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avante garde films at NYU, my alma mater

Played for a film history (a/k/a “cinema studies”) class at NYU, where it all started for me. Teacher was Antonia Lant, and I’ve played for her class once a year for the last few years. Hadn’t played at NYU since ’85 or ’86, and then Antonia turned up at one of my Silent Clowns shows a few years ago. This year, the program was avante garde silents, as it was last year. A fun bunch of films — and a nice break after comedies and Christ. Played for The Smiling Madame Beaudet, the first 10 mins of Berlin: Symphony of a City, Paris Qui D’ort and Un Chien Andelous. For the Buñuel I approximated his original score, playing a tango and the “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde, alternating between the two when it seemed appropriate (or not, in the spirit of Dada). The students had a lot of great questions and, as usual, none of them had ever heard of a theatre organ. One of them came up to me to introduce himself; he was a transfer from Simon’s Rock College, and was the student who spearheaded the movement to have me come up and play for Nosferatu there last fall, but had switched to NYU before I got there. A nice connection.

Will be a guest on the Leonard Lopate radio program on WNYC FM on Friday. This is my 2nd appearance on the program, having been on last March to promote the Arbuckle retrospective at MoMA. This time I’m on, along with Kino’s Jessica Rosner, to promote the new Reel Baseball DVD set, which JR produced. [Will post a link to the podcast for this next week.]

Will just have enough time to catch my breath before doing a show Sun April 1 at the Jacob Burns Film Center — comedy shorts from the Hal Roach studios — this time with Bruce Lawton
. Should be a fun program. We do one of these for the Burns every year and we always get a great turnout…often selling out before showtime.

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