Past Event

First Light Silent Film Series: "Japanese Cinema"

July 5, 2017
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM

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.

Japanese Cinema: "I was Born, But..." (1932, Yasujiro Ozu)

Two young brothers decide that their father isn’t such an important person when they see him kowtowing to his boss. Japan created a large if rarely-exported cinema during the silent era, fostering myriad styles that often combined Western-style stories with elements of Japanese visual arts and performance. 


With live piano accompaniment by Satsuki Hoshino from the improvisation class of Jean-François Zygel at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.


Created 15 years-ago by Jean-François Zygel, the piano improvisation class at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP) assembles a dozen pianists (undergraduate and masters students) who are engaged in exploring all of the artistic and musical avenues of this ever-expanding field.  Whether accompanying performances in dance, theater or silent cinema, piano improvisation requires excellent listening skills and great versatility, as well as in-depth knowledge of musical styles and genres

Free and Open to the Public

Followed by a conversation with Professor Richard Peña, Director Emeritus, New York Film Festival and Hubert Niogret, filmmaker and film critic