I have had some requests for recaps of silent screenings I have attended so I thought I would give it a shot. I don’t attend all that many compared to other silent movie peeps and I don’t actually think I am very good at recapping this sort of thing and doing it justice but let’s give this a shot.
Last week, I ventured down to the wilds of Burbank (spoiler: Burbank is not wild) to take in a screening of a 16mm print of The Mark of Zorro with music by the Famous Players Orchestra. The score was made up of period music with all the expected Latin flourishes.
I didn’t record any part of the show but here is a highlight reel from the orchestra accompanying Son of the Sheik last year.
As far as LA area screenings go, this one was on easy mode. Nice area and, wonder of wonders, parking! There was an informative intro from Kelley Smoot (my second podcast guest!) telling us a little about Douglas Fairbanks discovering Zorro and then the film began.
The audience was diverse and appreciative (a snickering audience can ruin a screening) and applauded all the Fairbanks stunts and antics. In short, a good time was had by all and we got a taste of the old silent era magic with the enthusiastic period score.
The orchestra’s next performance will be at Cinecon accompanying the flapper flick Bare Knees.