Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tromsø Norway fest announced online!

Stumfilmdagere i Tromsø has just been announced online. Click here to see the website (and make sure to click on "Enlgish" in the upper right corner of the webpage).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Keaton in Manchester VT

Manchester Center, VT – we had a nice crowd for Sunday's showing of Steamboat Bill, Jr. at the Vilage Picture Shows theater. Mostly seniors, but a there were a few families with kids (I could hear the kids' laughter over everyone else's). The flyer put up all over town is at right.

Set up of my pair of 16mm Elmo CL's was easy (as usual), and the print looked great on their screen. We set 'em up with my Da-Lite Project-o-Stand straddling the last row of seats, and use 50mm lenses to fill the screen. The projectors are actually from my 501(c)(3) company, Silent Cinema Presentations (a/k/a The Silent Clowns Film Series), and we've had 2-blade shutters put in which makes them 33% brighter. Used my Yamaha DGX keyboard (76-keys, non-weighted) plugged into a small Fender guitar amp.


Below is a photo of the set-up, showing the projectors and the theater (click it to see it bigger).


The show went well, and the score went okay (well, I'm never satisfied). Tried a couple new themes and experimented a bit with where I used Buster's theme. In my intro I made sure to mention that "The Prisoner's Song" was a big hit in 1925, something fellow Keaton fan Robert Arkus told me about, having found a recording of it on YouTube. Below is the YouTube clip of Vernon Dalhart's hit single:


Next show is Phantom of the Opera on Saturday in New Marlborough MA.

Still waiting to hear final details about what I'll be playing for in Tromsø. I think we're going to be able to do the Miditzer this year, too, so stay tuned...

Ben

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hamilton Theatre - The General


Sunday Aug 10th at 7pm – another great show at the historic Hamilton Theater. This year was Keaton's The General, plus The Scarecrow. 35mm prints came from Douris Corp. The print of The General looked great and is the usual print I've seen; main titles and credits replaced by a single "Rohauer presents" main title but otherwise the film was original. The Scarecrow had all its titles and inter-T's replaced by RR and, in spite of the print's being in rather rough shape it ran just fine and the image quality is fantastic. I love that short and hope to track down a good 16mm print of it someday to own.

The local car collector who usually parks his vintage silent era cars in front of the theater opted for less-vintage models, as there was some rain that day. Seen (above) is a 1951 Plymouth, and next to it was parked a 1965 Corvair. [My folks owned one when I was born; it was also the vehicle Kovacs was driving that fateful night in Jan '62.]

We had a great crowd, a lot of regulars and a lot of new faces. This was our sixth year, and we've shown Steamboat Bill, Seven Chances, Safety Last, Girl Shy, Sherlock Jr. and now The General. Perhaps next year another Lloyd; wil have to check how much longer the Lloyd's will be available in 35mm from Sony...

Seen at right is one of the theater's original art deco era light fixtures on a wall inside the theater. Below are Chuck Fox and myself; Chuck manages the theater and has since Colgate acquired the movie house 8 years ago or so.
Have just double-checked my 16mm print of Steamboat Bill, Jr. for this Sunday's showing at the Village Picture Shows Theater in Manchester Center VT. Pics and report from last year's show (Grandma's Boy) are here.

I believe the podcast interview I did with Donna Hill for her series "Stolen Moments" goes live on Sunday Aug 17 as well. Click here to go to the website for it. The podcast I'm on will not be liested there till Sunday, but you'll find a link there to download/subscribe to the podcast.

See you at the silents!


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Charley Chase flyer from AllDay

FYE here is a scan of the ad slick for the upcoming Charley Chase DVD set from AllDay Entertainment. Click on the image (R) to see it full-size. The set is called Becoming Charley Chase and will feature all the extant Jimmy Jump shorts as well as films Chase appeared in while at Keystone and a few he directed as well. I'm scoring about a dozen of these, and have done several commentary tracks with fellow NY-area historians Steve Massa, Bruce Lawton, Robert Arkus, Yair Solan and Ken Gordon.

The set is due out in January of 2009, so make sure a pre-order is on your Xmas/holiday hint list!

Monday night I play for Caligari at MoMA, and have decided to accompany on piano. Should be fun...also on the bill is L'Hippocampe, the avante garde film where a seahorse gives birth etc.

See you at the silents!