Believe it or not, we're approaching the halfway mark on 2023.
The summer solstice has already come and gone. The 4th of July isn't far behind.
Before you know it, we'll be stuffing turkeys and shopping for Christmas presents.
Well, before that can happen, there's a lot of silent film to watch—and to accompany!
What's the occasion? Well, July 1 is Canada Day, roughly the equivalent of Independence Day (July 4) here in the U.S.
And we knew of not one but two 35mm prints of silent features set in Canada that our friends at the Library of Congress would let us borrow if we asked very, very nicely.
And so, as they would say in Quebec, "Voila!"
For lots more info, check out the press release below. See you on the other side—at the Somerville on Sunday, July 9 for Clara Bow in 'Mantrap' (1926) and Thomas Meighan in 'The Canadian' (1926).
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MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2023 / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more info, contact: Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Head north! Clara Bow, Thomas Meighan star 'Salute to Canada' vintage double feature at Somerville Theatre
Classic battle-of-the-sex comedy 'Mantrap' plus outdoorsy drama 'The Canadian' (1926) to be shown in 35mm with live music on Sunday, July 9
SOMERVILLE, Mass.—Once early Hollywood learned the value of shooting on location, it wasn't long before filmmakers ventured north to Canada, where they found some of the world's most spectacular outdoor settings.
See for yourself with a special 'Salute to Canada' double feature of two early silent-era films set north of the border on Sunday, July 9 at 2 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, Mass.'
First up at 2 p.m. is 'Mantrap' (1926), in which silent-era "It" girl Clara Bow stars in a battle-of-the-sexes comedy about a big city divorce lawyer hoping to get away from it all at a Canadian wilderness retreat.
at 3:40 p.m., it's 'The Canadian' (1926), a drama starring Thomas
Meighan in the tale of a pioneering couple homesteading in Alberta,
where they battle bad weather and financial woes.
Tickets for the double feature are $20; tickets for one film only are $16; seniors/children $12.
Both films will be screened with live music by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in accompanying silent films.
The movies will be shown via 35mm film prints on loan from the Library of Congress.
The Somerville Theatre's on-screen salute to Canada was inspired in part by Canada Day on July 1, which celebrates the anniversary of the Canadian Confederation established on July 1, 1867
"Seeing both these films today, on the big screen and with live music, is a great way to appreciate silent film's timeless ability to connect with audiences," said Ian Judge, the Somerville Theatre's creative director and general manager.
"All those elements are important parts of the silent film experience," said Jeff Rapsis, who will accompany the film. "Recreate those conditions, and classics of early Hollywood leap back to life in ways that audiences still find entertaining."
Rapsis performs on a digital synthesizer that reproduces the texture of the full orchestra, creating a traditional "movie score" sound. He improvises the complete score in real time during the screening.
"Creating a movie score on the fly is kind of a high-wire act, but it can often make for more excitement than if everything is planned out in advance," Rapsis said.
The Somerville Theatre's ongoing 'Silents, Please!' schedule features a broad range of titles, from well-known classics to obscure films rarely seen since their release, which in some cases was more than a century ago.
All films in the series will be shown using 35mm prints, with most on loan from the U.S. Library of Congress.
A roster of upcoming films in the 'Silents, Please!' series includes:
• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, 2 p.m.: 'The Fire Brigade' (1926). MGM’s blockbuster production stars Charles Ray as the youngest in a long line of fearless Irish American firefighters. Things get complicated when he falls in love with the daughter (May McEvoy) of a crooked building contractor. Spectacular fire sequences with hand-colored effects included in this recent Library of Congress restoration.
• Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, 2 p.m.: 'The Big Parade' (1925) starring John Gilbert, Renée Adoree. We salute Veterans Day with this sweeping saga about U.S. doughboys signing up and shipping off to France in 1917, where they face experiences that will change their lives forever—if they return. MGM blockbuster directed by King Vidor; one of the biggest box office triumphs of the silent era.
'Mantrap' (1926), a battle-of-the-sexes silent comedy starring Clara Bow, will be shown on Sunday, July 9 at 2 p.m., followed by Thomas Meighan in 'The Canadian' (1926) at 3:40 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, Mass. Both films will be shown in 35mm with live music.
Tickets for the double feature are $20; tickets for one film only are $16; seniors/children $12. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.somervilletheatre.com or call the box office at (617) 625-5700.