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The KSFF is underwritten by donations. This program is subject to change.

Friday, Feb. 23, 2018
@ White Concert Hall, Jewell @ 17th St., Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Begins: 7:00 p.m.

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

Hearts and FlowersShort: Hearts and Flowers (1919) with Louise Fazenda
   A Mack Sennett film directed by Eddie Cline
A cocky hotel orchestra leader has his hands full when he flirts with one girl too many.  Just another day at the Sennett Fun Factory. Featuring funny lady Louise Fazenda (1895-1962), in films from 1913 to her retirement in 1939. As part of the Sennett ensemble, she was given ample opportunity to show off her talents with the likes of Charlie Murray, Mack Swain and her co-star in this picture Ford Sterling. — 21 min.
Music by Jeff Rapsis
, piano

Short: Cinderella Cinders (1920) with Alice Howell & Richard Smith
A Reelcraft film directed by Frederick J. Ireland
Cinderella Cinders   Needing a job, Cinderella Cinders agrees to be a cook for a rich family's big party. However, the family is in a panic—their snooty friends will be upset to find out the Count and Countess de Bunco have canceled. As a last resort, they ask Cinderella and their butler to pretend to be royalty. Best laid plans… This film features one of the best comediennes nobody has heard of, Alice Howell (1880-1961), who started her career in vaudeville before heading to Hollywood, first as an extra and eventually getting her own series at LKO/Reelcraft. She appeared in her last film in 1928. — 25 min.
Music by Bill Beningfield, organ

Short: The Detectress (1919) with Gale Henry & Milburn Morante A Reelcraft film directed by Bruno Becker (and Gale Henry)
The Detectress 1919   
Aspiring detective Lizzie witnesses a robbery and goes to Chinatown to track down the stolen goods. Needless to say she gets in way over her head. Featuring Gale Henry (1893-1972), who started her career in films in 1915; within three years she had her own production unit. By the mid-1920s, she had settled into supporting roles. She left films after 1933, but didn’t leave the business entirely. She and her third husband started a kennel that trained doggie actors and one of their dogs became world famous. — 21 min.
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

Feature Introduction by xxx

Feature: Why Be Good? (1929) with Colleen Moore & Neil Hamilton
A First National film directed by William A. Seiter
Why Be Good poster   Pert Kelly is out to have a good time, so much so that she gets a bit of a reputation. She develops a relationship with the boss’s son at work, but dad thinks she’s not good enough for his son. So a little test is devised…will Pert pass inspection? Colleen Moore (1899-1988) was one of the Why Be Good, Colleen Moor and Neil Hamiltonbiggest stars in Hollywood at the time. She’d been in films for a few years starting in 1916, playing ingenue roles and leading ladies in everything from westerns to dramas, but it was only when Flaming Youth came out in 1924 that the public really took notice. She left the screen in 1934. — 81 min.
Music by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Saturday - Feb. 24, 2018

Morning - starts at 9 a.m.
@ White Concert Hall, Jewell @ 17th St., Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Opening Titles by Bill Beningfield
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

Special Documentary — 52 min
Come early and enjoy an overview of Silent film history and how women were involved.

Short: Matrimony's Speed Limit (1913) with Fraunie Faunholz & Marian Swayne
A Solax produced & directed by Alice Guy-Blaché (uncredited)
Matrimony's Speed Limit 1913
   Filmed in Fort Lee, New Jersey, this little film tells a familiar tale. A man is in dire straits financially and receives a telegram that he stands to inherit a fortune—if he marries by noon of that very day. This charming short from film pioneer Blaché not only tells an amusing tale, but shows off some great scenery of Fort Lee, our earliest film capital. Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968) got her start at Gaumont-Paris in 1896 as a secretary; she is said to have made upward of 400 films in her career, both in France and the U. S. — 14 min.
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

Short: Suspense (1913) produced by Lois Weber & Valentine Paul
A Rex film directed and written by Lois Weber
Suspense, 1913   Lois Weber was a triple threat—writer, director and actor in this aptly named story of a woman and her child threatened by an intruder while her husband rushes home in hot pursuit by the police. Weber (1879-1939) came to the film industry in 1905 as an actress, but got a chance to work behind the cameras in 1911. She is credited with being the first woman to direct a feature length film in the U. S. (in 1914). — 15 min.
Music by Bill Beningfield, organ

Feature: Back to God's Country (1919) with Nell Shipman & Wheeler Oakman
A Canadian Photoplays film directed by David Hartford
Back to God's Country, color poster   
A woman is confronted by her father’s killer in a remote arctic location and must use her instincts to survive.Shipman (1892-1970) was a producer, director, writer, and editor in films beginning in 1913—oh and she acted too. A native ofCanada she had a unique career in films, carving out a Back to God's Country, Nell Shipmancareer outside of Hollywood that allowed her toplay strong, adventurouswomen in films that she had a hand in creating. Her acting career ended in 1926 but she continued to write and produce films through the 1940s. — 74 min.
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

--Lunch Break, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Afternoon - starts at 1:30 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, Jewell @ 17th St., Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Opening Titles by Jeff Rapsis
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian

