Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 2 Wed, Aug 17, 2022 7:30 PM


Anything But Silent

Ernst Lubitsch’s SO THIS IS PARIS

Wednesday, August 17th at 7:30 PM

With Live Theatre Organ Accompaniment by Ben Model!

Members $12 | Public $17

Paul and Suzanna are a happily married couple in Paris, when new neighbors across the street start causing trouble. When Paul goes to complain to Georgette and Maurice, he realizes that she is an old flame. Thus begins a series of marital mishaps that try the fidelity of both couples. When Ernst Lubitsch joined Warner Brothers in 1923 with a three-year, six-picture deal, he moved away from the kind of historical epics he had produced previously in Germany and began a remarkable series of marital comedies that earned him the reputation of Hollywood’s most elegant and sophisticated director, encapsulated in “the Lubitsch touch.”  Like Cecil B. DeMille before him, Lubitsch became the foremost commentator of gender relations in the Jazz Age. So This is Paris, the last film on his Warner’s contract is light as a feather and twice as funny. From the very opening scenes, Lubitsch cleverly toys with visual representation and audience expectation as reality and fantasy crisscross in a comic, primal love quadrangle among the cultivated and wealthy. Filled with favorite Lubitsch elements—deceptive guises, traded identities, delicate suggestion and innuendo—that assume a sophisticated audience who want to participate as much as consume. Here, the director adds to the mental and physical kinetics with surreal animations and a phenomenally kaleidoscopic, avant-garde dance sequence. (USA, 1926, 80 min., b/w with tinting, DCP / Director: Ernst Lubitsch / Screenwriter: Hans Kräly / Cast: Monte BluePatsy Ruth MillerLilyan TashmanMyrna Loy)

“Lubitsch applies his naughty touch to a sexual roundelay, as two sophisticated, straying couples flirt their way towards a mammoth dance contest, a good-natured send-up of sheikhs, jazz babies and would-be wife swappers, replete with binge drinking, outrageous Freudian symbolism and a writhing kaleidoscope that must be the ultimate Charleston scene.” - J Hoberman NY Times

A still from SO THIS IS PARIS (1926)

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. Since March 16th, 2020, Ben has been hosting a weekly live-streamed silent film show from his living room, “The Silent Comedy Watch Party.” Click here to visit Ben's YouTube page!

Silent Film Accompanist Ben Model