Happy 4th of July weekend!
I'm be using the time to recover from last Wednesday's screening of 'Robin Hood' (1922) at the Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit, Maine.
It's a fun film to create music for, but also exhausting. Not in a bad way—it's just one of those movies I find really demands the best I can bring to it, which can be draining.
I like to think I bring that attitude to any film I accompany. Once the lights go down, I should be willing to give my all to make a film work.
It's just that some films, 'Robin Hood' among them, seem to draw more heavily on the battery, so to speak.
So now I'm in "recharge" mode, which will get me ready to do music for a screening of Harry Langdon's 'The Strong Man' (1926) on Wednesday, July 6 at the Flying Monkey Moviehouse up in Plymouth, N.H.
To help promote the show, I went to look up a post in which I compared Harry in 'The Strong Man' to Jesus, and I was surprised to find it's from more than 10 years ago!
Check it out: Harry Langdon as Jesus.
Or just check out the press release below. Either way, hope to see you up in Plymouth after the long weekend!
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Harry finds himself over a barrel in 'The Strong Man' (1926).
TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2022 / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 • firstname.lastname@example.org
features Harry Langdon's classic comedy 'The Strong Man' shown with
live music; fun family activity suitable for all ages
PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Silent film with live music returns to the Flying Monkey Moviehouse and Performance Center in July with a showing of an uproarious comedy starring Harry Langdon.
The screening of 'The Strong Man' on Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m., gives families a chance to enjoy a fun activity suitable for all ages.
General admission is $10 per person. The Flying Monkey is located at 39 Main St., Plymouth, N.H.
Directing 'The Strong Man' was young first-timer Frank Capra, who would later go on to create such Hollywood classics as 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' (1939) and 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946).
The screening, the latest in the Flying Monkey's silent film series, will feature live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in creating scores for silent films.
'The Strong Man' tells the story of a World War I soldier (Langdon) who, following his discharge, finds work as assistant to a circus strong man. As the act travels the country, Langdon continually searches for a girl he corresponded with while stationed overseas in the military.
The search leads to a town controlled by Prohibition-era gangsters, which forces Harry to test the limits of his own inner strength even as he looks for his dream girl. Can Harry triumph over the bad guys? And is love more powerful than brute strength?
The feature-length film showcases the unique child-like personality of Langdon, who is largely forgotten today. For a brief time in the 1920s, however, he rivaled Charlie Chaplin as Hollywood's top movie clown.
Langdon's popularity, which grew quickly in the last years of the silent era, fizzled as the movie business abruptly switched to talkies starting in 1929.
'The Strong Man' was selected in 2007 for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
In recent years, 'The Strong Man' has been recognized as a major achievement of the silent film era—a satisfying and timeless balance of emotion and comedy.
"A little tragedy and a lot of laughs can be seen in 1926's The Strong Man," wrote critic Richard von Busack in 2007. "Director Frank Capra's energy and sturdy plot sense counterpoint Langdon's wonderful strangeness."
'The Strong Man' will be accompanied by live music by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film accompanist who performs at venues across the region and beyond.
"These films were created to be shown on the big screen as a communal experience," Rapsis said. "With an audience and live music, they still come to life in the way their makers intended them to.
"The Flying Monkey's silent film screenings are a great chance for people to experience films that first caused people to first fall in love with the movies," he said.
Frank Capra's 'The Strong Man' will be screened with live music on Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Flying Monkey Moviehouse and Performance Center, 39 Main St., Plymouth, N.H.
Admission is $10 per person. For more info, call (603) 536-2551 or visit www.flyingmonkeynh.com.