Come celebrate the summer with “First Light,” a richly curated selection of classics of the international silent cinema, many featuring live musical accompaniment by students of Jean-François Zygel's piano improvisation class at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. Too few are aware that the silent cinema was a period of almost incomparable artistic creativity; the lack of sound, rather than a hindrance, was actually a kind of inspiration for the era’s finest filmmakers, who found ingenious ways to expand the visual expressiveness of their works. Not surprisingly, the great silent filmmakers—from Méliès to Griffith, from Eisenstein to Buster Keaton—continue to influence and inform contemporary artists across the disciplines.
German Expressionism: "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920, Robert Wiene)
When a somnambulist comes to town with a carnival sideshow, mysterious crimes begin to occur. The artistic tendency known as “expressionism,” so influential in then contemporary visual arts and theater, found its cinematic manifestation after World War I with a series of highly stylized, brooding psychological dramas. Followed by a conversation with Professor Richard Peña, Director Emeritus, New York Film Festival.
With live piano accompaniment by Orlando Bass from the improvisation class of Jean-François Zygel at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.