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The Marie Dressler Foundation's Vintage Film Festival returns for its 29th annual edition, on the big screen at Port Hope's beautiful Capitol Theatre, on October 21st, 22nd & 23rd! Buy tickets here: a full weekend pass for $79 admits you to all 13 movies, as well as Sunday's lunchtime talk: "Dangerous Dames: Celebrating the Women of Pre-Code Gangster Films". Single tickets are just $10 per screening, or free at the door for anyone 25 or under. And the popcorn is free for everyone, all weekend!
The theme of this year's program is "breakout roles": those performances that transformed actors into movie stars, that lifted them into the ranks of the A-list, that boosted them onto a new plateau of celebrity! See the full program here: there is definitely something for everyone! Every decade from the Twenties to the Seventies is represented, as well as a huge range of vintage film genres: melodrama, gangster, horror, screwball comedy, film noir – as well as classic drama and comedy, and even something for the young people. As usual, we've made sure to share a musical, a foreign film offering, and two silent films which will be presented with live piano accompaniment.
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The Vintage Film Festival has a couple of changes to announce regarding its 2022 programme.
In addition to moving a few films around in the schedule for this year's Festival on October 21st, 22nd & 23rd, we are changing a couple of the titles.
The Mary Pickford Foundation will not have their remastered edition of her 1914 silent film Tess of the Storm Country available for us to screen this year. In its place, VFF 2022 will present 1923's Little Old New York. This movie, together with 1922's When Knighthood Was in Flower, made Marion Davies a silent screen star.
And, as our traditional foreign film offering, we will show, not Vittorio De Sica's Two Women, but something much more delightful for a Sunday morning: Jacques Tati's 1953 classic, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (Les Vacances de M. Hulot).
Jacques Tati (1907-1982), born Jacques Tatischeff, was the grandson of an Imperial Russian Army general and a circus performer. After having spent a few years working in the family picture-framing business and playing semi-professional rugby, Tati exploited his innate talent as a mime in the development of an act called Impressions Sportives. It made him a star of the Parisian music hall stage during the Thirties, and led to performances in London and Berlin as well. During the same decade, he also starred in a few short films, some of which he wrote himself.
Following service in the Second World War, Tati returned to cabaret performance, and appeared in the 1946 comedy feature, Sylvie et le fantôme. Connections made on this production led to the making of films with Tati as director, as well as writer and star. His 1947 short, L'École des facteurs (The School for Postmen), won the Max Linder Prize for film comedy. He expanded the short into his first feature, Jour de fête (The Big Day), which received Le Grand Prix du Cinéma Français in 1950.
In 1953, Jacques Tati released what would be the first of four movies featuring his newly created title character, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday. It won Tati an international reputation, and earned him and co-scenarist Henri Marquet an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Its sequel, 1958's Mon Oncle (My Uncle), won Tati the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the New York Film Critics Award, and a Special Prize at Cannes. It was followed by two more Hulot movies, Playtime (1967) and Trafic (1971).
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday is a film with very little dialogue: the comedy is largely visual (although it also generates humour from sound effects). M. Hulot himself is a comic character in the tradition of Charlie Chaplin's little tramp and Buster Keaton's “great stone face”. He also anticipates the very similar Mr. Bean, whose creator, Rowan Atkinson, acknowledged his debt to Tati.
Please join us this October, at Port Hope's beautiful Capitol Theatre, to enjoy thirteen films, featuring great actors in their breakout roles, at the 29th Vintage Film Festival!
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