Tag Archives: silents

The Sound of Silents

22 Apr

The Berklee Silent Film Orchestra learns to score films hands on in their collaboration with Sounds of Silents at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Cineastes and those intrepid enough to dig around in the recessed archives of the Criterion Collection may be well attuned to the silent works of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and Fritz Lang, but most have likely never experienced the full magic of those early filmmakers’ classics as they were intended at the time of their release—with a live musical accompaniment.

Back in the early part of the last century, pitted orchestras and organists nestled in nooks fervently tapped out the scores for Sergei Eisenstein’s “The Battleship Potemkin”(1925), Raymond Longford and F. Stuart-Whyte’s “Sunrise” (1926) and Lang’s “Metropolis” (1927) to heighten the audience’s immersion and to create the perfect confluence of visual and aural arts.

It was a time when the filmgoing experience was more than a bag of popcorn and a digital hard drive. These were gala events driven by blood, sweat and synergy. And now, thanks to the efforts of two sustaining programs in the Boston area, it is possible to hear and see the silents as they were nearly a century ago.

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