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.

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Marilyn Manson @ The Fillmore, 5/1/2012

all photos by Aminta S. Nieves-Candamo

Goth-rock superstars Marilyn Manson played a sold-out show at The Fillmore in Silver Spring on Tuesday night, in the middle of their “Hey, Cruel World” tour. When I got a ticket to this show I did so without many expectations, except maybe to have a trip back in time to my high school/early college days when I was a big fan and saw them several times. I got what I wanted, basically.

Their set was musically strong- Manson himself still has energy, stage presence and rockstar mojo to spare, and thankfully Twiggy (sometimes bassist, now guitarist, and major songwriter for the band) has rejoined the group after a hiatus in the early 2000s (which involved stints with A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, and The Dessert Sessions). However, having seen them in the height of their fame, while they were riding high on the shock-rock infamy which used to surround them, Tuesday night’s show seemed like mainly old tricks. It was also shorter than one would expect (15 songs, just over an hour-long set) from a band who has been around and active for as long as they have, with as large a catalog as they have. Continue reading


Silverdocs 2011 Packed With Award Season Hopefuls

Summertime means movies, typically of the blockbuster variety. However it’s not all about scene-by-scene rehashes or nuptial catfights. June also marks the return of AFI-Discovery Channel’s annual Silverdocs Documentary Festival. I’ve had the chance to cover the festival in the past and it’s a great experience for cinephiles to see some great stories unfold without having to travel to Cannes, Tribeca, or Austin.

The slate of films for the 2011 festival has already been announced and as an avid Oscar Watcher, I’m especially excited to see several early Academy Awards frontrunners among the list.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to at this year’s Silverdocs.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Not an Arts Fair, Not a Book Fair

Nope, it’s the 11th Biennial Book Arts Fair and Conference, and it’s going on this weekend (November 5-7) in Silver Spring at the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center.  Rather than try to explain this unique event myself, I’ll let their website do the talking:

“Now in its third decade, the fair will showcase a dynamic array of innovative book art, limited edition prints, fine papers, and specialty tools along with a rich program of notable speakers, demonstrations, and special exhibitions. This three day event will connect international artists, scholars, collectors, publishers, and art lovers. Serving to inform and inspire, the Book Arts Fair and Conference is a celebration of the printed form and the book as art.”

So if you’re into books, art, or both, this is just the ticket for you.  Be sure to check out their events page for a schedule of all of the cool activities going on this weekend.

The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Silver Spring

Photo courtesy of
‘Downtown Silver Spring’
courtesy of ‘METROgrl’

Most Where We Live features focus on neighborhoods of a couple thousand people, but this week we’re tackling the third most populous place in Maryland: Silver Spring, a community of over 76,000 people. So while half of Montgomery County seems to have Silver Spring mailing addresses (making the city larger than any other city in the state except for Baltimore), we’ll just focus on the urban area of Silver Spring around the Metro station. But that being said there are lots of cool other areas in Silver Spring, from the park-like residential neighborhood of Woodside Park to the urban-suburban blend in Wheaton.  As Dan, author of just up the pike and life-long Silver Spring resident, says, “In Silver Spring, you can go from a busy urban center to pick-your-own farms in just a few miles, all with the same address.”

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Move Over Van Hollen, Corporation to Run for MD-8 Seat

Photo courtesy of
‘Guarding Justice’
courtesy of ‘Photos by Chip Py’

I enjoyed this article today from WaPo that was written in a semi-serious, semi-tongue-in-cheek tone about Murray Hill, Inc., a company based in Silver Spring, MD that has announced its intentions to run for Congress in the 8th CD of Maryland. The seat is currently held by Mr. DCCC himself, Chris Van Hollen. The story is no joke – these guys actually are trying to run for Congress. A mere 6 months ago, this would have seemed so obnoxious, it wouldn’t even have garnered sensational press attention. But thanks to Justice Roberts and pals on the big bench, the United States now officially views corporations as people when it comes to their rights related to campaign finance, and Murray Hill is out to prove that corporations deserve all equal human rights.

The progressive PR firm obviously knows how to pull off a PR stunt. (Check out their campaign Facebook page and their YouTube videos.) But this is really more than that. This is actually proving a very valid point in showing that treating corporations as people is flat out ridiculous. Giving corporations the right to have a seemingly unlimited level of influence on members of Congress destroys the many years of bi-partisan handwork that has gone into trying to tone down the sick impact that wealthy corporations can have on the everyday lives of Americans. This is NOT about stifling capitalism, this is about stifling the downright unfair ability that corporations have to alter legislation passed in Congress so that it favors their profits, instead of the needs of the country’s citizens. Allow great ideas to flourish in capitalism, but don’t allow those ideas to directly control our laws.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

New Year Fitness for Free

courtesy of ‘cuirjean’

If your New Year’s resolutions included “get in shape” or “try something new,” you may want to check out Winter Free Week at Blue Heron Wellness in Silver Spring. Free classes run through Sunday.

They include everything from belly dancing and hoop dance to Soul Camp, a boot camp class that explores all styles of movement to unleash inner strength, to NIA, an expressive, barefooted, dance/fitness practice that combines elements from Tai Chi, Tae-Kwon-Do, jazz, Duncan dance, yoga and Aikido.

You can also learn more about MTHFR and folic acid toxicity, acupuncture and Chinese herbs, Reiki and reflexology, Shiatsu and Thai massage. And of course much more…that is, if you resolve to go.

Music, News, Night Life, The Daily Feed

New Music Venue in Downtown Silver Spring

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Live Nation‘s got its paws on the next big D.C.-area music scene and its address is Silver Spring.

Residents — it’s time to say your final “goodbyes” to the J.C. Penney store that’s been vacant for 18 years. The Fillmore Music Hall will take its place. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced today that the latest addition to downtown Silver Spring will “dramatically enhance the community’s fast-growing entertainment district.”

“The County’s vision is to bring a dynamic, first-class music, entertainment, and community use venue to Silver Spring in the former J.C. Penney building,” Leggett said. “We want to bring Silver Spring revitalization across Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue. Today, we take a huge step on delivering that vision.”

Current landowners, Lee Development Group, will be presenting Montgomery County with this $3.5 million musical gift as soon as the venue’s construction is completed.

Featured Photo, Legacy articles

Free Our Streets!

Two weeks ago, we picked up the story of Chip Py, a long time Montgomery County resident who was barred from taking pictures in Downtown Silver Spring.

Both outraged and inspired by the incident, we’re organizing a Silver Spring Photo Walk via Free Our Streets to show our support of photography and our annoyance with the use of public lands restricted by private developers.

downtown silver springIf you too find yourself

and/or you are generally angry that taxpayer-supported urban renewal projects are leased to developers who then curtail First Amendment rights on quasi-public property, then come join us for:

Downtown Silver Spring Photo Walk
a declaration of photographic freedom
Wednesday, July 4, 2007 @ 12:00pm – Noon

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs