Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hitchcock's Silent Films

One of the reasons I'm pretty fond of The Boyfriend (TB) is that he not only likes classic movies but silents, as well. Not to the extent I am, but he's been open to seeing (and learning) more, which is pretty rare.

One morning while watching The Lady Vanishes, I casually mentioned that Hitchcock got his start during the silent era, which came as a total surprise to TB. After looking through Netflix and Apple TV, we (and I don't know why I was surprised by this, but there you are) found most of Hitch's silents on YouTube, and watched The Lodger (now I understand the fuss over Ivor Novello!) and The Pleasure Garden.

The Lodger? Good; you can see a lot of the elements that Hitchcock would refine into his signature artistry.
The Pleasure Garden? I was shocked it was only an hour - it felt longer.

I bring all this up because during the course of our research (TB is big on The Google) we discovered that the British Film Industry has recently restored Hitchcock's 9 surviving silent films and they will be touring the U.S.!

A US national tour of Alfred Hitchcock’s nine earliest surviving works, all newly restored by the BFI, will roll out with screenings presented by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (Castro Theatre, 14-16 June); BAMcinématek (29 June – 5 July, kicking off at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Steinberg Screen in the Harvey Theater); and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (kicking off at the Academy’s Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles; date to be announced).

Even more exciting: The San Francisco and Brooklyn screenings will be accompanied by live performances!

Fortuitously, TB has business in New York that week so we will be attending the Brooklyn screenings (well, as many as we can).

The Brooklyn Academy of Music currently doesn't have information on their website, but I called and they recommended checking the first week of May.

I'll be sure to keep you posted, and write up a review upon our return!


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