Tuesday, October 29, 2013

STRAND Cinema 
Nosferatu + Moving Machines =   
Live Music + Silent Film

Thursday, Oct 31 • 8 PM

Strand Theatre • 717 Clay St

tickets available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse
or at the door

Silent films were never silent.  From the early days, live music was performed to accompany the images. Sometimes written, but often improvised, the music was a complement, a completion of the film. When sound pictures became the norm, the element of live performance at the movies was largely abandoned. There was no need. 

Recent years have seen a resurgence in silent films accompanied by live musicans. 

FW Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu will be presented at the Strand Theatre in downtown Vicksburg with live original music by Palmer Shiers and Jeff Gough, known collectively as Moving Machines. This year they are being joined by percussionist Josh Harrison. Anyone who attended last year’s presentation of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari knows how cool this will be. It was standing room only last year, so getting advance tickets and/or getting there early is a good idea.

Palmer and Jeff, who have been performing together for more than 2 years, both play electric stringed instruments: guitar and bass, using a technique they sometimes refer to as “treated guitar.” The term describes the fact that uch manipulation of the sound is employed, including multiple effects
pedals and sometimes distortion in an effort to create music that will evoke emotions. “I wanted to devote myself to experimental music without lyrics, because I thought I could communicate feelings better that way,” Palmer Shiers said.  Harrison is now a permanent member of Moving Machines
adding his unique percussion treatments to their sound. 

Roger Ebert gave Nosferatu 4 out of 4 stars. Here are a few of his comments about the film: Murnau's silent film was based on the Bram Stoker novel, but the title and character names were changed because Stoker's widow charged, not unreasonably, that her husband's estate was being ripped off.
Ironically, in the long run Murnau was the making of Stoker, because “Nosferatu” inspired dozens of other Dracula films, none of them as artistic or unforgettable. “Nosferatu” is more effective for being silent. It is commonplace to say that silent films are more “dreamlike,” but what does that mean? In “Nosferatu,” it means that the characters are confronted with alarming images and denied the freedom to talk them away. There is no repartee in nightmares. Human speech dissipates the shadows and makes a room seem normal. Those things that live only at night do not need to talk, for their victims are asleep, waiting.

Don’t miss this show.

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