I really do enjoy silent films and early talkies, but my exposure to them has sort of dwindled over the last few years. That is why I am seriously considering taking a roadtrip for at least a day of these early film classics at Slapsticon 2010. What is Slapsticon all about? They say it best:
Before Mike Myers, Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, and Adam Sandler, there were many early film pioneers who broke new ground in the art of motion picture comedy.
Some of the more familiar names include Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Mabel Normand, Charley Chase, Harry Langdon, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Thelma Todd, along with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
However, a significant number of lesser-known artists made important contributions to the development of film comedy. These artists include the likes of Larry Semon, Jimmie Adams, Lupino Lane, Gale Henry, Lloyd Hamilton, Max Linder, Billy West, Bobby Vernon, Alice Howell, Snub Pollard, Billy Bevan, Ford Sterling, Fay Tincher, Andy Clyde, Monty Banks, Clyde Cook, and Raymond Griffith, among many, many others.
It is to the well-known — and especially the lesser-known comedians, producers, directors, writers, and studios — that SLAPSTICON is dedicated.
This annual, four-day film festival — scheduled in July of every year — features screenings of rarely seen comedies from the silent and early sound eras. It is an opportunity to view films that are some of the earliest creative efforts in the development of motion picture comedy.
Just as important, SLAPSTICON is an opportunity to meet other people like you who share an interest in the appreciation and preservation of early film comedy. In attendance at SLAPSTICON are some of the nation’s most dedicated motion picture researchers and collectors, most of whom are walking encyclopedias of early film comedy.
Sounds pretty good huh? These are all day film extravaganzas, that I find hard to resist and if I can confirm my schedule I think I might book for at least one day. I am thinking Saturday since they will be showing the new discovered Chaplin film “A Thief Catcher (1914)” that night. If you are in the Washington DC area on July 15th-18th and have an appreciation for the subject, why not check it out for yourself.