The Nashville Film Festival not only offers film fans the opportunity to see independent films and early screenings of up-and-coming films, but it also brings back classics. Criterion and Janus Films have gone to great lengths to remaster the classic film Safety Last! and have brought it to NaFF for a 90th anniversary screening. The story involves a store owner organizing a contest to climb the outside of a tall building. Then circumstances force him to make the dangerous climb himself!
Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of Harold Lloyd and one of the films’ stars, said, “Safety Last! is timeless and that is what attracts fans to the film. The comedy and gags still stand up well and always get big laughs. Also, the ‘Glass Character’ that made Harold famous is an enduring personality that everyone can relate to; he’s the All-American regular guy and I think many people can identify with that kind of character… Even after 90 years, the film still hits all the marks and gets incredible laughs. The climb sequence still triggers gasps from the audience, and fans still cheer at the end when Harold gets the girl.”
Suzanne believes that these iconic films are a must-see for film fans and filmmakers. They offer something you won’t get from modern films. It’s imperative to see where we began and allow that to influence where we go next.
“Harold’s films definitely show the evolution of a filmmaker. If you watch some of his early shorts and then compare them to his later films, you can certainly see a progression in technique and camera work. Safety Last!, in particular, demonstrates an era of time before special effects, when actors couldn’t rely on green screen or stunt men. It’s a bygone era of filmmaking that I think is important for film fans and filmmakers to recognize.”
This digitally restored version of the film, Suzanne says, “is probably the most pristine it’s ever been since it was screened back in 1923." Make sure to check it out at this year’s Festival. Film Tickets and Show Times