Monday, July 16, 2007

Beggars of Life

The 12th annual Silent Film Festival was in town this weekend at the Castro Theatre. I was able to make it to one of the films that they were showing out of over a dozen. The one film I managed to get to was called "Beggars of Life." I love old movies and I am very intrigued by silent films. I find the acting to be REAL acting, if an actor can convey a story and emotions with only their facial expressions and body gestures and make you feel something then that's true acting.

"Beggars of Life" starred the late great Wallace Berry, who was phenomenal in his role as a bullying bum named Oklahoma Red. The movie also co-starred Louise Brooks and Richard Arlen. Arlen was fantastic and had "Brad Pitt" good looks in the silent era but the true star of this movie was Louise Brooks. I have never seen a movie with Louise Brooks in it and I was quite impressed. She was not a stunning beauty like Garbo, Taylor or Crawford but she stood out with her ultra-modern looks. Her hairstyle was way ahead of her time and is a style that is actually common and popular in today's times. It was almost odd seeing her in the role because she looks like she walked on the screen from modern times. Paul commented that if they remade "Beggars of Life" that to reflect the times in the 1920s, the role Louise played would be most likely played by a woman that “looked the part” of a woman from the 1920s.

The movie was had a great story line starting off with murder and ending up in love. I won’t spoil the movie for those who have not seen it...this film is available on DVD if you can find it in the right. Anyway, the thought of watching a silent film to many sounds grueling but try it out and I am sure you will be shockingly surprised at how good it really can be!

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