Berlin fest shouts about silent film

Sidebar to focus on role of women

BERLIN — Women in film will again be the subject of the Berlin Intl. Film Festival Retrospective, but unlike last year’s showcase of pics from the 1950s and ’60s, this year’s sidebar will examine silent film.

“City Girls: Images of Women in Silent Film” looks at how film helped to create the modern woman.

“On screens worldwide, the silent era propagated a new type of woman, one tht still stands for modernity,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. “In today’s debate of gender roles, many parallels can be drawn to the discussion of emancipation in this era.”

Pics in the Retrospective lineup illustrate how the shift in the role of women in society was also the result of political upheaval and social changes at the beginning of the 20th century. Films presented the changing values of the time, and the setting of most of the movies was the big city, where women found a new independence.

Among 30 silent films screening in the sidebar are John Emerson’s “The Social Secretary” (1916), with Norma Talmadge; Clarence Bader’s “It” (1927), starring Clara Bow; and Lewin Fitzhamon’s “Tilly’s Party” (1911), starring Alma Taylor and Chrissie White.

The Berlinale runs Feb. 8-18.

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