July 7, 2006

Silent Film Double Feature

grandmasboyGrandma's Boy (1922) and Sherlock Jr. (1924) • Original Score Performed by Ben Model • Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA • A novel way to end the dry spell for moviegoing. On our Berkshires honeymoon, we visited Great Barrington, MA (just take the Pike for two hours and turn left) and thoroughly enjoyed two silent comedies from Harold Lloyd (the bespectacled guy who hangs from the clock face) and Buster Keaton (the guy who nearly gets crushed by a house). Both films were wonderfully engaging and funny. Harold Lloyd shows genius in conveying so much emotion, passion, and humor without sound or dialogue. Buster Keaton is more inward and detached, but a master of physical comedy. The physical humor and breathtaking stunts were a real pleasure. The two kids behind us in the theater couldn't stop laughing as cowardly geek Harold Lloyd fought and wrestled the local bully all over the barnyard. It was a treat to watch the stars of the movie really risk their skins doing their own stunts. Ben Model's live organ score was skilled and seamless.

NOTE: These are the first silent films I have seen in the theater, marking a new "Oldest Feature Film" record in this diary (It Happened One Night [1934] is the next oldest). Actually, I think I have seen at least one of the first seven Marx Brothers movies (1929 through 1937) in the theater, but I don't have any memory (or record) of which I saw on TV or in the theater.