Film

SILENCE IS GOLDEN

Paramount's Silent Series

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THE ONE TRUTH YOU CAN DEPEND on is this: Silent films can only be watched and enjoyed on the silver screen. To view them on video amounts to nothing more than a waste of time. No matter how great the silent film (Gold Rush, Greed, Last Command), it always falls apart when the faded images appear on the dull TV screen. This is regrettable, considering the importance of silent films to the tradition of cinema; indeed a competent knowledge of the art of cinema is impossible without a serious appreciation of silent films. And the only way this appreciation can be cultivated is to see the silent films on a large screen, with the appropriate music.

The Silent Movie Mondays series at the Paramount now offers us the rare opportunity to round out our knowledge of cinema. This post-SIFF film festival will screen a silent film every Monday night for the next two months, and will feature live accompaniment by the eccentric Dennis James, who first played for silent films in Seattle back in 1985, and returned again last year. This time around, he will be playing on a newly restored Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, which, I'm told, is one of the few theater organs still used for its original purpose, in its intended venue.

The series will include a set of comic silent films in June (Show People, The Pilgrim, A Dog's Life, Buster Keaton's Seven Chances, and Frank Capra's That Certain Thing) and three mysteries in July (The Bat, The Black Pirate, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring John Barrymore). Though I have nothing against experimenting musically with silent film, Dennis James (who is obsessed with preserving the way the music was played for silent films way back when) is great if one wants to get a better sense of what movie-going was like for our dead great-grandparents.

 

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Dennis James, final Paramount Theatre House Organist (1998-2009) and creator of the Silent Movie Mondays series, announces his 2012-2013 professional touring performances:

September 17, Cologne Philharmonie, Cologne, GERMANY
Debut silent film performance-:Filmharmonia Duo accompany Fritz Lang's DIE FRAU IM MONDE a new historically-based commissioned organ and electronics score

September 21, Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, California
Friday Night Silents autumn series: Laura LaPlante in CAT & THE CANARY

September 30, Black-Eyed Susan Cafe, Angelica, New York
Musica Curiosa Salon with Dennis James featuring the Theremin plus solo piano

October 4, Winspear Center, Edmonton, CANADA
Dennis James, organ soloist, with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra presentation: Lon Chaney in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA featuring Dennis James' arrangement for organ and orchestra of the 1925 G. Hinrichs and M. Winkler orchestral score

October 5&6, Historic Coleman Theatre, Miami, Oklahoma
Silent film program: Douglas Fairbanks in THE MARK OF ZORRO with historical-recreation compilation score by Dennis James

October 12, Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, California
Friday Night Silents autumn series: Erich von Stroheim's FOOLISH
WIVES with historical recreation styled improvised solo organ score by Dennis James

October 19, Scottish Rite Cathedral, New Castle, Pennsylvania
2nd Annual Halloween silent film performance: F. W. Murnau's NOSFERATU, A SYMPHONY OF TERROR with new solo organ compilation score by Dennis James incorporating surviving fragments of the Hans Erdmann original orchestra score

October 20, Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Annual Halloween silent film: Robert Weine's THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI with compilation score by Dennis James

October 24, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, Illinois
F. W. Murnau's FAUST accompanied by the Filmharmonia Duo

October 26, I. U. Auditorium, Bloomington, Indiana
Annual Halloween silent film event: F. W. Murnau's FAUST accompanied by the Filmharmonia Duo

October 28, Proctors Theatre, Schenectady, New York
Halloween silent film event: F. W. Murnau's FAUST accompanied by the Filmharmonia Duo

October 29, Missouri Theatre, Columbia, Missouri
Halloween silent film event: Lon Chaney in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

October 31, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Annual Halloween program: F. W. Murnau's FAUST accompanied by the Filmharmonia Duo

November 2, Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, California
Friday Night Silents autumn series: Lon Chaney in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

November 24,25, C&C Hall, Austintown, Ohio
Saturday evening- private glass music and theremin Musica Curiosa plus organ and film program / Sunday afternoon: Annual holiday open house- Wurlitzer organ performances with glass music and theremin Musica Curiosa elements

December 31, Venango Museum, Oil City, Pennsylvania
Annual First Night festival - Musica Curiosa program featuring theatre pipe organ plus piano, glass armonica and theremin and silent film comedy

