Toronto Silent Film Festival Wraps Up

I will not be leaving my house tonight to sit in a theater and watch a silent movie while a pianist plays along. This is, sadly, an unfortunate state of affairs. But I did have the rare privilege of leaving my house every night for the past 6 NIGHTS to enjoy a silent movie, with an appreciative audience, and amazing live accompaniment thanks to the Toronto Silent Film Festival. How great is that? Indeed, we partied like it was 1926, or at least went to the movies like was 1926, and it was good.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Until next year at least. So please give a special thanks to organizer Shirley Hughes on Twitter and/or Facebook and party on in the 1926 of your mind!

Here are a few of my personal highlights from this year’s festival:

  • The actual gasp from about half the audience at the über tragic ending of Tabu. Silent film fans know you’ll never get a happy ending from a German filmmaker, and certainly never from F.W. Murnau. The silent film newbie tag-a-long I brought with me – well, her jaw actually dropped. Does this mean there were lots of noobs in the audience? I hope so.
  • Meeting the actual people behind many screen names, in particular my Twitter pal @missmccrocodile and her fab sister @caftanwoman. It turns out Twitter handles do have faces. @missmccrocodile told me her dad woke she and her siblings at midnight whenever a John Ford movie was on TV, prompting me to call my own father and ask why my film education was so neglected.
  • Seeing Lotte Reiniger’s Cinderella on a big screen with an audience. This was just a really special treat for me. I’ve long been a fan of Reiniger but have never had the opportunity to see a screening of any of her work. I mean, when does that happen? To observe an audience interacting with Cinderella adds a new dimension to my understanding of her work.
  • The amazing accompaniment from Bill O’Meara. All of the accompanists were amazing and talented, but Bill O’Meara’s play along for 1000 Laffs: Playmates was a revelation. He has a very special way of playing to the emotional reaction of the viewer, not just the action on-screen. If any doubt remained about the value of an accompanist, Bill O’Meara blew it out of the water.
  • The closing night film Variety. Emil Jannings, in spandex, on a trapeze. ‘Nuff said.
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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 April 4, 2012, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The 1000 Laffs at The Fox was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Chaplin, Laurel, Hardy, Keaton, Arbuckle, Langdon. Plus, it’s the first time I saw Larry Semon after years of reading about him. Ditto pretty clever film gal!

    Did my ears deceive me or did Stan and Ollie get the biggest laughs?

    Toronto is a real movie town – and aren’t we lucky?

    • Miss Paddy… thanks for dropping by! I think you’re right. Stan and Ollie did get the biggest laffs, and as well they should.

      Am I totally nuts? I could swear I saw the same Laurel & Hardy flick, but with sync-sound? Is that possible?

  1. Pingback: ‘The Artist’ Enjoys Box Office Bump After Oscar Wins « The Holliewood15

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