Silent Films Make Some Noise

Silent films are decidedly out of style, but the Denver Silent Film Festival hopes to rekindle the audience’s amazement with moving pictures by showing off classic films in the same context in which they would have premiered: on 35mm prints with a full orchestra accompanying them.

Because of the nature of the performance, the films will be packed into short blocks each day of the festival, kicking off tonight with Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The Kid, followed immediately by Chaplin classic The Immigrant. Saturday features two full-length films, Nosferatu and Cyrano de Bergerac, and then the festival closes on Sunday with Joseph von Sternberg’s Underworld. Sun-day afternoon will also feature a program of new silent films created by students and accompanied by student musicians, as well as a collection of short comedies, including Buster Keaton in The Balloonatic and Laurel and Hardy in Putting Pants on Philip.

“This was a fabulous opportunity to talk about the depth of silent films and their influence on modern filmmaking,” says festival spokeswoman Valerie Switzer.

The Denver Silent Film Festival kicks off tonight and runs through Sunday at the King Center, 855 Lawrence Way on the Auraria campus; admission is $10 per film. For more information and a schedule, visit or call 303-352-4004.
Sept. 23-25, 2011


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