This year’s International Silent Film Festival gathers OPM bands to score the featured films

All aboard: Buster Keaton’s ambitious The General (1926) is to be scored by the Flippin Soul Stompers.

There’s a certain beauty to silent films. Even though they don’t have any spoken dialogue, these films were, during the early days of cinema, screened with accompanying music from live bands and musicians. It’s a shame that we’ll never be able to experience these films as they were screened back then. But lucky for us, there are still some film festivals that bring silent films to modern audiences around the world.

The International Silent Film Festival Manila is one of these. Now on its 11th year, the film fest was the fi rst event of its kind, established back in 2007. What makes this film fest special is that the films are always accompanied by the best Filipino musicians on the scene today — and this year, featuring with a French-Vietnamese guest artist. The festival will also be accompanied by a side event at Shang’s grand atrium, where short silent films by young and emerging Filipino talents will be shown.

The festival begins Aug. 31 at the Shang Cineplex at Shangri-La Plaza, and runs until Sept. 3. The selected films come from a variety of countries, presented by their respective embassies or cultural representatives in the country. Kicking off the festival is El Golfo (1918), accompanied by rock band Talahib; followed by Underground (1928) with live music from dub band Goodleaf; L’Inhumaine or The New Enchantment (1923) accompanied by French-Vietnamese harpist Heloïse LaHarpe with Ryan Villamor and Aldous Castro on piano and synthesizer and percussion and handpans, respectively; A Perfect Family (2017) scored by Young STAR Fresh Produce alum Tom’s Story; Dragnet Girl (1933), accompanied with both music by The Celso Espejo Rondalla and silent film narration or benshi by Ichiro Kataoka; Taglish (2012) with Lourd de Veyra’s stoner-metal quartet Kapitan Kulam; Café Elektric (1927), accompanied by OPM canon Rivermaya; Pandora’s Box (1929) with music by everyone’s favorite Sandwich; and last but not the least, Buster Keaton’s The General (1926) scored by the Flippin Soul Stompers.

Admission to the 11th International Silent Film Festival Manila is free. For film screening schedules and inquiries, visit their Facebook page.

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