- Courtesy Kino International
This week the Silent Film Society of Chicago launches its annual summer festival, a series of six Friday-night screenings at the Portage Theater with live musical accompaniment. Every year the festival becomes more valuable, simply by virtue of its longevity: as the organizers run through the usual suspects—Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd; Chaney, Fairbanks, Pickford—they’re forced to keep digging deeper into the vast reservoir of silent film. A case in point is this year’s opening-night offering: Sherlock Holmes (1922), starring John Barrymore as the great detective. The movie was restored in 2001 by the George Eastman House (with a grant from Hugh Hefner, no less), but as far as I can determine, this will be the restored version’s first public screening in Chicago.