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Midnite show at MoMA – June 21

On Saturday June 21 at midnight (!) I presented and accompanied a program of silent one-reelers from 1913 at MoMA. The program was part of an innovative education program done by Amir Parsa called “That Year, This Day” in which class participants spent time at the museum from 6pm to 2am in galleries and education classrooms, viewing and discussing the art scene circa June 21, 1913 with Parsa and a number of other historians and presenters. Steven Higgins picked the films and sat down with me a few days ahead of time so we could go over points of interest about where cinema was in 1913 for my talk.

The films chosen were: The Dachsund and the Sausage (Bray), The Ambassador’s Daughter (Brabin/Edison), Suspense (Lois Weber/Rex), Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life (Sennett/Keystone) and The Lady and the Mouse (DWG/Biograph). A real well-rounded grouping of films. The Edison was a recent restoration, and the Keystone was a preservation done in the late 1990s from a nitrate collection from the U.K.. The intertitles in the Oldfield short appear to be original release titles; there are more of them than in the video/16mm editions I’ve seen. These were all 35mm prints, and the class screening was done in one of MoMA’s screening rooms; I used the 88-key midi controller MoMA purchased for Miditzer use and ran it into my MacBook, making it a virtual piano. The talk went well, as did the Q&A; the films were a big hit as well.

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