Silent films have long ceased playing in mainstream theaters but thanks to the International Silent Film Festival, Filipinos have had the opportunity to watch them for the past 12 years. Organized by the Austrian Embassy Manila, the Goethe-Institut, and the Instituto Cervantes, among others, the Festival returns on Aug.30 – Sept. 2 at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
Each film screened during the festival will be accompanied by live music from local musicians.
Here are the films which cineastes could watch during the four-day festival:
Rapsodia Satanica (Satanic Rhapsody) by Nino Oxilia (Aug. 30, 8pm)
Described as an Italian stylish melodrama, this 41-minute movie was inspired by a poem written by Fausto Maria Martini. The film stars Lyda Borelli as an aging Italian aristocrat who makes a pact with the devil so that she could reclaim her youth.
According to the organizers, Rapsodia Satanica is considered the most important Italian stylish melodrama during the days of silent movies.
Accompanying music will be provided by MilesExperience, a group from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) by Robert Wiene (Sept.1, 4pm)
A 77-minute German movie from 1920, this was dubbed by critic Roger Ebert as the “first true horror film.” It tells of a mad doctor played by Werner Krauss who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders.
The movie is known for its dark and compelling visual style and is considered one of the finest works of German expressionist cinema.
The film will be accompanied by Kontra-GaPi, an ensemble which plays musical instruments used by indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia.
This Is Not a Lost Film Trilogy by Khavn (Aug. 31, 7pm)
The Film Development Council of the Philippines presents this trilogy, which is composed of Filipiniana, a 13-minute experimental clip; Aswang, a 1933 film by George Musser hailed as the Philippines’ first talking film; and Juan Tamad Goes to the Moon, which delves into how Filipino filmmaker Narding Salome Exelsio produced the movie Nagtungo si Juan Tamad sa Buwan.
An excerpt from NITRATE: To the Ghosts of the 75 Lost Philippine Silent Films (1912-1933) will also be shown.
Accompanying music will be provided by no less than Khavn, the trilogy’s director, as well as the Kontra-Kino Orchestra, a 33-piece improvisation ensemble.
La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) by Carl Theodor Dreyer (Aug. 31 9pm)
An 81-minute French film, this is a retelling of the trial of Joan of Arc, one of the most celebrated Catholic saints.
Music will be provided by Dingdong Fiel, Andrew Constantino, and Kyongmin Nam.
Tokkan Kozo (突貫小僧, A Straightforward Boy) by Yasujiro OZU (小津安二郎) (Sept. 1, 6pm)
A boy with a sweet tooth proves to be a problem for his kidnapper.
The original version of the 1929 Japanese movie was said to be 38 minutes long but it was lost over the years. A 19-minute version, which was discovered three years ago, will be shown at the festival.
Tito Genova Valiente, a film critic, and educator will narrate the film. Contemporary pop-folk/ethnic band Tanikala Tribe will provide musical accompaniment to the film and Valiente.
Our Hospitality by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone (Sept. 1, 8pm)
A comedy, romance, and thriller, the 75-minute American film is about a man who falls for a woman belonging to the family that killed his father.
Get ready for a rollicking good time because blues and boogie band The Brass Munkeys will be playing along with the movie.
Frivolinas by Arturo Carballo (Sept. 2, 5pm)
A look into Spanish musical and dance shows in the 1920s, the movie showcases the story of a comedian who falls for a widower’s daughter. Tapati, a band which plays rock, reggae, blues, and jazz, among others, will accompany the silent movie.
Die kleine Veronika by Robert Land (Sept. 2, 7:30pm)
A girl from the mountains named Veronika visits Vienna to visit her aunt, only to realize that the city is not what she has imagined itself to be.
Restored by the Austrian Film Archive, the 70-minute film is known for its breathtaking scenes showing the Tyrolean mountains.
Joee and I, an avant-pop electronica solo act, will accompany the film.