San Francisco Silent Film Festival Presents: Abel Gance’s Napoleon


For the first time in over 30 years, Abel Gance’s Napoleon is coming to the Paramount Theater in Oakland for only four shows.  In the early 1980’s, Francis Ford Coppola toured a four hour version of the film… now, thanks to the work of film historian Kevin Brownlow, a restored 5 ½ version will be shown with a full orchestra and the original three screen “Polyvision” is was meant to be viewed in.

A wonderful story in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle brought this presentation to light for me.  I have heard of this supposed “holy grail of silent film” for years… but never imagined having the ability to be able to see it as it was intended.  I would highly recommend reading that article here.  It explains the massive undertaking that went into bringing this presentation to life and wonderful details about what a special film this truly is.  Imagine… double exposure, split screens, and all spread out over three screens lined up left to right.  Nobody has ever seen this version in the United States… you could be one of the first.

I’m itching to see this… but sadly, I can’t find anyone willing to spend 5 ½ hours of their weekend watching a silent film about the early years of Napoleon with me.  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to see a rare silent film… skip seeing The Artist… come see Napoleon with Mr. Blahg!

All details for the film, including tickets, are available at 

Foux Du Fafa,
Cornelius J. Blahg

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