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.
The Feature Film: "The Mother and the Law" (1919, D.W. Griffith)
A couple, made homeless after a labor strike, struggle to keep their child out of the hands of the authorities. By 1915, production in the U.S. and elsewhere had moved away from short films and on to feature-length formats, requiring both new approaches to filmmaking as well as increasing sophistication of audiences. Followed by a conversation with Professor Richard Peña, Director Emeritus, New York Film Festival
With live piano accompaniment by Masanori Enoki from the improvisation class of Jean-François Zygel at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.