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Performance Notes for this free eventFeb.  27 & 28, 2004

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| Program | Notes
| Recap


Introductions by Denise Morrisonblank
Music provided by Dr. Marvin Faulwell
and by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Friday, Feb. 27, 2004

Begins: 7:00 p.m.

THE FINISHING TOUCH (1928 / with Laurel & Hardy) - The dynamic duo of movie comedy are being employed to fix up a house, but they have their own particular style and work ethic when a big job like this comes along. The mayhem just gets bigger and bigger. Comic events follow disaster after disaster. Stan and Ollie were always the masters of visual comedy and even the little gags build to incredibly funny heights. This is another of the pair’s comic gems.
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell

THE ADVENTURER (1917 / with Charlie Chaplin) - The little tramp escapes from the “pokey” and leads a merry chase along the coastline of southern California. He manages to slip into high society, but eventually can’t escape the long arm of the law. Chaplin was probably at his peak in this Mutual comedy produced with his popular band of supporting players and technicians. It is undoubtedly one of his funniest short films (the ice cream social is a masterpiece!) featuring Edna Purviance and Eric Campbell.
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell

SPITE MARRIAGE (1929 / with Buster Keaon) - Buster Keaton’s last silent feature film is one of his least known works, probably because it followed so many of his greatest successes, but it is an absolutely charming comedy in its own right. Dorothy Sebastian plays a popular, yet spoiled actress whose performances on the stage gather many admirers, among them the lovestruck Buster. When Keaton gets the chance to trade places with one of the other actors, he creates comic pandemonium. When Sebastian is jilted by another male admirer, she marries Keaton out of spite. One of Buster’s most famous routines—putting the intoxicated wife to bed—was created for this film.
   Although not deserving of the term “masterpiece” which is so often applied to Keaton’s other features, Spite Marriage is still a comedy treasure that is a surprisingly engrossing film and more people should see it. Tonight’s presentation will feature a rollicking jazz age music score arranged for the film by Rodney Sauer and Susan Hall of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
-- Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Saturday - Feb. 28, 2004

Morning - starts at 10 a.m.

TARZAN OF THE APES (1918 / with Elmo Lincoln) - The classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story of an abandoned baby found and raised by apes was given its first screen adaptation in this 1918 version starring the barrel-chested Elmo Lincoln, who was a far cry from the athletic Tarzans of the future. However, Lincoln was an amazingly good choice for the role. A sequel and a serial (both with Lincoln) followed as well as dozens of other remakes. See what you think. Some of it may be campy, but when Lincoln leaps into action or snarls like a lion, one wonders if this was indeed the “real” Tarzan of the apes.
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell

SIMBA (1928 / with Martin and Osa Johsnon) - A native of Chanute, Kansas, Osa Johnson and her husband Martin spent many years creating small documentary films about trips to exotic lands. They were to be the first explorers to take a movie camera to Africa and what they brought back opened up America’s eyes and popularized the documentary film. Their later films became hokey and sometimes ridiculous, but they were known and loved the world over. For this, one of their few surviving silent feature films, they forded crocodile-infested rivers, braved wild elephants and stared down charging rhinos to bring back precious images of African wildlife and portraits of Kenyan tribes people—records of an almost vanished culture.
Special Introduction by Conrad Froehlich - Chanute Safari Museum
Guest Percussion by Bob Keckeisen, principle percussionist with the Topeka Symphony
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell
-- read 2004 newspaper feature, with link to audio discussion

--Lunch Break

Afternoon - starts at 1:30 p.m.

BOBBY, THE COWARD (1911 / directed by D.W. Griffith) - A very early D.W. Griffith short featuring Robert Harron. This continues our Kansas Silent Film Festival tradition of showing at least one film by the man acknowledged as the “Father of Film,” D.W. Griffith. Bobby the Coward represents another very rare early film that very likely helped form some of the film ideas and techniques still in use.
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell

OLIVER TWIST (1922 / with Jackie Coogan, Lon Chaney) - This classic Charles Dickens tale of a wandering street urchin taken in by a gang of London thieves had already been filmed several times before, but in 1922, it seemed the perfect vehicle for rising child star, Jackie Coogan, who had just finished working with Charlie Chaplin in the classic, The Kid. This time Coogan was paired with the “master of movie make-up,” Lon Chaney Sr. as the leader of the gang, Fagin. Considered a “lost” film until recently, this rare feature includes two rich performances in the middle of its heartfelt story.
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell

