Our SPECIAL THANKS to Flicker Alley
for their support in sharing these
newly restored films of Georges Méliès.

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Performance Notes for this free eventFeb. 24 & 25, 2012twinkling star animation

| Promo | Program | Notes
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This event is free and open to the public. The KSFF is underwritten by donation.
This program is subject to change:

Silent film fans Trip to the Moonhave always known how great an entertainer Georges Méliès (1861-1938) was: magician, showman, filmmaker; he was all that and more. His early films look primitive and exotic and never fail to impress audiences 100 years later. Now Martin Scorsese (not surprisingly) has brought the French showman to world attention with his recent hit Hugo; for most audience members it was a revelation. To silent movie buffs it was smug satisfaction to think we knew Méliès well even before all the fuss. Throughout the festival we’ll be showing off some of the great entertainer’s work.

Friday, Feb. 24, 2012

Begins: 7:00 p.m.

Overture byThe Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

Short: Pigs Is Pigs (1914) with John Bunny
John BunnyWho made people laugh in the movies before Charlie Chaplin? John Bunny (1863-1915) that’s who, and he makes his KSFF “debut” in this very funny short film which asks the question, “Are guinea pigs really pigs?” Bunny plays the part of an express agent who thinks he knows the answer. John Bunny was a world-wide hit before the phrase "movie star" was coined. — 10 min.
Organ music by Greg Foreman

Feature: The Wishing Ring (1914) directed by Maurice Tourneur
The Wishing RingThis short feature has it all—comedy, romance, drama and gypsies! Add the fine direction of Maurice Tourneur (1873-1961) and you have a beautiful film that is cinematically as interesting as the story. An upper class student is thrown out of school for misconduct and his fed-up father cuts him off, forcing him to find a job. This throws him into contact with a parson’s daughter and, with a little help from a special wishing ring given by gypsies, the two manage to make everything alright. Filmed at Fort Lee, New Jersey, one of the earliest film capitols in the U. S. 60 min.
Music by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

--Brief Break
featuring Phil Figgs on piano with "coming attractions" slides

Feature: The Clinging Vine (1926) with Leatrice Joy
Leatrice JoyIf you’ve never heard of Leatrice Joy (1893-1985) then you’re in for a treat. The KSFF debut of a Joy film, Clinging Vine is the kind of film she excelled at--and audiences loved. She plays A.B. the efficient business executive of successful Bancroft Paint Co. But at a weekend party at her boss’s estate, she falls hard for the heir apparent, the boss's grandson, who wants a different kind of woman to love. With a little help, ever-efficient A.B. figures out how to win her man. Co-stars Tom Moore. 71 min.
Organ music by Marvin Faulwell

Saturday - Feb. 25, 2012

Morning - starts at 10 a.m.

Overture by Jeff Rapsis
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

Short: The Cure (1917) with Charlie ChaplinCharlie Chaplin
In 1916 Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) signed with the Mutual Film Corporation for an unheard of salary! In return for this huge salary, Chaplin was to deliver 12 two-reel films for Mutual to release in the next two years. It was the happiest creative period in his career. The Cure is one of those dozen and although not as well regarded as some of the others, is still a fun film that shows off Chaplin's athletic ability as well as his comedic genius. He goes to a spa whose spring waters are supposed to have healing powers. There he gives the patrons of the spa anything but restful healing! Co-stars Edna Purviance. 23 min.
Music by Greg Foreman

Short: Alice in the Jungle (1925) a Walt Disney cartoon
Alice of the JungleAn entry in the “Alice Comedies,” a series of animated films with live action worked in. The series was the creation of Walt Disney (1901-1966) and ran from 1923 to 1927. The majority of the films were produced by Winkler Pictures in Los Angeles and starred little Virginia Davis, Disney’s discovery from back in his Kansas City days.
This entry finds Alice and her cat Julius fighting off African lions and crocodiles. 7 min.
Music by Phil Figgs

Feature: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926) with Harry Langdon
Tramp Tramp TrampHarry Langdon (1884-1944) was wildly popular for such a short period of time that it's hard today to realize what made his contemporaries love him so much—and then so inexplicably desert him only a few years later. His first feature film gives us a glimpse of his unique brand of comedy. In it, he plays a young man determined to help his family's small shoe business succeed against a rival, bigger shoe manufacturer. To raise money, he enters a cross-country walking race—and what a wild race it is. Co-starring a young Joan Crawford in one of her first roles.
62 min. Music by Jeff Rapsis

--Lunch Break

Afternoon - starts at 1:00 p.m.

