Live Music & Silent Films

Scene from Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS

image from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, screening with a live score by The Alloy Orchestra

Cornell Cinema teams up again with the Dept. of Music to present a free pre-Halloween screening of a classic horror film in Sage Chapel with live organ accompaniment by Dennis James. This year’s selection is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, based on the Victor Hugo novel and starring Lon Chaney. The screening will close-out Silent Movie Month in Ithaca. Then in November, Cornell Cinema welcomes back the Cambridge-based Alloy Orchestra for a two-day engagement. Founded in 1991, the group has been composing and performing their original scores for an array of silent films ever since, and Cornell Cinema has had the pleasure of hosting them, on a near-annual basis, ever since the late ‘90s. The three-man ensemble, known to sound like a twelve-piece orchestra, is made-up of Roger C. Miller on synthesizer; Terry Donahue on junk percussion, accordion, saw and banjo; and Ken Winokur on junk percussion and clarinet. The group has played a major role in the resurgence of interest in silent films shown with live musical accompaniment over their near 30-year history, introducing new audiences to the wonders of silent film year after year, and inspiring other musicians to apply their talents to the unique task of composing for silent films. They’ll perform with the definitive restoration of Fritz Lang’s dystopian epic, Metropolis, on November 8, and with a brand-new restoration of French actor/director Jaque Catelain’s Gallery of Monsters, a tale of love, danger & the circus, on Saturday, November 9. The Alloy Orchestra’s score for the film was commissioned by Indiana University Cinema and the Indiana University Office of the Bicentennial.

The Alloy’s visit is cosponsored with the Cornell Council for the Arts, the Department of Romance Studies and the Wharton Studio Museum.