This is always one of the best events in your average Toronto cinephile year. The fest kicked off last night with G.W. Pabst's "other" great Louise Brooks vehicle Diary of a Lost Girl and continues tonight at The Carlton with another great lady of the silent screen, Mary Pickford in Mistress Nell from 1915. The screening will also feature some historical footage of Pickford and Fairbanks in Toronto in 1924.
The Toronto Silent Film Festival goes to a number of venues and stresses having live accompanists at the screenings. Saturday brings New York's Ben Model, a film historian and silent film composer, to The Royal at 2:45 p.m. for a screening of Harold Lloyd's wonderful Safety Last (yeah, the one where he's hanging off the side of the building by the minute hand of a clock).
Sunday, Model goes to The Fox in The Beaches for a top secret screening. The only hint provided is that it will include the Spanish silent great Marcel Perez. Can't say I have had the chance to see his comedy shorts, but I get the sense this might be a good chance.
Following that on Monday is a crime film called The Penalty (starring Lon Chaney, you know, the man of 1000 faces…) at Casa Loma. Things wrap up Tuesday April 14 with Erich von Stronheim's debut film Blind Husbands at Innis Town Hall. von Stronheim is one of cinema's towering figures, but if you have seen Sunset Blvd. you know that things were not so easy for him following the commercial success of Husbands in 1919.
The full listings and ticket info are available here.
Lynn Barber at TIFF
Eleanor Wachtel of Writers & Company is hosting another edition of Books on Film next Monday Apr. 13 at 7 p.m. This time it's the combination of Lone Scherfig's 2009 film An Education, which won Carey Mulligan an Academy Award nomination and really launcher her career, and the original memoirist, journalist Lynn Barber.
Barber has written for The Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, and even Penthouse way back when. Her memoir dealt with her teenage love affair with an older man and touched on the gender imbalances of 'swinging' sixties London. The film's screenplay was an adaptation of the book by novelist Nick Hornby.
Suicide Squad Update
Director David Ayer tweeted a cast photo recently from his upcoming super villain flick Suicide Squad. That means Torontonians can get their star-spotting on as the flick is going under lenses right here in Hogtown. The stars of the film include Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto.
In fact, also filming here this summer is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 according to the City of Toronto's currently filming list. That flick is expected to start shooting in May.
Toronto Screengrab of the Week
Last week's offering was from Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. This week puts us in period mode inside the Royal York hotel. This film landed an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. Also of note, the trailer for Egoyan's latest flick Remember (which hopefully has Egoyan remembering his past pedigree) was just released. It certainly has a stellar cast.