D. W. GriffithShort: Her Mother's Oath (1913) with Dorothy Gish, Jennie Lee& Henry B. Walthall
A Biograph Co. film directed by D. W. Griffith
Preserved by the Museum of Modern Art
Melodrama as only D. W. Griffith could deliver, with a rare dramatic turn by that other Gish sister, Dorothy (1898-1968). The Her Mother's Oath, 1913film is full of hidden emotions and strong words—an oath is given and comes true, with near fatal consequences. Dorothy’s popularity was for her more humorous roles, often co-starring Bobby Harron. But here she proves she’s every bit her sister Lillian’s equal in the drama department. She left films behind before the end of the silent era and concentrated on a stage career. — 11 min.
Music by Jeff Rapsis
, piano

Serial Chapter: A Woman in Grey - Chapter 2, Dagger of Death (1920) with Arline Pretty & Henry G. Sell
A Serico Producing Co. film directed by James Vincent
A Woman in Grey, serial   Over fifteen chapters, a mystery unfolds involving the search for a code to find an old treasure (a must in most serial plots), and finding out the truth about a woman’s murder (ditto). Secret codes, eerie old houses, kidnappings, chases—it’s all in a day’s work for the serial heroine. Arline Pretty (1885-1978) had experience on the stage before entering films in 1913. Although she co-starred in a variety of films genres, it is the serials that she is best remembered for. “Serial queens” like Pretty were often called upon to not only act up a storm, but do all their own stunts as well. — 11 min.
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

Feature: Filibus (1915) with Christine Ruspoli & Mario Mariani
A Corona Films production (Italy) directed by Mario Roncoroni
Filibus, 1915   A woman leads a double life; she is a baroness to the world, but to the underworld she is a criminal mastermind called Filibus and is aided in her crimes by a one of a kind zeppelin. When she learns Detective Hardy is on her trail, she devises a scheme to frame him for her own crimes. This interesting little film from Italy has a woman in the power position of villain—at a time in Italy when women had limited independence. This film shows a woman fully independent and capable of out-maneuvering her male opponents. — 69 min.
Music by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

--Break, Intermission: Book signing by Cari Beauchamp author of Without Lying Down: Francis Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood and My First Time in Hollywood.

High Comedy

Short: The Water Nymph (1912) with Mabel Normand, Mack Sennett & Ford Sterling
A Keystone Film Co. production directed by Mack Sennett
The Water Nymph, 1912   This is the first film released under the Keystone brand—and set the standard for fast pacing and bathing beauties. A young man takes his girlfriend to the beach to meet his parents. He decides to play a little trick on his dad and lets him flirt with his girlfriend. Only Sennett could come up with this silly storyline—and make it funny. It helps to have the lovely Mabel Normand in your cast; Mabel (1892-1930) was on screen from 1910-1927 when ill health forced her off the screen. Her importance to early screen comedy cannot be overstated; she had good instincts and worked with a large number of silent film greats. In addition to acting, she was a director and writer of a number of Sennett films. — 8 min.
Music by
Rodney Sauer, solo piano

Short: Fox Trot Finesse (1915) with Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew & Ethel Lee
A Vitagraph film directed by Sidney Drew (uncredited)
Fox Trot Finess, 1915   A husband fakes an injury to get out of going dancing with his wife. She catches him in his little lie and schemes to get even. Her revenge? Bringing her stern mother in to nurse him back to health. Sidney Drew (1863-1919) was part of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drewthe famous acting clan that included the Barrymores. His successful career in vaudeville teamed him with his wife. At her death, he remarried and carried on the team. The second Mrs. Sidney Drew, Lucille McVey (1890-1925), was a writer at Vitagraph before marrying Drew. Together, they made a series of very popular domestic comedies, she as writer and he as director. — 14 min.
Music by Jeff Rapsis, piano

Feature: Camille (1921) with Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino
A Metro Pictures film directed by Ray C. Smallwood
Camille, 1921   
A famous courtesan finds true love with a younger man, but gives him up at his father’s request. You may know this story from the more famous MGM version with Garbo, but before her there was another star who was known just by one name—Nazimova. The Russian born performer created herself as Alla NazimovaNazimova (1879-1945), who for a time, created what we would today call art films. This film not only stars a unique performer, its set design is by another original woman (who also created herself) Natacha Rambova (1897-1966). And the screenplay is by June Mathis (1887-1927), Hollywood’s first female film executive, who was head of Metro Pictures scenario department. — 70 min.
Music by Jeff Rapsis, piano

5:15 p.m.: Supper Break — Program resuming at 7:30 p.m.
--Dinner Break: Event is by Reservation only.
Contact us & reserve.

Special Dinner Event—
Our Tenth Annual
, 5:15-7:00 p.m.

Price is $40/per ticket. Meal is buffet-style. Menu TBA

Those interested in attending can make reservations by mail:
KSFF Cinema-Dinner
P.O. Box 2032
Topeka, Kansas 66601-2032

Cinema-Dinner will feature special guest Cari Beauchamp, writer of Without Lying Down: Francis Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood and My First Time in Hollywood.
The Cinema-Dinner venue is across the street from White Concert Hall (site of the KSFF) at Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center on the Washburn University campus.

Tickets to this not-to-be-missed event are available for purchase by mail. The non-refundable price for the Cinema-Dinner is $40 per ticket, payable to Kansas Silent Film Festival. Mail your ticket request to: KSFF Cinema-Dinner P.O. Box 2032 Topeka, Kansas 66604-2032.

— Event is by reservation only

Evening - starts at 7:30 p.m.
@ White Concert Hall, Jewell @ 17th St., Washburn University, Topeka, KS

Overture by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Welcome & Introductions by Denise Morrison, Film Historian, & Cari Beauchamp, special guest

Double Feature: America's Sweetheart -

Feature: Amarilly of Clothes Line Alley (1918) with Mary Pickford, William Scott, and Norman Kerry  
A Mary Pickford/Artcraft film directed by Marshall Neilan
Preserved by the Museum of Modern Art
Ammarilly of Clothes Line Alley, 1918    Amarilly is a girl satisfied with her life—her working-class family, her working-class boyfriend, living in her working-class neighborhood—until she meets a young artist who shows her a richer lifestyle. Will she still be satisfied with what she Amarilly of Clothes Line Alley color posterhas now? Mary Pickford (1892-1979) probably reached the furthest of any woman in Hollywood in front of and behind the scenes. She was an astute businesswoman who ran her own company, she co-founded United Artists, she was a producer, a director (uncredited), and a movie star. Her partnership with writer Frances Marion (1888-1973) created movie magic. — 67 min.
Music by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Last Mam on Earth, 1924A World of Women-

Feature: The Last Man on Earth (1924) with Earle Foxe, loosely based on Mary Shelley's 1826 novel The Last Man
A Fox Film Corp production directed by
   John G. Blystone
Preserved by the Museum of Modern Art
   It's a world of women—in a world of the future (1950)—and women are the survivors after a nasty plaque of "masculitis" finishes off every man over the age of 14. And then a famous explorer discovers Elmer—and the world Last Man on Earth 2will never be the same. It's a comedy; it's an amusing view of what a generation thought the futurewould look like.And it's an interesting look at the stereotypes of women in power. A fun way to cap off our festival of women in cinema!

Film Print from the Museum of Modern Art
Music by Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussion

Our Cast:
About Cari Beauchamp:

Cari BeauchampCari Beauchamp is the award-winning author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood and five other books of film history, including Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years and My First Time in Hollywood: Stories From the Pioneers, Dreamers and Misfits Who Made the Movies. Her books have been selected for "Best of the Year" lists by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Amazon.

She is a Vanity Fair contributor, appears on Turner Classic Movies (and at their yearly film festival), and is the only person to twice be named an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar. She has also written and produced documentaries that were nominated for an Emmy and WGA Award.

Cari currently serves as the Resident Scholar for the Mary Pickford Foundation and is on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

About The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra:

Mont Alto Motion Picture OrchestraThe Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, lead by pianist Rodney Sauer, is based in Louisville, Colorado and has appeared at this festival many times since the third event, held in 1999. The orchestra consists of piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and trumpet. They are quite active in their hometown and nationally. Mont Alto has acquired one of the largest collections of historic "photoplay music" in current use, and has used it to score over 120 silent films. They have toured across America from California to New York, and have scored all of Buster Keaton's silent features for the Buster Keaton Celebration in Iola, Kansas since first appearing there in 1998. They have produced three CDs of salon music and silent film music, and have recorded scores to over thirty silent films for video release and screenings on Turner Classic Movies, including True Heart Susie (1919), Sherlock Jr. (1924), and The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

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 the Kansas City Museum 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 FaulwellMarvin Faulwell is a very accomplished theatre organist. He has played for all previous Silent Film Festivals and our "sister project," Silents in the Cathedral, held every Halloween at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. 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 Jeff Rapsis:

Jeff RapsisJeff Rapsis is a New Hampshire-based composer and musician who regularly accompanies silent film programs. He appears regularly at venues including the Harvard Film Archive, the Library of Congress, and the Niles Essenay Silent Film Museum. Jeff is associate publisher and co-owner of HippoPress, New Hampshire's largest newspaper, and teaches communications at the University of New Hampshire. He has attended every Kansas Silent Film Festival since 2000! 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. He delights audiences at the Kansas Silent Film Festival and Silents at the Cathedral by adding remarkable percussive music and sound effects to many 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 recently retired as director of the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, is assistant director of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, and frequently volunteers for KTWU Channel 11.

About Dr. Bill Beningfield:

Bob KeckeisenDr. Bill Beningfield is a retired engineering director who spent his working career designing and supporting radio and radar products for commercial aircraft. After engineering during the daytime, he has moonlighted as a flight instructor, aviation ground instructor, and professor of economics. He started playing the piano over 70 years ago, and has been playing the organ for nearly 50 years. In 2006, he won first place in the American Theater Organ Society’s competition for non-professional organists.

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 zzshaf@gmail.com

All donations are appreciated.