Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sherlock Jr. & The Club Foot Orchestra

On April 12, 2008, SF Jazz sponsored a triple feature of silent films at the Castro Theater. All films were accompanied live by The Club Foot Orchestra. The three films were Sherlock Jr., The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu.

On November 14, 2010, The Club Foot Orchestra returned to the Castro and accompanied the same three silent films. This time, SF Jazz was not a sponsor. My recap even confirms that the short film Woos Whoopee featuring Felix the Cat, preceded each screening in 2008 as was the case in 2010.

This time, I did not watch all three films. I wanted to see The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari but a friend preferred Sherlock Jr. so I went with her to the first screening of the day.

Sherlock Jr. starring Buster Keaton; (1924)

I previously wrote "Sherlock Jr. was another gem. The special effects and stunts were incredible. Long before The Purple Rose of Cairo, Keaton had a character move from "real life" into the movie. Then there is this still impressive sequence where Keaton moves from one scene to another without the jump cuts being visible. Finally, Keaton performs stunt after stunt including steering a motorcycle while sitting on the handle bars. Apparently, he broke his neck performing one stunt."

I can add that the stunt with the water tower is the scene in Sherlock Jr. where he broke his neck. I was still impressed with the film. I recalled the motorcycle stunts from before but I had forgotten the jump cuts in the movie-within-a-movie sequence. I remain impressed that that sequence could be filmed in 1924.

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