Glorious ‘Sunrise’


It’s a good thing I don’t work for the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, because I would immediately sign over my entire paycheck so I could see all the movies there (I currently sign my paycheck over to Pret A Manger and the Thai place a few blocks away from the Post’s offices.) Whoever programs the theater’s schedule is my hero, and I don’t ever want to meet him or her for fear that he or she is mean or a bad tipper or otherwise horrible. I’d rather live in ignorance.

This weekend, the AFI Silver is showing “Sunrise,” my favorite silent film. It’s the story of a cheating husband whose mistress tries to persuade him to kill his wife.

I’m really not selling it well here — when I like a film I tend to get very inarticulate and just say “It is so good. No, seriously, it is SO GOOD.” But if my sales pitch isn’t working for you, then consider this: The 1927 film won an Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production in 1929. Why did it win the Oscar two years after its release? Because the Academy Awards weren’t founded until 1929. The film is so good the Academy went back in time to recognize it.

So I’ll just tell you now that the AFI Silver is showing “Sunrise” at 5 p.m. Saturday with live musical accompaniment, and it costs only $13, which means you should have money left over to go to dinner and repeat to your date “It was so good! No, seriously, it was SO GOOD.”

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Vicky Hallett · April 20, 2012