Sunday, April 18, 2010

'Grandma's Boy' (1922) on Sunday, April 25

We're screening a Harold Lloyd program at our next Wilton Town Hall silent film series on Sunday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m. Here's the press release and some images. We've been getting full houses at the Wilton series and there's no better way to see a Harold Lloyd film than in a packed theater with a lively audience.


Silent film 'Grandma's Boy' in Wilton, N.H. on Sunday, April 25

Classic comedy to be shown on the big screen with live music

WILTON, N.H. - See for yourself why audiences first fell in love with the movies! 'Grandma's Boy,' a hit comedy that helped establish Harold Lloyd as the biggest box office star of the silent film era, will be shown with live music on Sunday, April 25 at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main St., Wilton, N.H.

'Grandma's Boy' follows a cowardly young man who must find the courage to battle a menacing tramp terrorizing his small hometown, and also to win the girl of his dreams. Audiences have enjoyed this classic story since 'Grandma's Boy' was first released in 1922, establishing Lloyd as a major star of the new film medium. In revival, it continues to delight movie-goers and serves as a great introduction to the magic of silent film.

'Grandma's Boy' will be preceded by several short comedies also starring Harold Lloyd, tracing his development from a young actor trying to break into pictures into one of Hollywood's biggest stars. The films will be shown on the big screen from digitally remastered original materials, ensuring the best possible picture quality. The films will be accompanied by a score performed live by local composer Jeff Rapsis.

Despite his megastar status in the 1920s, Lloyd is largely unknown to today's audiences.

"People today know about Charlie Chaplin, who was in a class by himself," Rapsis said. "But in the 1920s, Chaplin was releasing a picture only every few years. But Lloyd was releasing one film after another, all of which were immensely popular not just in the United States, but around the globe."

Lloyd's career declined following the arrival of talkies in the 1930s. After retiring from the screen in 1938, Lloyd kept close control over his work, rarely authorizing revivals and not allowing the films to be shown on television, which meant later generations could not see his best work. He died in 1971.

With the release of Lloyd's work on DVD in 2003, audiences are rediscovering Lloyd's timeless genius. The DVD reissue sparked a demand for screenings in theaters, where the Lloyd films continue to cast their spell on audiences. Shown in a theater with live music, Lloyd's features maintain their power to delight movie-goers.

"Times have changed, but people haven't," Rapsis said. "The Lloyd films were designed to appeal to a worldwide audience, and their universal themes haven't lost any power. Shown under the right conditions—in a real theater with live music—they continue to work magic with audiences," said Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based accompanist who has performed music for silent films in venues ranging the Donnell Library in New York City to the Kansas Silent Film Festival.

'Grandma's Boy' is the latest feature in the Wilton Town Hall Theatre's regular schedule of silent films, which are screened on the last Sunday of each month. Admission is free, although donations are accepted to defray costs.

"All of these films were designed to be seen in theaters by large audiences, not on a small television screen by people sitting at home," Rapsis said. "We aim to recreate the lost magic of early cinema comedy by bringing together crucial elements for its success—the best available prints, projection on the big screen, a live audience, and live music."

'Grandma's Boy' will be shown on Sunday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre, Main Street, Wilton, N.H.; (603) 654-3456, Free admission, donations accepted.

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