Jacques Feyder's "Gribiche," about a child torn between his lower-class Parisian roots and the rich American widow who wants to adopt and educate him, plays in a tinted print recently restored by the Cinematheque Francaise, which will be given the 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival Award at the screening.
"The House on Trubnaya Square," by Russian director Boris Barnet, is touted as "Best Soviet Silent Comedy ever" by the Festival. A reconstructed print ("as close as possible to Pabst's intention") of G.W. Pabt's oft-censored German film "The Joyless Street," starring Asta Nielsen and a twenty-year-old Greta Garbo, finishes the day.
Another kid-friendly program opens the Sunday the 21st schedule: "Kings of (Silent) Comedy," short films featuring Chaplin, Keaton, Charley Chase, and Felix the Cat. The picturesque "The Outlaw and His Wife," starring and directed by Victor Sjostrom (familiar from his late starring role in Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries"), plays in a new restoration by the Swedish Film Institute. Another "lost" film, "The Last Edition," an American film discovered in the Dutch national archive in 2011, has local interest, as it was shot in and around the building of the San Francisco Chronicle. "The Weavers," a German film about an labor disturbance during the 1840s, features intertitles drawn by the corrosive George Grosz. And the festival wraps with the beloved, light-heated "Safety Last," starring bespectacled Harold Lloyd, famously dangling off a skyscraper's clock face, accompanied by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
And this year you can get in shape for the festival by attending a special event put on by the Silent Film Festival organization: the Hitchcock 9, nine silents by Alfred Hitchcock, newly restored by the BFI, all with live musical accompaniment, also at the Castro Theatre, a gluttonous weekend from June 14 through 16th. I can hardly wait.