Overture by Phil Figgs
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

Feature: Way Down East (1920) with Lillian Gish
Way Down EastOnly D. W. Griffith (1875-1948) could take an overly melodramatic 19th century play and turn it into a cinematic success, thanks in large part to the exciting climaxone of the most memorable film sequences in American film history--of Lillian Gish (1893-1993) rescued from an icy river by Richard Barthelmess (1895-1963). Great cinematography by G. W. “Billy” Bitzer (1872-1944) and lovely performances from Gish and Barthelmess make this one of Griffith’s best. The source print we are using is a slightly edited version re-released in the early 1930s. 107 min.
Music by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

--Brief Break, Cookies and Punch served in the Lobby
Intermission Slides
featuring Jeff Rapsis (of New Hampshire’s Wilton Town Hall Silent Film series) on piano, with “Coming Attractions” slides

Overture by Greg Foreman
Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

Short: Sugar Daddies (1927) with Laurel & Hardy
Sugar Daddiesot strictly a Laurel and Hardy movie at all although both are in it; this is one of the films in which they appeared at Roach Studios in support of James Finlayson—only fair since eventually Finlayson would be the perfect straight man to the duo's antics. Here, Finlayson is a rich playboy who finds himself married to a gold-digger and her gold-digging family. Laurel plays his lawyer, Hardy his butler, and among the three of them they work to end the scheming family's ways. An unusual look at the team before they were a team. 20 min.
Piano music by Marvin Fauwell

Feature: Spies (1928) directed by Fritz Lang
SpiesBelieve it or not, this is the KSFF’s first Fritz Lang (1890-1976) film; his German silent films all get lost in the wake of how big his masterpiece Metropolis was. So his other films made during this time period get hyped as “under-rated” and this would be one of those films. Spies (or Spione) is the granddaddy of all spy filmseverything that has ever been used cinematically in a spy film probably was here first. And like Metropolis, if you want to get lost in great art direction, look no further. A Russian spy falls in love with a rival government spy, much to the chagrin of her boss, who’s trying to steal Japanese treaty papers. The source print is an edited down version.
88 min. Music by Greg Foreman

--Dinner Break
5:15 p.m.: Supper Break — Program resuming at 7:30 p.m.

Special Dinner Event, Our Fourth Annual

Served buffet-style

Bradbury Thompson Alumni Ctr., Washburn University, Topeka, KS
— This event is by reservation only.
All tickets are sold out.

Evening - starts at 7:30 p.m.

Overture by Marvin Faulwell
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

Short: A Trip to the Moon (1902) directed by Georges Méliès
A Trip ti the MoonThe ultimate Georges Méliès film, one that most everyone knows one way or another, because of the proliferation of but a single scene: the rocket flying into the Man in the Moon's eye. KSFF is proud to host the Midwest Premiere of this newly restored, hand-colored print. If you think you've seen this great film before, think again. The plot is simple: a group of scientists agree to fly to the moon in a rocket designed just for that purpose and find more than they bargained for once there. A classic of world cinema.
14 min.

Short: He Did and He Didn't (1916) with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
Roscoe ArbuckleKansas born Roscoe Arbuckle (1887-1933) was more than a funny clown. He was a director and writer too. This film is an example of Arbuckle the writer in a very dark comedy about a suspicious husband and the heavy meal he has before going to bed--not a good combination. Co-starring Keystone/Sennett leading lady Mabel Normand (1895-1930) and perennial Arbuckle foil Al St. John (1893-1963). 20 min. Music by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Feature: Monte Cristo (1922) with John Gilbert
Monte CristoYou might think you’ve seen all the best adaptations of this classic novel of love and betrayal set in the Napoleonic era but this version is a marvel of simplicity. John Gilbert (1897-1936), on the cusp of stardom, is solid as the betrayed Edmond Dantes, and Estelle Taylor (1894-1958) lends fine support as Mercedes. Great production values, good performances, this is a wonderful romantic adventure story to round out our festival’s program.
107 min. — Organ music by Marvin Faulwell, with percussion by Bob Keckeisen

