Friday, September 10, 2010
Australia's Silent Film Festival
Once again it's time to embrace the shhhh and brush up on the beginnings of cinema. Australia’s Silent Film Festival has arranged another stellar programme of pre-talkie classics, including Australia’s attempt at a Hollywood epic, For the Term of his Natural Life (1927). This is in fact the third adaptation of Marcus Clarke’s famous novel, which tells the tale of two look-alike men, one wrongfully accused for the other’s murder and sent to a treacherous penal colony on Van Dieman's Land.
It's also incredibly exciting to see Yasujiro Ozu’s Passing Fancy (Dekigokoro - 1933) on the programme. The master of construction and character, and the hugely influential director of such cinematic gems as Tokyo Story and Floating Weeds, Ozu was a comparatively late adopter of sound. As his 23rd silent film, Passing Fancy looks at the relationship between father and son with a lighter, more comedic touch than his later odes to family.
Other festival highlights include a Buster Keaton marathon, the groundbreaking piece of German expressionism The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and, from before there was Rob Marshall, Cecil B. DeMille’s Chicago (1927). The festival is also running a lecture on 1920s fashion as well as live music accompaniment and introductions for each screening.