The appreciation of the visual dynamics of silent film has grown in recent years, and actors from Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin) to Johnny Depp have spoken of what they learned studying the work of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton (whose The General is a must-see July 20). John Lasseter, too, has credited the visual storytelling of silents as a key inspiration for Pixar films.
See the Silent Film trailer and full program below.
Summer of Silents: Photoplay Award Winners of the Silent Era kicks off on Monday, June 13, with a big-screen presentation of Humoresque (1920) with live musical accompaniment. The eight-film series (running Monday nights through August 8) will showcase silent films of the 1920s that were Photoplay Magazine Medal of Honor award-winners. The films will be accompanied by live music and pre-show screenings of rare surviving fragments of lost films and shorts starring Keaton, Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, among others. A film historian will introduce each movie.
The complete schedule for "Summer of Silents" is as follows:
“One Week” (1920), starring Buster Keaton, will be featured during the pre-show. The feature will be introduced by Cari Beauchamp, with live musical accompaniment composed and performed by Michael Mortilla on piano and Nicole Garcia on violin.
"Tol’able David" (1921)
“Never Weaken” (1921), starring Harold Lloyd, will be featured during the pre-show. The feature will be introduced by David Shepard, with live musical accompaniment composed and performed on piano by Alexander Rannie.
"Robin Hood" (1922)
“Pay Day” (1922), starring Charlie Chaplin, will be featured during the pre-show. The feature will be introduced by Jeffrey Vance, with live musical accompaniment performed by Clark Wilson on an Allen Theatre Organ.
"The Covered Wagon" (1923)
Surviving fragments from 1924 Photoplay award winner “Abraham Lincoln” and 3D images from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) will be featured during the pre-show. Live musical accompaniment provided by Will Ryan and the Cactus County Cowboys.
"The Big Parade" (1925)
Introduced by film historian and Academy Honorary Award recipient Kevin Brownlow, with a recorded stereo orchestral score composed by Carl Davis.
“The General” (1927)
“Then and Now,” a presentation by John Bengtson, outlining the filming locations for silent era comedies by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd will be featured during the pre-show. The feature will be introduced by Brownlow with a recorded stereo orchestral score composed by Carl Davis.
"Beau Geste" (1926)
“Saturday Afternoon” (1926), starring Harry Langdon, will be featured during the pre-show. The feature will be introduced by Frank Thompson with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
"7th Heaven” (1927)
“Mighty Like a Moose” (1926), starring Charley Chase, and a surviving fragment from the 1928 lost film, “The Patriot,” will be featured during the pre-show. Introduced by Janet Bergstrom with live musical accompaniment composed and performed by Michael Mortilla on piano, Nicole Garcia on violin and Frank Macchia on winds.
"Four Sons” (1928)
“Two Tars” (1928), starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and a fragment from the 1928 lost film “The Case of Lena Smith” will be featured during the pre-show.
There will be no screening on July 4. An updated list of speakers, music performers and other program details will be available on Oscars.org.