THE MONT ALTO MOTION PICTURE ORCHESTRA We are lucky enough in New York City to have a handful of highly talented pianists who are experts in the subtle, self-effacing art of providing accompaniment to silent films. But it’s a particular pleasure to hear silent-film music as it was actually performed in most of the first-run theaters of that era — which is to say, by an orchestra.
The five-member Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, based in Louisville, Colo., and led by Rodney Sauer, can be heard on several silent-film DVDs, but the group will offer its first live performance in Manhattan on Friday at Lincoln Center, accompanying two films of high interest in themselves: Harold Lloyd’s 1927 comedy “The Kid Brother” (6 p.m.) and William A. Wellman’s rarely screened 1928 social drama “Beggars of Life” (9 p.m.), with Louise Brooks (above, with Richard Arlen) as a young woman who kills her abusive stepfather and, to escape the police, disguises herself as a boy and joins a group of tramps.
Mr. Sauer specializes in compiling scores from the authentic photoplay music of the period, drawing on the work of neglected composers like Gaston Borch and J. S. Zamecnik; the results are often breathtakingly beautiful and always in the strict service of the film on the screen. (Friday at 6 and 9 p.m., Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, Lincoln Center, 212-975-5600, filmlinc.org; $20.) DAVE KEHR
Friday, April 25, 2008
Beggars tonight in NYC
This short write-up appeared in today's New York Times. I wish I could be there for this special screening . . . .
Copyright thomas gladysz / Louise Brooks Society
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