TSFF Preview: The Italian Straw Hat (1927)

On April 2, Toronto Silent Film Festival presents a comedy of a different stripe with Rene Clair‘s The Italian Straw Hat. A comedy of manners rather than a slapstick, this French farce features a bride, a groom, an ill-mannered horse, a pretty young lady of questionable morals, and an angry hussar. Oh, and there’s also a wedding with all the attendant demanding and misguided family you might expect. Long story short, the horse eats a hat and Fadinard (Albert Prejean) has to delay his wedding to search for a replacement.

As with most comedy of manners, The Italian Straw Hat is kind of hard to describe. Farce depends on minutia, one tiny detail stacking atop another, until you have a veritable leaning tower of absurdity. Very fine farce adds up to a you-had-to-be-there situation, and The Italian Staw Hat is a very fine farce. It’s a light, effervescent sort of comedy and serves as an interesting counterpoint in this festival to the all-out slapstick of the American shorts program and the German-Expressionism-meets-Hollywood of the next night’s programming.

The French contribution to the silent film era is sophisticated and whimsical, and The Italian Straw Hat is a high point of France’s silent era offerings. Think of it as a nice palette cleanser and get over to Toronto Silent Film Festival to buy your tickets.

Screening Details:

The Italian Straw Hat

A co presentation with the Toronto Theatre Organ Society
Featuring Clark Wilson on the “Might Wurlitzer” Canada’s largest theatre organ
Monday April 2. 2012
Casa Loma 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto
8pm (doors open at 7:30pm)
Tickets $20.00


The Toronto Silent Film Festival Program

March 29 – Our Dancing Daughters

March 30 – Tabu: A Tale of the South Seas

March 31: Blood and Sand

April 1: 1000 LAFFS: Playmates

April 3: Variety

About prettycleverfilmgal

Social media consultant, blogger for hire, and lover of classic movies and silent films. I often watch, consider, and write about movies when I should really be doing other things.

Posted on March 22, 2012, in Genre, Silent Film and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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