“The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema”
– Alfred Hitchcock 

We’re excited to welcome Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra back to the Rafael, in anticipation of their performances at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (May 1-5). 

During the transition to sound in 1929, Alfred Hitchcock made Blackmail in both silent and sound versions. The silent one was unavailable until recently, and many modern critics discovered it to be superior, with several differences from the more familiar “first British talkie.” Anny Ondra stars as Alice, an innocent who finds herself in a fix after her defense against sexual assault results in death. Also starring Sara Allgood and Cyril Ritchard, it is rich with Hitchcock’s trademark style and delivers the first major climax he set in a landmark location.

The talented musicians of Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra made their Rafael debut (and first Bay Area appearance) exactly 20 years ago, the very week the restored theater reopened in April 1999.  Based in Louisville, Colorado, director Rodney Sauer compiles and arranges his scores from authentic music of the period. The New York Times wrote about their work: “The results are often breathtakingly beautiful and always in the strict service of the film on the screen.”

Following our screening, Sauer will answer questions about his work. Program approximately 90 min. 

ADMISSION TO THIS PROGRAM: $20 General | $18 Seniors  | $15 CFI Members & Youth

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