Duck Soup Cinema Series Features Free Screening, Rare Chaplin Shorts and Phantom
The 2014/15 Duck Soup Cinema silent film series will open during Overture Center’s 10th anniversary weekend with a free screening of Harold Lloyd’s rarely-seen film, Hot Water. The season will continue in October with the iconic The Phantom of the Opera, followed by a collection of rare Charlie Chaplin shorts in March 2015 and one of the great films of all time in April, Buster Keaton’s The General.
Capitol Theater inside Overture Center opened for the purpose of showing silent films in 1928, with accompaniment on a custom-built Grand Barton organ. Duck Soup Cinema revives that history, with professional organists accompanying the films on the same vintage organ.
Details of the season’s screenings are below.
Saturday, September 27, 2014 | 1 pm and 4:30 pm | FREE
Harold Lloyd in Hot Water
The newlywed comedy is nothing new! Even in 1924, 76 years before Meet the Parents, a young man’s relationship with the in-laws was a source of humor. And how could a live turkey in a streetcar be anything but hilarious? Laugh along to a rare treat, one of what Lloyd called a “gag film,” a light comedy, heavy on visual jokes. Wisconsin’s own Jelani Eddington will accompany the film on the Grand Barton.
This free screening is part of 10Fest, the celebration of Overture’s 10th Anniversary.
Saturday, October 18, 2014 | 2 pm and 7 pm | Adults $7, Students $3
Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera
The Andrew Lloyd Weber version graced the Overture Hall stage in its first season, so it only makes sense that the 10th Anniversary season includes a screening of the original! This first adaptation of the Gaston Leroux novel provided a perfect vehicle for Lon Chaney, already famous for his performance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The revelation of the Phantom’s face — created by Chaney’s own makeup techniques — is a seminal moment in American cinema. Jeff Weiler will accompany the film on the Grand Barton Organ.
Saturday, March 7, 2015 | 2 pm and 7 pm | Adults $7, Students $3
Chaplin Short Film Festival:
“Kids Auto Race,” “Work,” “The Immigrant,” “Behind the Screen”
Experience the rare short films of Charlie Chaplin provided by Film Preservation Associate David Shepard. These four short films are a variety of Chaplin’s great works through the 1910s.
We’ll begin with a vintage newsreel, including Chaplin in an ad for the Chicago Daily News. Then Kid’s Auto Race features Charlie Chaplin at an auto race in Venice, CA. His driving is just as skillful as you’d expect. Work features Chaplin as a decorator for a family that could best be called “eccentric.” The Immigrant tells a story of a man who meets a woman in steerage enroute to America. Once off the ship, they separate, only to reunite and realize how connectedthey are.
Behind the Screen, Chaplin’s fourth comedy based on the movie business, features a stagehand who has trouble with his supervisor, a studio strike, and another stagehand who isn’t what he seems to be … or what she seems to be. Clark Wilson will accompany these short films on the organ.
Saturday, April 18, 2015 | 2 pm and 7 pm | Adults $7, Students $3
The General starring Buster Keaton
Johnnie Gray, a southern railroad engineer, loves nothing more than a girl named Annabelle Lee and an engine named The General. After the Confederate Army inexplicably rejects him, Annabelle Lee does the same. And when Union spies hijack his train, he is forced to save both of his loves. One of most expensive films ever made at the time, it failed to break even domestically and was considered something of a flop … until much later. In 2002, Roger Ebert put it in his Top 10 films of all time, and in 2007, the American Film Institute named it one of the best films ever made. Come see one of the most important films of the silent era, with the incomparable Dennis James accompanying on the organ.
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