2013

January 20, Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, California
SBTOS silent film matinee (2pm) program: Buster Keaton in COPS plus Marion Davies in SHOW PEOPLE

January 30, USC, Columbia, South Carolina
International Wagner conference: Fritz Lang's SIEGFRIED with performance of original orchestral score by Otto Huppertz, transcribed for organ solo score by Dennis James

February 1, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
"Music from Monticello" touring instrumental program featuring Dennis James performing Mozart with a concert replica of Benjamin Franklin's armonica

February 7, Washington Center, Olympia, Washington
7th annual Silent Film Concerts series: Louise Brooks in PANDORA'S BOX

February 9, Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Annual 'Duck Soup Cinema' variety show appearances: Willis H. O'Brien's THE LOST WORLD

February 10, Al Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, Wisconsin
Theatre organ with silent film: Buster Keaton in THE CAMERAMAN

February 23, Trinity Hall, Spring Valley, California
Annual San Diego Theatre Organ Society silent film program: Ramon Novarro in A STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG

March 2&3, Historic Coleman Theatre, Miami, Oklahoma
Annual silent film series presentations: Harold Lloyd in SPEEDY

March 7, Washington Center, Olympia, Washington
7th annual Silent Film Concerts series: Douglas Fairbanks in THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH plus the feature film WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY

March 8. California Theatre, San Jose, California
Annual Cinequest film festival silent film screening: Buster Keaton in COPS and Harold Lloyd in SAFETY LAST

March 10, Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, California
Pacific Symphony presents organ solo accompanied silent film event: Lon Chaney in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

March 16, Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Silent Film Concerts screening: F. W. Murnau's FAUST with scoring by the Filmharmonia Duo

April 5&6, Kenyon Hall, West Seattle, Washington
Variety programs with silent films and vocalist Connie Corrick

April 7, City Museum, Wenatchee, Washington
Variety program with silent films and vocalist Connie Corrick

April 11, Washington Center, Olympia, Washington
7th annual Silent Film Concerts series: Cecil B. DeMille's THE GODLESS GIRL

April 16, Grosser Saal, Mozarteum, Salzburg, AUSTRIA
Third annual Silent Film Concert series: Karl Valentin in DER SONDERLING

May 18&19, Historic Coleman Theatre, Miami, Oklahoma
3rd annual Musica Curiosa program featuring the WurliTzer theatre pipe organ plus unusual musical instruments, exotic repertoire, a guest performer plus silent film

*June tba, Liberty Theatre, Sedalia, Missouri
Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival Silent Film Concerts debut: Buster Keaton in THE GENERAL with piano plus sound effects scoring

June 9, Missouri Theater, Columbia, Missouri
Blind Boone Festival Silent Film Concerts debut: title tba

June 12, Konzerthaus, Vienna, AUSTRIA
Debut performance and recording with Donald Sosin of a newly commissioned score for Piano and Concert Organ to the Austrian national archive restoration of Conrad Veidt's THE HANDS OF ORLAC

July 7, Nunda Historical Society, Nunda, NY
Glass music instruments: "Glass-ical Musick" illustrated informance featuring the Seraphim, Benjamin Franklin's armonica and the Beyer Glass-cord

August 5 to 13, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Performing the glass armoniuca part in the US premiere of George Benjamin's new opera, WRITTEN ON SKIN presented as part of the Tanglewood Music Center's 2013 Festival of Contemporary Music

August 19, Balboa Park, San Diego, California
25th annual outdoor silent film program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion: Rudolph Valentino in THE EAGLE

August 23, Lily Dale Assembly, Lily Dale, New York
Glass music instruments: "Glass-ical Musick" illustrated informance featuring the Seraphim, Benjamin Franklin's armonica and the Beyer Glass-cord

September 12, Lyceum Lecture Series at Kendal, Ithaca, New York
Glass music instruments: "Glass-ical Musick" illustrated informance featuring the Seraphim, Benjamin Franklin's armonica and the Beyer Glass-cord

BOOKING CONTACT:
DENNIS JAMES | DIRECTOR
SILENT FILM CONCERTS
LECTURER, MASON GROSS SCHOOL OF ARTS, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
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Posted by muscur on February 28, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this

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