FIRST WORDS The Birth of Sound Cinema (featuring Victrola Favorites–live on period machines, hand cranked for your listening pleasure)

Posted in on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 at 4:45 pm by CGT

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The Birth of Sound Cinema, 1895 - 1929

Thursday, September 23, 2010
7:30 PM Victrola Favorites, with Robert Millis & Jeffery Taylor
8:00 PM Film screening (16mm, 90 min.)

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA
Between Pike and Pine on Capitol Hill SEATTLE

Contrary to popular myth, there were sound movies long before Al Jolson played The Jazz Singer in 1927. This program explores that forgotten history, with rare short films ranging from Thomas Edison’s early experiments 115 years ago to the triumph of the talkies, and all points in between. You’ll see — and hear — music, cartoons, newsreels, and more.

In addition to our film program, Seattle musicians and archeo-sonographers Robert Millis and Jeffrey Taylor will delight us with a pre-show program of rare 78rpm records from the period, played on antique hand-wound phonographs similar to those used in the earliest sound movie processes.

These acoustic phonographs will also be used to (loosely) recreate the experience of an 1897 “sound film” screening by Pennsylvania showman, Lyman H. Howe.

An introductory talk and a complimentary booklet of program notes will provide historical context, information about the films, and pointers to additional reading and info.

Other Highlights of the Film Program Include:
The oldest surviving sound film…from 1895
A French variety act…from 1900
Children’s musical theater by Thomas Edison…from 1913
Some of the very first jazz music ever filmed…in 1923
Sing along to the original Bouncing Ball…in 1925
A Vitaphone technical demonstration film…in 1926
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chats about his belief in ghosts…in 1927
Duke Ellington in a film made by the director of a Surrealist classic…in 1929
And even more!

The Sprocket Society
…has been celebrating the history of mechanical cinema, its arts and sciences with film screenings since 2007. Some notable prior events have included Georges Méliès: Impossible Voyager featuring special effects epics from 1902-1912, the Secret Sunday Matinee series which recreated the weekend matinees of yore (complete with movie serials), last year’s Halloween Spook Show Spectacular, and co-presenting this past spring the series Visual Music, Sensory Cinema 1920s-1970s with the Northwest Film Forum.

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