Wednesday, August 10, 2011

With Live Music Accompaniment on the Old-School Pipe Organ

I got hooked on silent movies back in '89, '90, when the old Film Center put on a silent film series at their old SAIC digs. Each film featured live piano accompaniment, plus a professor would give a little talk beforehand. Just about everything about the films - from the acting to the storyline to the cinematography to the humor to "dialogs" to the music - was far better most of what we have today (Bollywood cinema nonwithstanding).

Of course I'm also a huge fan of Chicago's Silent Film Society -- so much so that I wrote this 2004 Reader article about them.

This year their Silent Summer Film Festival focuses on leading ladies. I rode my bike out to the Portage Theatre a couple of weeks ago to catch the brilliant Cecil B. DeMille-directed Gloria Swanson* romantic comedy, Why Change Your Wife? (above).

There are three films left in the series; all screen at 8pm at the Portage Theatre. Admission is only $12 - which includes the live music:

Aug. 12 - Sunrise
Aug. 19 - The Cardboard Lover
Aug. 26 - The Mysterious Lady

More info here.

*Gloria Swanson practiced yoga under the guidance of Indra Devi. She became a vegetarian around 1928 and was an early health food advocate who was known for bringing her own meals to public functions in a paper bag. Swanson told actor Dirk Benedict about macrobiotic diets when he was battling prostate cancer at a very young age. He had refused conventional therapies and credited this kind of diet and healthy eating with his recovery. Later Swanson traveled the United States and helped to promote the book Sugar Blues written by her husband, William Dufty. (Wikipedia)

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