Sunday, March 2, 2014


Yes, I did manage to make it to the 18th annual KANSAS SILENT FILM FESTIVAL at Topeka last Friday evening 28 February. It was my fifth year in attending the opening Friday night's events.
The features were: a) a cartoon, to-wit: FELIX IN HOLLYWOOD (1923);  b) ELLA CINDERS (1926 with Colleen Moore); and  c) DOUBLING FOR ROMEO (1921 with the great Will Rogers).

The real treat was an unexpected bonus opening one-reeler--the 1912 British silent  A CANINE SHERLOCK HOLMES.  In this wonderful pastiche the consulting detective (one "Hawksworth") is more than ably assisted by his little canine pup "Spot."  The dog steels the movie and the audience (over 200) howled, laughed and clapped as Spot feigns being hit in the street by a car so as to gain access into the criminal lair   :D

The other main treat was the music--as always SUPERB and thrilling--just to see these films the way original audiences all over the United States saw them in their own little Bijou's, Uptown's, Rialto's, Orpheum's and Crown's (or whatever the local movie Palace was called...for they WERE Palaces!)

The world famous Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra accompanied the feature with Will Rogers.
Local talents Marvin Faulwell (organist supreme) and Bob Keckeisen (principal percussionist at the Topeka Symphony Orchestra & assistant director) played a bravura score for the ELLA CINDERS movie.  And, maybe my favorite (just cause he's so friendly and personable; and brilliant on the ivory and black keys) was JEFF RAPSIS playing the opening overture, the intermission number (to accompany a slide presentation) and the backing for FELIX GOES TO HOLLYWOOD.

I could not find a Youtube clip of Mr. Rapsis playing, but include the one below where he introduces the screening of the famously found (in Argentina) and restored Fritz Lang METROPOLIS (which I own on Kino DVD)

                                                                (The mondo-cool JEFF RAPSIS)

A great time was had by all space agents, such as
- - - eugor


  1. I too own METROPOLIS on Kino DVD. I guess I misspoke about only liking silent comedies. I started thinking and found quite a few silent films I like. The Sherlock dog film sounds like a goodie. I wish I could have attended with you. The more I think about how the future is such a closed book to us, but how our aging is an ever ongoing thing, the more I wish I lived close to you. A short grab of a week every year or two is not enough. Not to be morbid, but to be morbid, in just 10 years we will be 69. I never thought I would make it to 50. It is true what "they" say about life - when you are young, it goes by much too slowly. When you are old, it goes by much too quickly. I am starting to think perhaps I should start selling my collection to free up money to better live my life instead of being surrounded by other people's lives wishing I could do this or that. Wishing doesn't make things happen. I might have to go through brain surgery to be able to sell my stuff. George Carlin sure was right - "you don't own your shit, your shit owns you." Who am I kidding - I couldn't voluntarily sell or get rid my collections - I would have to be dead. Did you know I own all the original Star Trek (ST) TV series, movies, ST the Next Generation TV series, all the STNG movies, and the animated ST TV series. How could I ever part with those? I couldn't and that's just a drop in my collection bucket. I need to really organize and list what I own in Records, DVDs, CDs, Comic Books, Books, Animation Art, Super 8mm Films, and all my Photographs. It isn't going to happen, but I should. Enough babbling... We were talking about Silent Films. Any of the SF or Horror Silent Films like A trip To The Moon and Metropolis or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Edison's Frankenstein I like. The drama I don't care for that much. Although Charlie Chaplin is a lot of times heavy on drama and lite on comedy - I still love his films. I guess I can't categorize silent films any more than I can films made today. I depends on the story and the performances. Oh well - I hope this has been and will be the (depending on where you live) the last snow storm of the year. I worry about my family and my friends - and they all are sick of the snow and ice. Are you reading anything right now? I'm reading some old issues (like there are any new issues) of Castle of Frankenstein (CoF). One thing I noticed other than CoF is more serious when writing about the films than FMoF is the nudity in the displays about the films. The magazine (CoF) was created for older monster kids. The issues I have reading are from the 70's and do include the 40's to 50's monster films, but also include the 60's and 70's monster films like the Hammer films, which did have a lot nudity. It's fun to read about films and TV shows that are rumored to be in development and realize these productions never saw the light of day. I guess this enough of a short comment. Miss all of you...Reliops the Demented

  2. RELIOPS of the enlightened brain-powers (times five):
    You should stop being mordred....being percival or gawain is much healthier.
    Silent drama is an acquired taste (like Doctor Who)...some people like chocolate in their peanut butter some people don't...."REESES PEANUTE BUTTER CUP" (sung loug and off-key) I too love the aforementioned genre silents that you list...but heartily recommend you check out SUNRISE, THE PASSION OF JOAN OR ARC, and SPARROWS...these three dramas blow away most of what's been on the screen the last 70 years or so. Speaking of Star Trek (and the ST franchise) that gives me the idea of adding more musical posts that deal with my love for soundtracks, series' themes, scores and cues et al. O Reliops, even when you are more bid (I bid another $1,000 on that Wm. Shatner hairpeace plug! SOLD to the beared spoilish guy down front!!!!) you are trenchant and obtuse. Eugor salutes you will all my mandibles!.