January 12th, 2020, 2:00 PM / Cost $8.00
Come enjoy a Sunday afternoon with silent film classics accompanied live by professional pianist Adam Swanson (to learn more about Adam read below)! Silent Sundays on January 12th will begin with an obscure yet brilliant comedy short wherein the star invents a new machine to “doctor” people’s hair to disastrous effect. The feature film will be another one of Buster Keaton’s proven masterpieces, Our Hospitality, the first in Keaton’s trilogy of historic Southern stories. Our Hospitality is the tale of the Hatfields and McCoys, but set in the 1830s and with a remarkable recreation of an early American railroad. The historic Henry Strater Theatre is a perfect venue for silent film—experience vintage cinema the way it was meant to be! A cash bar with popcorn and candy will be open. These events will be family friendly, so bring your kids and enjoy this fun and unique opportunity.
The Dome Doctor (Educational Film Exchanges, 1925)
Starring Larry Semon
The star of this film is probably the most obscure actor we have yet presented at Silent Sundays, but he deserves recognition, as anyone who sees this short will attest. Larry Semon was popular in his time and is now known for working with both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy before they teamed up. In The Dome Doctor, the daughter of a hairdresser falls in love with the son of the owner of a delicatessen. Larry invents an electric machine to grow hair but by the end of the short all has gone wrong. He barely escapes an explosion in a shed full of gun powder. The Dome Doctor is unique because of many unusual special effects for the period.
Our Hospitality (Joseph M. Schenck Productions, 1923)
Starring Buster Keaton and Natalie Talmadge
The first in Keaton’s “Southern trilogy”—Our Hospitality is the story of the Hatfields and McCoys, but with a few variations. Essentially Keaton’s first feature length film, he showed his genius by setting this film in the 1830s and recreating an early American railroad reminiscent of both Stephenson’s “Rocket” and the DeWitt Clinton. Keaton’s costar and love interest was his wife Natalie Talmadge, sister of two other famous silent screen actresses. A Romeo and Juliet situation ensues with the two feuding families, followed by a nearly fatal trip down river towards a huge waterfall. See Our Hospitality for yourself on the big screen! There’s nothing like an established masterpiece of silent film with live musical accompaniment!
Adam Swanson is one of the world’s foremost performers of vintage American popular music, including ragtime, early jazz, the Great American Songbook, and more. He holds a bachelor’s in classical piano and a master’s in musicology from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Although he is only twenty-seven years old, Adam has been a featured performer and lecturer at ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States, and he is the only four-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. He made his New York debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of nineteen, where he performed with Michael Feinstein. Adam has performed at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as in Hungary, Switzerland, and Australia. He has worked with such musicians as Toronto’s John Arpin, former rock star Ian Whitcomb, and legendary 1950s recording artist Johnny Maddox, who was one of Adam’s greatest influences. Adam frequently performs at the historic Strater Hotel where he makes his home in Durango, Colorado. Visit Adam online: www.adamgswanson.com.