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Saturday, May 4


L'HOMME DU LARGE (SF Silent Film Festival)
Musical accompaniment by the Guenter Buchwald and Frank Bockius with intertitle narration by Paul McGann

A first-born son brings great pride and hope for the future to the family of a Breton fisherman. But like the sea itself the boy’s nature cannot be controlled. Made at a time in French cinema when experimentation and narrative storytelling were one and the same, L’Homme du Large borrows from all of it for a lyrical portrait of a traditional way of life negotiating threats from the modern world. Shooting on location in the Breton Isles, Marcel L’Herbier mixed professional and nonprofessional actors, documentary-style shooting with meticulous mise-en-scène, and expressive intertitles with striking photography for what is often considered his first masterwork. Big themes of good and evil play out in this distinctive culture as L’Herbier brings mythological struggles down to earth.

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avatar for Guenter Buchwald

Guenter Buchwald

Conductor, composer, pianist, and violinist Guenter Buchwald is a pioneer of the renaissance in silent film music. He has accompanied silent films for thirty-eight years with a repertoire of more than three thousand titles and has conducted orchestras worldwide from Iceland to Romania... Read More →
avatar for Frank Bockius

Frank Bockius

Versatile percussionist Frank Bockius specializes in jazz and is versed in medieval, flamenco, and Latin music styles. He has performed for dance and theater companies as well as in his own bands, including the jazz quintet Whisper Hot and the percussion ensemble Timpanicks. He joined... Read More →
avatar for Paul McGann

Paul McGann

British actor Paul McGann made his film debut opposite Richard Grant in the cult movie Withnail and I and he went on to appear in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, Ken Russell’s The Rainbow, and David Fincher’s Alien 3. His television work includes the eighth incarnation... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 4:30pm - 6:00pm


L'INFERNO (SF Silent Film Festival)
Musical accompaniment by the Matti Bye Ensemble with intertitle narration by Paul McGann

A tour through the Nine Circles of Hell, Inferno from 1911 depicts the first part of Dante’s 14th century epic poem The Divine Comedy in such vivid imagery even nonbelievers might find themselves lurching toward the confessional. Its elaborate tableaux and stunning special effects took two years to produce, with exorbitant production costs unheard of at the time. One of a flurry of films made in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Italy’s Risorgimento, Inferno caught the attention of the country’s intelligentsia who had previously dismissed movies as mere novelty. “A noble example,” said one after the film’s premiere, “of wanting to distance itself from the vulgarities of which we are all sated by now.” Enhanced by Cineteca di Bologna’s pristine restoration of the original tinting and toning this presentation of Inferno is not to be missed. An international blockbuster, it incited the rest of the world to try to produce films of equal ambition.

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avatar for Paul McGann

Paul McGann

British actor Paul McGann made his film debut opposite Richard Grant in the cult movie Withnail and I and he went on to appear in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, Ken Russell’s The Rainbow, and David Fincher’s Alien 3. His television work includes the eighth incarnation... Read More →
avatar for Matti Bye Ensemble

Matti Bye Ensemble

The Matti Bye Ensemble seeks that magical, emotional alchemy between music and images, playing a wide variety of instruments that include piano, glockenspiel, violin, musical saw and percussion. It is led by award-winning film composer Matti Bye, who has been the Swedish Film Institute's... Read More →

Saturday May 4, 2019 9:15pm - 10:30pm
Tuesday, May 14


Julie Orringer & Michael Chabon at JCCSF
Julie Orringer (The Invisible Bridge) joins Michael Chabon (Moonglow) for a conversation about The Flight Portfolio, Orringer’s new historical novel set in occupied Europe and based on the true story of American journalist Varian Fry’s extraordinary rescue of Jewish artists and writers threatened by the Nazis including Hannah Arendt, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall.

"No book this year could possibly compare with The Flight Portfolio: ambitious, meticulous, big-hearted, gorgeous, historical, suspenseful, everything you want a novel to be." 
– Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less

avatar for Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer is the bestselling author of the novel The Invisible Bridge and the award-winning short-story collection How to Breathe Underwater, which was a New York Times Notable Book. She is the winner of The Paris Review's Plimpton Prize for Fiction and the recipient of fellowships... Read More →
avatar for Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonder Boys, Werewolves in their Youth, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland, The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Maps and Legends... Read More →

Tuesday May 14, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Kanbar Hall 3200 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Wednesday, May 15


Namwali Serpell at MoAD

Litquake and MoAD present...

Namwali Serpell’s electrifying debut, THE OLD DRIFT, is the first novel ever to tell the story of Zambia from its very beginnings to the present day—and beyond.

Crossing centuries, borders, and genres, THE OLD DRIFT tells a sweeping tale of a small African country as it comes into being, and the trials and tribulations of its people. Their stories, told by a mysterious swarm-like chorus that calls itself man’s greatest nemesis, form an epic meditation on what it means to be human.

With playful language, Serpell masterfully blends historical fiction, fairy-tale fables, romance, and science fiction. On each page, she turns stereotypes and tropes on their heads, unsettling the stories we think we know about Africa, from colonialism to migration, gender to race, poverty to politics, and nationhood to technology. Through THE OLD DRIFT’s cast of vivid characters—including Zambia, which proves to be a character itself—Serpell shows that, if to err is human, then even the slightest error can still be a powerful force for transformation. Incisive, expansive, and subversive, THE OLD DRIFT announces Namwali Serpell as a major new literary talent.

avatar for Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell was born in Lusaka and lives in San Francisco. Her first novel, The Old Drift, is forthcoming with Hogarth (Penguin Random House) in 2019.She won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing for her story, "The Sack." In 2014, she was chosen as one of the Africa 39... Read More →

Wednesday May 15, 2019 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Museum of African Diaspora 685 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105