Rare Opportunity: Classic Silent Films at AFI Silver Theatre

Promotional photo from Harold Lloyd's film Safety Last!, via Wikimedia Commons.

Promotional photo from Harold Lloyd’s film Safety Last!, via Wikimedia Commons.

This weekend the DC area’s finest movie palace, the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, begins a Silent Cinema Showcase. Many of the films and shorts will feature live accompaniment. While you’ve probably seen the image above, you may not know anything about the film Safety Last! itself. Even Roger Ebert hadn’t seen it before he reviewed it in 2005!  He wrote:

It is by general agreement the most famous shot in silent comedy: a man in a straw hat and round horn-rim glasses, hanging from the minute hand of a clock 12 stories above the city street. Strange, that this shot occurs in a film few people have ever seen.

Your chance to be one of the few comes this weekend. A new 35mm print of Safety Last! will be presented Sunday at 7:30, with live musical accompaniment. Other films in the series include two feature films starring screen legend Mary Pickford, a collection of experimental shorts called Wild and Weird, and shorts by Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and Buster Keaton (you get two chances for Keaton: one short is grouped with Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy, and then three Keaton shorts will be presented together).

The series starts this weekend and runs through May 4.

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Warm Fuzzies and a Party for New Orleans


On Saturday, a fun fundraising event combines a film and a New Orleans-style party, all to help rebuild a neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Katrina as the nation’s first zero carbon community.

The film is MINE, a powerful story of the essential bond between human and beast set against the backdrop of Katrina. An award winner at the SXSW film festival, it’s at AFI Silver Theatre at 5:45 p.m. A short talk from the producer and a first-responder animal rescuer follows.

At 8 p.m., the party moves to Jackie’s Restaurant, also in Silver Spring, with music, a silent auction, and an optional $10 buffet. A $5 donation is requested at the door.

All proceeds go directly to Historic Green. For two weeks this March in New Orleans, Historic Green will gather hundreds of students and young professionals, who’ll bring energy and ideas to help the people of the Lower Ninth Ward revitalize their community. They’ll meld preservation with sustainability, creating healthier, safer, more livable communities.