughter. Following the screening, Suzanne Lloyd will sign Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3-D, one of three books on her grandfather that Lloyd has overseen.
On Saturday, July 9, a full slate of silent film programs takes over the Castro, starting with Animation Rarities (11am), a 95-minute program accompanied on piano by Michael Mortilla and sponsored by Pixar. At 1:15pm, the festival screens the 1929 Brazilian romantic drama Sangue Mineiro, featuring a live performance of an original ensemble score by Mauro Correa (after the screening, Wendy Marshall will sign her book William Beaudine: From Silents to Television). 1925's Stage Struck follows at 3:20pm; it's a Gloria Swanson comedy with a two-strip Technicolor sequence. The program includes a complete silent newsreel and Mortilla's piano accompaniment. Saturday comes to a close with King Vidor's legendary 1925 epic The Big Parade, with Elliott's Wurlitzer accompaniment and an introduction by Belinda Vidor and Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, daughter of star John Gilbert (after the screening, Leatrice Fountain will sign her book Dark Star: The Untold Story of the Meteoric Rise and Fall of Legendary Silent Screen Star John Gilbert).
Sunday, July 10 at 11am, 1928's circus drama The Sideshow returns to the screen. Gary Graver, best-known as Orson Welles's latter-day cameraman, introduces the film to share his thoughts about his friend Little Billy Rhodes, the film's star. Live piano accompaniment by Jon Mirsalis. Indian epic Prem Sanyas (The Light of Asia) (1:30pm) will be accompanied by Ben Kunin on sarode and Debopriyo Sarkar on tabla (after the screening, John Wranovics will sign his book Chaplin and Agee: The Untold Story of the Tramp, the Writer, and the Lost Screenplay). Silent starlet Lillian Gish headlines the Hawthorne adaptation The Scarlet Letter (1926), playing at 4pm and accompanied by bonus newsreel footage of Erich von Stroheim filming Greed in Death Valley, as well as Clark Wilson on the Wurlitzer (after the screening, Anthony Slide will sign his book Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses). The festival draws to a close with the 8pm screening of 1927's It, starring silent sex symbol Clara Bow. It's back by popular demand, and so is Clark Wilson on the Wurlitzer (the program also includes the 1925 short "Gus Visser and His Singing Duck."
For complete information about The San Francisco Silent Film Festival or to order tickets, visit www.silentfilm.org.