--Short Break

THE WAITER'S BALL (1916 / with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle) - An early solo effort from the portly prince of comedy, The Waiters’ Ball is another comedy confection in which Roscoe must disguise himself as a girl to get into a society event. The mayhem involves getting back at the cad who stole his suit (Al St. John). Those who only know Arbuckle from the scandal that ruined his career (and he was completely exonerated, by the way) have no idea as to the talent and genius of this unique and inventive man. Most of the films made by this Smith Center, Kansas native (and mentor of Buster Keaton) mix slapstick with some unusually dry wit. He often wrote and directed his own films.
-- Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchesta

THE MARRIAGE CIRCLE (1924 / with Adolphe Menjou) - A sophisticated comedy set in Vienna, Marie Prevost relentlessly pursues Monte Blue, who is happily married to her best friend, Florence Vidor. Adolphe Menjou is her betrayed husband, who wants a divorce. This is the kind of spicy romantic comedy that could only work in the hands of a stylish director like Ernst Lubitsch and that’s precisely who Paramount hired for this little gem. Newly restored, this is now considered a Lubitsch classic alongside his later To Be or Not To Be (1942) and The Shop Around the Corner (1940).
-- Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchesta

--Dinner Break

Evening - starts at 7:00 p.m.

DREAMS OF A RAREBIT FIEND (1921 / by Winsor McCay) - A couple go to bed after eating rarebit. The wife has an unsettling dream about adopting a small cat that grows and grows with every bowl of food it inhales. Soon, it’s eating automobiles and houses! Soon, it’s the size of Godzilla! This is a strange masterpiece, one in a series of “dreams” that get more and more outrageous with each film. Moral: Don’t eat the rarebit!
-- Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

MIGHTY LIKE A MOOSE (1926 / with Charley Chase) - Mr. and Mrs. Moose are not pretty, but after he has his teeth fixed and she has her nose done, they look great. They meet by accident and don’t recognize each other. They make plans for a rendezvous, hoping to hide it from their spouses. How much fun can you cram into 20 minutes? This is another gem from the master of the “comedy of embarrassment,” Charley Chase. He was a truly versatile performer, who could also write and direct comedy shorts, often working with his pals Laurel and Hardy on the Hal Roach lot. His own films are not seen often enough and here’s your chance to see one of the very best!
-- Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

LILAC TIME (1928 / with Colleen Moore, Gary Cooper) - All of those handsome young men in their flying machines are billeted in a field next to the Widow Berthelot’s farmhouse in France. This World War I romance is all about the relationship that develops between the widow’s daughter and a dashing British airman as he is summoned on a suicide mission, yet promises to return. Colleen Moore is the outstanding ingredient in this movie, delivering a wonderfully varied performance and Gary Cooper (as her lover) was certainly on his way to stardom with this picture. Equally fine are the aerial combat special effects.
-- Music by Dr. Marvin Faulwell

About Denise Morrison:

Denise MorrisonDenise Morrison is a film historian from Kansas City, Missouri, with a special focus on silent film. She works as an archivist with Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, and has been involved with the Kansas Silent Film Festival since the beginning. She was quite active with the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas, when they were showing a full schedule of silent movies. Denise will give an overview of the silent film era and also provide introductions to each film.

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About Marvin Faulwell:

Dr. Marvin FaulwellDr. Marvin Faulwell is a dentist from Kansas City who is a very accomplished theatre organist. He has played for all of the previous five Silent Film Festivals and our "sister project," Silents in the Cathedral, held every Halloween at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. He has a large theatre organ in his home and also restores the instruments. He has appeared in concert and accompanied silent film programs in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Minnesota and also accompanied many silent films shown at the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas.read 2004 newspaper feature, with link to audio discussion

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About the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra:

Mont Alto Motion Picture OrchestraThe Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra comes from Boulder, Colorado and have appeared at this festival since the third events, held in 1999. The orchestra consists of a piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and trumpet. They are quite active in their hometown have appeared several times in California, at the Buster Keaton Celebration in Iola, Kansas (since 1998) and at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. They have made three CDs of salon music and silent film music. They have provided the music scores for numerous silent films on video and DVD including Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920), Blood and Sand (1922), and The Thief of Bagdad (1924) for Kino Video.

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