You do not have a silent film fest until you bring in the clowns and Toronto Silent Film Festival will be delivering the goods on April 1 with 1000 Laffs – Playmates, a program of silent shorts. Silent comedy is, of course, dominated by the holy auteur trinity of Buster Keaton – Charline Chaplin – Harold Lloyd. The feature films of those clowns are the apotheosis of silent comedy, arguably of silent cinema in general. Ah, but silent shorts! Shorts are like little bite sized bits of comedy nirvana, and of course you can’t have just one.
This year Toronto Silent Film Festival focuses on comedy duos, or trios as the case maybe. We’ve got Buster and Fatty Arbuckle in Backstage. We’ve got Chaplin, Edna Purviance, and Eric Campbell in The Cure. We’ve got Harry Langdon and Vernon Dent is Saturday Afternoon. We’ve got Stan Laurel and Larry Semon in Frauds and Frenzies. And last, but by no means least, we’ve got comedy’s most dynamic duo, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Can you think of a better way to while away a Sunday afternoon?
If you’re a hardcore silent film fanatic and you’re trying to lure a newbie into the medium, comedies are always a great route in. If you’re silent-curious, you won’t find a better introduction than this program of yucks and chucks. When you see a silent comedy, especially one with a very large man paired with a very small man, in a theater with a howling audience, you’ll be hooked for life. But first, you gotta show up. Get over to Toronto Silent Film Festival to secure your tickets.
1000 Laffs: Playmates
Musical Interpretation: Bill O’Meara
Sunday April 1, 2012
The Fox Theatre 2236 Queen Street East. Toronto
(Queen East between Beech and Willow)
Tickets $12.00/$10.00 Seniors and members
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 2: The Italian Straw Hat
April 3: Variety