Anything But Silent - Live Theater Organ Accompaniment by BEN MODEL
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Tuesday, November 29 at 7:30 pm
Members $10 | Public $15
The recently rediscovered silent version of Lewis Milestone’s classic adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel about idealistic young men facing profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.
At the dawn of the sound era it was not uncommon for important films to be produced in both sound and silent version. This was true for the first film to win both Academy Awards for Best Picture and best director, Lewis Milestone’s legendary pre-code World War I epic, All Quiet on the Western Front, based on the novel of the same name written by Erich Maria Remarque. Like many of his peers, 19-year-old Paul (Lew Ayres) is inspired by his schoolteacher to join the German Army in the name of nationalism. While fighting on the frontlines, he and his comrades witness unspeakable things, and persevere through the treachery and filth of trench warfare. After being lost for many years, the silent version was recently rediscovered and restored by the Library of Congress, and it is a major revelation. The silent version of this well-known classic is in many ways superior. The absence of dialogue in the silent version accentuates the remarkably fluid camerawork employed by Milestone and cinematographer Arthur Edeson. When coupled with Milton Carruth’s editing, which sustains a brisker pace than the sound version, the silent All Quiet on the Western Front is a stunning cinematic achievement equally at home in the pantheon of sound and silent film masterpieces. (USA, 1930, 136 min., English, NR, 35mm print from the Library of Congress | Dir. Lewis Milestone)
Ben Model is one of America’s leading silent film
accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silent films at
the New York MoMA since 1984, and the CAC since 2006.