What good fortune for my visit to coincide with the Mendocino Film Festival. Only being in town for one night limited my choices somewhat but deciding to go and see the Friday Night Silents was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

A few very early George Méliès shorts (circa 1903) were followed by some longer movies including (in no particular order) Le Spectre rouge which was hand-tinted by Pathé, Buster Keaton’s first movie as director (and without Fatty Arbuckle) One Week, Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life replete with the quintessential villain and associated hissing, boos and cheers from the audience. We were also treated to the legendary Méliès masterpiece Le Voyage dans la lune and a French stop motion film called The Automatic Moving Company.

The movies were accompanied by live music from a San Francisco ensemble, who did a magnificent job. They also improvised the score for two of the shorter movies.

All-in-all it was a wonderful way to spend the evening and will without a doubt be one of the highlights of my trip.

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