Silent Music in the Ohio Theater?
Some years ago, I had the privilege of seeing the beautifully restored Jean Cocteau film La Belle et la Bete. Â Originally released in 1946, the black and white film is a surreal telling at the age-old story. Â An experience which could have been two-dimensional was given depth by Philip Glass, who wrote an all-new score for the film and performed it live here in Columbus with the Philip Glass Ensemble. Â It was an unforgettable event.
Not too many years later, another film was given similar treatment by Richard Einhorn. Â This time, however, the film was from the early days of cinema – The Passion of Joan of Arc – a 1928 silent film, censored before it was released. Â The original negative was destroyed in a fire, prompting director Carl Dreyer to re-edit the film from a second negative. Â
It was seen only in badly mutilated forms until 1981, when an original copy was found. Â In the late 1990s, Richard Einhorn was inspired to tell the story of Joan of Arc in Voices of Light. Â This, too, became an evening of extraordinary cinema with live music, featuring the Anonymous 4.
Later this year, another now iconic film will be screened with a live musical performance. Â The Godfather, by Francis Ford Coppola, will be shown in the Royal Albert Hall with a live performance of Nino Rota‘s soundtrack.
I write all of this because, though Central Ohio is still in a deep freeze, I’m hoping this trend might spread to the Ohio Theater sometime during the summer months. Â The CAPA Summer Movie Series allows us to enjoy masterpieces from many different eras of cinema, including classic silent films accompanied by the Mighty Morton Theater Organ. Â Maybe this event will encourage a local collaboration for something similar.
Read More: Live Orchestra to Accompany The Godfather at U.K. Screening (The Hollywood Reporter)
Hear and Watch the stirring finale to Voices of Light below