Kansas Silent Film Festival 2014

So Friday afternoon, I picked Big Sis up from school.  (Little Sis was sick at home.)  We rushed to the library to find an audio book...

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curry.
HarperCollins, 1999.  This is a fantastic audio book.  We are on the waiting list for the next two in the series!

And we drove two hours to the state capital, Topeka, for the 18th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival!

We saw some shorts and a Colleen Moore movie, then decided to skip the evening's final offering in order to check into our hotel.  We weren't sure what Saturday would bring, weather-wise.

On our way to the hotel, Big Sis asked if we could go bowling.  I said, "Um, no way," but I did pull into the parking lot to take some pictures of the amazingly cool signs.  I am a geek like that.

Look at all that fabulous neon!

Saturday morning, we returned to the Washburn University campus to catch the morning's entertainment, which was already being shuffled around, in order for the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra to be able to hightail it home to Colorado before the storm hit.  A big one was predicted, although the weather advisory for Topeka wasn't supposed to go into effect until 6 PM.

Heading to lunch, I called home to inquire about the weather in Wichita.  Mr. B told me the sleet had already started.  Drat.

We decided to play it safe and head home.  The fact that Big Sis had started coughing heavily overnight aided in our decision. We took an extra-long lunch at Via's Pizzeria (YUM), then hopped back on the turnpike.

As consolation, we did stop at one of the new Hardee's/Dunkin Donuts service stations, scoring some donuts and coffee to ease the disappointment.

That evening, at home in our warm house with the fireplace crackling, we watched the concluding film of the festival, Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times.

Here is Modern Times on YouTube.  This one is a great introduction
to silent film for grade school-aged kids.  It was made well into the sound era,
and features its own built-in musical score (by Chaplin) and sound effects.
It is also streaming on Hulu, and on DVD.

It was disappointing to see so little this year, but last year, we were completely snowed in and unable to attend at all.  And we did get to see some treats this year.  Here is a small sample:

"Felix in Hollywood," 1923.  Big Sis had already seen this one many times!

A scene from Ella Cinders, starring Colleen Moore (1926).  

"The Enchanted Drawing," by J. Stuart Blackton for Edison Studios, 1900.

A scene from The Patsy, starring Marion Davies, directed by King Vidor (1928).
In this scene, Marion's Pat impersonates three well-known film stars:
Mae Murray, Lillian Gish, and Pola Negri.  I've seen this one on TCM
several times.  It's adorable.

We will try again next year, of course.  Until then, we will remember to smile!

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  1. What fun! An audio, a drive, a show, and some great pics? Sounds like a total win win.

    1. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we enjoyed our short time away. I must say, it was so cold when we returned home that we changed into flannels and sweats and fell asleep on the couch for an hour before we even started Modern Times. ;)

  2. Driving two hours? You are a brave mommy! I think I would have abandoned the project just at the thought of being in a car for 2 hours. Too bad you couldn't stay longer but it was probably wiser and safer. How fun though that you did get to see some cool movies still. Sleet is everywhere today and will be around for 2 more days apparently. This is the longest winter LOL

    1. We have to drive 3 hours to visit my mom or my father-in-law, or to go up to Kansas City, so 2 isn't so bad. I like road trips, and audio books, paper and crayons, and games on the Nexus keep it from being too boring for the kids. ;) Then again, this trip was made easier in that I only had the 8-year-old along. Her sister is more likely to be restless!

      It's up to 38 degrees today, but they're predicting more snow this evening. The high should be 51 tomorrow, so we should be back to brown and muddy!

  3. Cool... Can't wait to watch those movies at home. Beautiful trip.

  4. you guys are the coolest! i say this all the time, but oh my, you have the funnest and most interesting looking outings!!!! i would have gone just for the pizza and the doughnuts and the neon!! ha ha ha

    1. The pizza was good. I have to admit, I think I prefer Krispy Kreme and our local Donut Whole over Dunkin Donuts, but the coffee is awesome!


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