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Film Programs
Synchronized Pantomimes / Early Animations
Ciné-Concert: Broken Blossoms preceded by The Taming of the Shrew and A Modern Garrick

September 3 at 2:00
East Building Auditorium

Gillian B. Anderson, conducting Cinemusica Viva  

Reflecting the spirit of Shakespeare’s play and performed  by actors from Paris’s Odéon, this condensed Taming of the Shrew has Baptista’s daughter Bianca in love with Lucentio, though her father will not permit a marriage until his willful older daughter Katherine finds a mate. Petruchio, a nobleman friend of Lucentio, resolves to marry Katherine, countering all her tantrums with tantrums of his own until he tames her. A new score, composed by Virginia Guastella for ten-piece ensemble, is conducted by Gillian Anderson. (Eclipse, 1911, 35mm, 15 minutes)

In the burlesque A Modern Garrick, a young woman and her fiancé attend a performance of Romeo and Juliet, with a matinee idol billed as the “Modern Garrick.” Infatuated with this actor, the woman acquires a mania for playing Juliet but is cured with the aid of the matinee idol pretending to be a hypnotist. Much of the film is now missing. New score composed by Virginia Guastella for ten-piece ensemble, conducted by Gillian Anderson. (Pathéplay, 1913, 35mm, 5 minutes)

For Broken Blossoms, D. W. Griffith adapted a story from Limehouse Nights (1916), a collection of tales set in the Chinatown district of London’s East End. A Chinese man (Richard Barthelmess) falls for the lovely Lucy Burrows (Lillian Gish), who lives with her abusive boxer father (Donald Crisp). This screening of Broken Blossoms receives special treatment, an attempt to recreate Griffith’s own effects when first presenting the film: special lighting at specific moments, a shadow play instead of live pantomime for the musical prelude, and Chinese, Balalaika, and western instruments. The original musical score is by Louis F. Gottschalk. Theatrical effects adapted by Lidia Bagnoli. (D. W. Griffith, 1919, 35mm, 90 minutes)

still from Broken Blossoms
courtesy Photofest


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