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 Serial Film: "Fantômas" (1913, Louis Feuillade)
Master of disguise Fantômas carries on a war against society, and only Inspector Juve can stop him. As their stories became longer and more detailed, filmmakers at times adopted the serial format, continuing the adventures of a group of characters across several installments. Followed by a conversation with Professor Richard Peña, Director Emeritus, New York Film Festival and Dominique Païni, former director of the Cinémathèque Française.
With live piano accompaniment by Camille Taver from the improvisation class of Jean-François Zygel at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.