Monday, September 27, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Douglas Fairbanks in "The Mark of Zorro" (1920), on Youtube and Facebook Live!
Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Dorothy Davenport's "The Red Kimono" (1925), introduced by Allison Anders in person! Plus 1920s-style musical cabaret and live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick, at the historic Woman's Club of Hollywood.
In honor of the first International Silent Movie Day (September 29, 2021), Retroformat Silent Films , Flicker Alley and Blackhawk Films will present a special webcast of “The Mark of Zorro” (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks, with brand new, live accompaniment by Retroformat Musical Director Cliff Retallick, and a special introduction by Tracey Goessel, author of The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks!
A perfect introduction to silent films, “The Mark of Zorro” provided the already popular Douglas Fairbanks with a perfect role for transitioning from contemporary comedies to swashbuckling costume pictures, securing his place with Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford as one of the top Hollywood stars of the 1920s.
In this great showcase for his acting, comedy and athletic skills, the magnetic Fairbanks masterfully plays both foppish, tired Don Diego, a constant disappointment to his father and his wife, and his alter-ego, the amazing masked bandit Zorro, who captures hearts, plus the story’s villains, with grace, humor and energy. You’ll have a great time watching this true classic of the silent screen, which became prototype for comic book heroes like Batman more than a decade later.
“PARENTS: This picture is not suitable for children - DO NOT BRING THEM.”
- The San Bernardino Daily Sun, October 12, 1927.
On Saturday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m., legendary filmmaker Allison Anders will present Dorothy Davenport's "The Red Kimono" (1925), at the historic Woman's Club of Hollywood! Our program will feature a live, 1920s-cabaret style introduction plus live musical accompaniment by Retroformat's Musical Director, Cliff Retallick. The film will be screened from a rare 16mm print provided courtesy of the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive.
“The Red Kimono” is a 1925 silent film exposé on prostitution, based on a true story. This remarkable independent film is notable for many reasons, including having been produced and written by women. Based on a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns and adapted by Dorothy Arzner, it was produced by Dorothy Davenport (aka. Mrs. Wallace Reid).
While credited as the directorial debut of Walter Lang (“The King and I” ), it was unofficially co-directed by Davenport, who appears in a prologue as herself. This was Davenport’s third production, preceded by “Human Wreckage” (1923, now a lost film), portraying the dangers of drug addiction, and “Broken Laws” (1924), about excessive parental indulgence. Extremely controversial at the time of its release, “The Red Kimono” was banned by the British Board of Film Censors and in some American cities.
“The Red Kimono” also features an excellent performance by Priscilla Bonner, best remembered today for her supporting performance in Clara Bow’s “It.” Bonner portrays Gabrielle Darley, who is abandoned by her supposed fiancé and falls into a life of prostitution. When she finds her former lover buying an engagement ring for another woman, she shoots him, and becomes a cause celebré during her murder trial.
The film will be introduced by legendary producer/writer/director Allison Anders, whose acclaimed body of work includes “Gas Food Lodging” (1992), “Mi Vida Loca” (1993), “Grace of My Heart” (1996) and “Things Behind the Sun” (2001). She has been awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant as well as a Peabody Award.
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