Saturday, June 3, 2017

Jason goes top Silentfest--Opening Night

While Docfest rocks on at the Roxie, I'm spending the weekend at the Castro with SilentFest. I'll see you Monday, my Docfest friends!

The opening night film was Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN (1925.) Guilty confession, I spent most of the day thinking I had seen this one recently and could just copy my recent review. It was only just before the film started that I realized I was thinking about Buster Keaton's take on going to college, COLLEGE (1927.) And they have their similarities, but also their individual charms. In Lloyd's case, it's all about his sweet naivete. While Keaton is the bookworm who only gets into sports to get the girl, Lloyd is determined to be the popular guy on campus, and just happens to find the girl on the way. He idolizes and emulates the star of a popular movie, THE COLLEGE HERO, even imitating the jig he dances when introducing himself to anyone, and insisting that people call him Speedy. While people pretend to befriend him, they're really all laughing at him and taking him for a high-spending sucker (and the source of ice cream for the whole campus.) Eventually, the only way to salvage his reputation and become a campus hero is to win the big football game, which is kind of hard when you're only the water boy. Pretty hilarious, and a fun way to kick off the most intense film weekend of the year.

And accompanying the film was The Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, made entirely of the brightest students from the Berklee School of Music. This is their third year at the festival, with a new crop of composers and musicians every year. And it's fantastic to see their wide-eyed enthusiasm (sometimes I forget what it's like to behold the glory of the Castro movie palace for the first time) and then for them to deliver a top-notch performance that perfectly matches the film.

Then it was off to McRoskey Mattress company for the after party. A few drinks, a little food, chatting with a lot of one-weekend-a-year friends, and finally I had to take the BART home for a little sleep.

Running Time: 76 minutes
My Total Minutes: 428,285

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