Newly restored 1928 film Ramona to show at Heights Theatre

It’s estimated that roughly 70 percent of all silent movies have been lost forever, victims of neglect, poor storage of fragile negatives, or outright destruction. Around the world, film scholars are racing the clock to find and preserve as many silent films as possible, scouring film archives, attics, antique shops, old barns and even Craigslist for leads, however slight. Continue Reading

Finale of Trylon’s 5th Anniversary Silent Film Festival features two Buster Keaton comedies

The Trylon Microcinema at 3258 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis finishes its month-long silent film festival on July 25-27 with Buster Keaton’s Go West and The High Sign, with live musical accompaniment by Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra Minnesota. Go West (1925) features the leading lady that Buster Keaton’s wife Eleanor considered her husband’s most beautiful love interest of all–a Brown Swiss cow named Brown Eyes. Continue Reading

Minneapolis Band Fate’s Palette reflects on the challenges (and unexpected rewards) of their first silent film score

The weekend of July 11-13, the Trylon Microcinema’s ongoing 5th Anniversary Silent Film Festival took a turn toward the dark side with the 1922 German Expressionist classic Nosferatu. The film, subtitled “A Symphony of Horror,” tells the story of a young couple named Hutter and Ellen whose lives fall under the shadow of the fearsome vampire Count Orlok. Minneapolis band Fate’s Palette composed and performed an original score for the film, their first-ever foray into film scoring. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Cinema in the Cemetery series presents Buster Keaton’s “The General” among the headstones

At 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 24, Buster Keaton’s silent comedy-adventure The General will show outdoors at a rather unusual venue for a night at the movies–the Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery at Lake Street and Cedar Avenue. The event, a fundraiser for the historic cemetery, is part of the Cinema in the Cemetery series, co-presented by Take-Up Productions, the Trylon Microcinema, allstarvideo.org, and the Friends of the Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery.Local musicians Dreamland Faces will accompany the film with a live, original score, and food trucks will be on hand to stave off moviegoers’ hunger pangs. Admission is $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, with advance tickets available at take-up.org. Holders of Take-Up Discount cards get free admission but pay $2 for the music. Children under 12 are free, but donations from all attendees are appreciated. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Midsummer treat for silent film fans: New restorations of “The Thief of Bagdad” and “Safety Last!” hit Twin Cities theaters July 12-14

The weekend of July 12-14, Twin Cities moviegoers can grab the rare opportunity to see two of the most iconic films of the silent era on the big screen, Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! and Douglas Fairbanks’s The Thief of Bagdad.  The Trylon Microcinema will screen a new 35mm print of Lloyd’s 1923 comedy throughout the weekend.  The Heights Theater crowns the festivities with a new digital restoration of The Thief of Bagdad (originally released in 1924) on Sunday, July 14 at 7:30 PM.   Safety Last! features Lloyd as a department store clerk trying to convince his sweetheart that he’s really a top executive.  Climbing a skyscraper for a publicity stunt, he contends with a collapsing awning, a barrage of pigeons, and a rope he thinks is attached on the other end, but isn’t.  He ends up, famously, dangling off a clock-face several stories above L.A.   It’s a sequence that still has the power to thrill, ninety years after it first made movie audiences gasp and hide their eyes.  Lloyd’s climbing is all the more impressive considering he’d lost his right thumb and index finger in an on-set accident in 1919. According to Barry Kryshka, repertory programmer at the Trylon Microcinema, the Trylon has a tradition of showing a silent comedy in mid-July to celebrate the microcinema’s anniversary.  This year marks the fourth birthday for the volunteer-powered, 50-seat theater.    The Trylon booked Safety Last! Continue Reading