Tuesday, July 28, 2009

3rd International Silent Film Festival

The festival that brings together Philippine music with classic international silent films is back!

Set aside all your Thursday nights from July 30 to August 27.

This year’s festival features films from France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain, to be scored live by the likes of Corporate Lo-fi, Nyko Maca + Playground, Caliph8, Kalayo and Johnny Alegre Affinity.

The festival opens on July 30 with a screening of the Japanese 1931 film “Jirokichi the Rat (Oatsurae Jirokichi Koshi)”.

Director Daisuke Ito adapted the story from a novel by Furukawa Eiji. It is based on the life of Nezumi Kozo (The Rat), a notorious burglar active during the early 1800's who won great fame for his daring adventures stealing from the homes of wealthy people late at night.

On August 6, catch the 1921 ultra-rare film “The Mechanical Man (L’uomo meccanico)”.

The film is directed by André Deed, a protégé of Georges Melies. In it, a city is gripped in terror as a colossal robot runs rampant in an unstoppable crime spree. The police are powerless in the face of the frightening carnage and destruction, but the remotely controlled menace may soon meet its match - a second mechanical man is sent to confront it in a horrific showdown at the local opera house. The film will be accompanied by the music of Caliph8, who will be joined by Kalila Aguilos, Malek Lopez, Pasta Groove and Tad Ermitaño in a special aural and visual collaboration.

The 1929/30 German film “People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag)”, directed by Robert Siodmak, will be screened on August 13.

With unpretentious humor, this astonishing first film by artists who were soon to become Berlin exiles deals with how the working class spends its precious leisure time. Berlin is as empty as a ghost town, everyone flees to the countryside, and the train stations are packed. Erwin, a taxi driver, meets up with a young traveling salesman and his female companions, who are on their way to a nearby lake for a day of swimming, snoozing, and flirting, leaving the cabbie’s wife to sleep away her Sunday. The film is the early collaboration of five young Berlin-based filmmakers - Robert and Curt Siodmak, Billy Wilder, Edgar G Ulmer, Eugen Schuefftan and Fred Zinneman - who would all go on to great international success. Providing the live score will be Nyko Maca + Playground.

The 1930 Florián Rey drama “The Cursed Village/La aldea maldita” will be accompanied by the music of Johnny Alegre AFFINITY on August 20.

The film presents a story about poverty, honor and forgiveness in a small Castilian village, during a time when women had no rights at all to live their own life without the protection of men. Juan Castilla is imprisoned after quarrelling with a local political tyrant and usurer, leaving behind his wife Acacia, their child, and the boy’s blind grandfather, Martin. The neighbor Magdalena convinces Acacia to leave the impoverished town that seems to have a curse on it. Three years later, Juan finds his wife working in a pub, and obliges her to return home and serve the family until the death of Martin.

The last screening will be on August 27. The 1913 French classic “Fantomas: Under the Shadow of the Guillotine (Fantomas: A l’ombre de la guillotine”, directed by Louis Feuillade.

The film presents to us the character of Fantomas through a series of dramatic episodes: the robbery of the Royal palace Hotel, the successive transformations of Fantomas, and the substitution of the actor Valgrand. The masked hero is presented as a cruel being. We discover the mistress, Lady Beltham, accomplice and victim of Fantomas, then the obsessive inspector Juve introduced as her best enemy. Providing the music will be Corporate Lo-fi.

All the above screenings are at 8 pm at Cinema 1of Shang Cineplex, Shangri-la Plaza. Tickets are P75.

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