Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lost Film Masterpiece Weekend

Eye acting heaven

Next weekend is looking to be one freaking amazing weekend for film nuts.  Saturday night, at UC Berkeley (Zellerbach Hall), Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc will be screening. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with the UC Choral Ensembles will be performing Richard Einhorns' Voices of Light to accompany the film.  This is a beautiful, beautiful film which gives me tingles every time I see it.

Suck on this, VistaVision

On Sunday (for me anyway, the film is screening four times: 3/24-3/25 and 3/31-4/1), in sweet, sweet Oakland, at the Paramount Movie Palace, will be a once-in-a-lifetime event:  a 5 1/2 hour screening of a British Film Institute restored print of Abel Gance's Napoleon with live orchestral accompaniment performing the score by Carl Davis.  This is literally a piece that is the product of decades of effort, finding and restoring the film to Gance's original version and composing a score to accompany it.  The final act will be projected with multiple projectors in accordance with Gance's original vision.  This may be the last time this work is screened in film in the United States (a digital restoration is in the works).  People are literally flying in from all over the world for this.  Read about the films fascinating history here.

Cruelty, madness,  beauty and over-acting

If you care about fast disappearing film, these are rare opportunities to see once "lost" masterpieces projected in film with live orchestral accompaniment.  If that's not enough, it will also be the chance to see every art kid's hero, Antonin Artaud, on the big screen in each film.  I'll be there, in the dark, dreaming.

Living, with your neck placed firmly in the noose

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