-- There will be an intermission in our Feature Film

Our Cast:

About Denise Morrison:

Denise MorrisonDenise Morrison is a film historian from Kansas City, Missouri, with a special focus on silent film. She is Director of Collections & Curatorial Services with Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, and has been involved with the Kansas Silent Film Festival since the beginning. She was quite active with the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas, when they were showing a full schedule of silent movies. Denise will give an overview of the silent film era and also provide introductions to each film.

About Marvin Faulwell:

Dr. Marvin FaulwellDr. Marvin Faulwell is a retired dentist from Kansas City who is a very accomplished theatre organist. He has played for all of the previous five Silent Film Festivals and our "sister project," Silents in the Cathedral, held every Halloween at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. He has a large theatre organ in his home and also restores the instruments. He has appeared in concert and accompanied silent film programs in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Minnesota and also accompanied many silent films shown at the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas.

About the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra:

Mont Alto Motion Picture OrchestraThe Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra come from Boulder, Colorado, and has appeared at this festival since the third events, held in 1999. The orchestra consists of a piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and trumpet. They are quite active in their hometown and have appeared several times in California, at the Buster Keaton Celebration in Iola, Kansas (since 1998), and at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. They have made three CDs of salon music and silent film music. They have provided the music scores for numerous silent films on video and DVD including Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920), Blood and Sand (1922), and The Thief of Bagdad (1924) for Kino Video.

About Greg Foreman:

Greg ForemanGreg Foreman holds a Certificate of Piano Performance, Bachelor of Music Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching. He has performed as soloist with the Kansas City Symphony, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Orchestra, and the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, as well as National Public Radio and Kansas Public Radio broadcasts. Mr. Foreman is an author and clinician for Alfred Music Publishing, Inc. and was chosen to be one of twelve teachers (from a pool of thirteen hundred) to receive the Lee’s Summit, Missouri district’s “Excellence in Teaching” award, in 2010.

About Jeff Rapsis:

Jeff RapsisJeff Rapsis is a New Hampshire-based composer and musician who regularly accompanies silent film programs. His recent work includes a new piano score for the The Bells (1926) starring Lionel Barrymore, to be released by Reel Classic DVDs, and a new synthesizer score for the 1916 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, premiered last year at the Boston Sci-Fi Marathon. Upcoming live engagements include the Cinefest vintage film festival, held each March in Syracuse, N.Y. Jeff is associate publisher and co-owner of HippoPress, New Hampshire's largest weekly newspaper, and teaches communications at the University of New Hampshire. His first novel will be published in 2013 by Sophia Omni Press of New York. For more information on Jeff's silent film work, visit www.jeffrapsis.com.

About Bob Keckeisen:

Bob KeckeisenBob Keckeisen has been principal percussionist for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra since 1989. Bob has been delighting audiences recently at the Kansas Silent Film Festival by adding remarkable percussive music and sound effects to several films. Bob grew up in Wichita and studied percussion under J.C. Combs at Wichita State University. He obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from WSU and moved to Topeka in 1982.
Bob is the director of the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka and frequently volunteers for KTWU Channel 11.

About Phil Figgs:

Phil FiggsPhil Figgs is a Kansas Silent Film Festival board member and a collector of antique sheet music, gramophone records, and player piano rolls. He has accompanied silent movies for the Albany Historical Society, the Hiawatha Area Arts and Theatre Society, and the Pawnee County Historical Society at Fort Larned. Phil teaches high school English in Sabetha, Kansas.

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Kansas Silent Film Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. This event is funded by generous donations, and welcomes your support. Your tax deductible gift will be gratefully acknowledged.
        Kansas Silent Film Festival, Inc.
        P.O. Box 2032
        Topeka, Kansas 66601-2032
E-mail contact - bill.shaffer@washburn.edu Or bshaffer2@cox.net

All donations are appreciated.