Thursday, September 4, 2008

The 2nd International Silent Film Festival: Visages d'enfants (1925)

France's entry to the 2nd International Silent Film Festival was Faces of Children (Jacques Feyder, 1925). The story is about a boy who loses his mother and has to live with his father's second wife and her daughter. It's a typical stepmother slash sibling rivalry movie, but the twist is that the stepmother is actually a kind woman, a la Sharon Cuneta in "Madrasta." Umm. That's it. I thought the movie wasn't really that special. I kept waiting for something more exciting to happen. Towards the end of the two-hour movie, the boy (both the hero and the villain of the movie), jumps into the rapids in an attempt to kill himself because of shame for a trick gone terribly wrong, and I was like, finally something exciting. The stepmother saves the boy. Happy ending. Fin.

The lovingly restored movie though is beautiful to look at, shot on location in Switzerland. But perhaps the best thing about the screening was the live music provided by the band Yosha. Especially during the first half of the movie, each scene was scored differently depending on the mood of the scene. The band's score was modern, fresh, at least until the middle part when it became same-y, a keyboard riff here, a Middle eastern-ish chant there, drumbeats over here, you get the idea. But still, it was good work. I think they made the movie better.

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