The silent Keystone comedy, Kid Auto Races at Venice, should have been exactly that — a newsreel documenting a soapbox derby race. But as children race along an audience-lined pathway, a curious fellow wearing a bowler hat and baggy pants emerges into the frame, constantly interrupting the shot. The man is Charlie Chaplin. In cinematic […]
About Eric Veillette
My name is Eric Veillette and I am a Toronto-based journalist, researcher and film programmer. As a journalist, my musings on cinema, censorship, architecture and Toronto history appear regularly in the Toronto Star‘s flagship Insight section. For Entertainment, I’ve covered various local film festivals and event profiles. At Rue Morgue Magazine, I examine horror films both old and new and look at the ways in which horror has intermingled with pop culture over the decades. I am also working on several writing projects with Heritage Toronto, but in the past, my work has appeared in Goldmine, Wire, Perfect Sound Forever, Parks Canada publications, and Archival Outlook, the print publication for the Society of American Archivists. In the world of film programming, I run classic retrospectives in two of Toronto’s oldest repertory theatres. The Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles Ave. is home to Silent Sundays, a semi-monthly celebration of the lost art of silent film. Accompanied by acclaimed silent pianist William O’Meara, the series caters to the Revue’s neighbourhood base, offering an assortment of slapstick and adventure from cinema’s golden age. Earlier this year I launched Classics From The Vault at the Fox Theatre in the Beaches. Aimed at highlighting the best from the 30s and 40s that are rarely seen on Toronto’s big screens, the Fox is also the new home for the my classic horror-focused Creepy Classics series which began at Cine-Cycle in 2008. For the 2009 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, I curated an assortment of silent films titled SHHH. Held at Dundas Square in the bustle of the afternoon, festival-goers were treated to seldom-seen films featuring Buster Keaton, Colleen Moore, Clara Bow, John Gilbert and Douglas Fairbanks.
This piece was originally published by the Toronto Star on March 5, 2013. It appears here in a slightly edited form. Buster Keaton, who rose to fame in the 1920s, directed and starred in some of the most famous films of the silent era. The General (1926) is ranked 34th on Sight and Sound magazine’s list of the […]
This article was originally published by the Toronto Star on December 28, 2012. The silent era saw the production of about 100 films based on Dickens’ work. Eight shorts, made between 1901 and 1912 — including the earliest filmed version of A Christmas Carol — will be shown on Monday as part of the Dickens […]
Released in 1924, Murnau’s film was not screened in Ontario until 1928. During the winter of 1925, F.W. Murnau’s masterpiece, The Last Laugh, was shown to a very exclusive group of Ontario movie-goers. The audience was the Ontario Board of Censors, and while they were no doubt impressed by the film’s dazzling cinematography and lack […]
When Shirley Hughes launched the Toronto Silent Film Festival in 2009, she never thought that a modern-day silent film like The Artist could claim the Best Picture Oscar, sparking a revival of interest in early cinema. Closing tonight, the festival has long placed importance on connecting the past to the present. The opening night film, […]