Serge Bromberg, courtesy of the company he founded, Lobster Films, has been discovering and restoring films from the silent era through the 1960s for 25 years. The excuse for myinterview (I’ve wanted to talk to him for years) was his imminent appearance at the 20th anniversary of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which had gifted him with this year’s Silent Film Festival Award. A man brimming with humor, bonhomie, and humility, Bromberg insisted that it was all a mistake. Hardly. Bromberg has been a friend of the SF Silent Film Festival, and of silent film restoration and appreciation for a quarter of a century, lovingly, perhaps obsessively, returning films to the public and honoring them for their original intention as well as what they can say to a modern audience.
I spoke with Bromberg at his Paris home via Skype on May 25, 2015, and the first thing I asked was what it was about old films that had made him want to devote his life to them. With the sounds of Paris in the background, we went on to talk about his philosophy of showmanship when it comes to sending his restored treasures out into the world, the unique place silent film comedian Charley Bowers has in the hearts of both Bromberg and the Surrealists of 1920s Paris, and why he named his company after a large crustacean. Hint, he’s French and the reason has something to do with amour.
The 2015 San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs May 28 – June 1. For more information, click here.
Click here for more information about Lobster Films.