Members $10 • Public $15
Live Theatre Organ Accompaniment by Ben Model
Unsurpassed in its scope and ambition, D.W. Griffith’s mighty epic Intolerance is presented in a new digital restoration. The film’s epochs-spanning narrative interweaves four stories illustrating the eternal struggle between love and injustice (plus liberal doses of those historical constants, sex and violence): the crucifixion of Christ; the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Protestants in 1572; the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.; and a muckraking modern-day tale involving labor strife, street crime, hypocritical reformers, and capital punishment. Originally conceived as a three-reel melodrama, the movie grew over its 18-month production into a massive spectacle; the Babylon sequence alone, with its gargantuan sets and cast of thousands, took four months to film. The deep, detailed settings (including the staggering Babylonian courtyard) make big-screen viewing a must, but Intolerance is more than scale and spectacle. The film’s artistry is also evident in its mastery of intimate details, its innovative techniques, its intricate system of parallels and contrasts, and its emotionally sweeping quadruple climax. (USA, 1916, 168 min. (plus intermission), Not Rated, DCP | Director: D.W. Griffith)
“One of the great breakthroughs–the Ulysses of the cinema–and a powerful, moving experience in its own right.”-Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
“Restored to the big screen, the film surprises even today with its vitality.” -Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times
BEN MODEL is one of the USA’s leading silent film accompanists, and has been playing piano and organ for silents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 27 years. Ben co-curated MoMA’s “Cruel and Unusual Comedy” series and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle retrospective, and also curated Shout!Factory’s new “Ernie Kovacs Collection” DVD box set. A five-time recipient of the Meet The Composer grant, Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals around the U.S.A. and in Norway, and performs at universities, museums, and historic theaters. Ben is the producer and co-founder of The Silent Clowns Film Series, now in its 14th season in NYC. Ben’s recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD releases from Kino Video and others. Ben’s composed ensemble scores for films by Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd are performed around the U.S. every year by orchestras .and by concert bands.