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May 19

SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS w/ Pipe Organ Score by Jeff Rapsis!

May 19, 2023 @ 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

“F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise (1928) conquered time and gravity with a freedom that was startling to its first audiences. To see it today is to be astonished by the boldness of its visual experimentation.” —Roger Ebert

F. W. Murnau’s masterpiece Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, 95 minutes) explores themes of betrayal, temptation, devotion, and love. A farmer becomes infatuated with a mysterious woman from the city and agrees to murder his wife, sell his farm, and abandon his child to start a new life with her… but nothing goes as planned. In this stylish, surprising and ambitious film, big-budget Hollywood and German Expressionism come together in a work of art featuring expansive sets and innovative cinematography that disoriented audiences with shots filmed upside-down and in reverse and played with perspective by using smaller furniture and diminutive actors to manipulate the depth of field. Nearly every shot in the film involves a striking effect, whether from an unusual light source, a superimposition, or a complex camera movement. Yet each is motivated by allegiance to the story and its emotions.

The film won three Academy Awards (for Best Actress, Cinematography, and Unique and Artistic Picture), and is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time. Life magazine’s Robert Sherwood called it “the most important picture in the history of the movies.” The innovation and originality of the film also came to influence the work of other directors, John Ford declared it “the greatest picture that has been produced.” Now you can experience the stunning artistry of F. W. Murnau’s groundbreaking masterpiece with an exciting live soundtrack performed on our historic Estey by renowned silent film accompanist, Jeff Rapsis!
Tickets by Sliding-Scale $5-$20.

About the Live Musical Score:

Jeff Rapsis is a writer/editor, educator, composer, and performer who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film screenings. He has accompanied silent film programs in venues throughout New England since 2007. His technique is to create a set of original music in advance for each film, and then improvise a score based on this material as the screening takes place. Outside New England, he has accompanied films at the New York Public Library’s “Meet the Musicmakers” series and the Kansas Silent Film Festival. Rapsis has also provided original music for several silent film DVD releases by Looser Than Loose Vintage Entertainment of Manchester, N.H., and scored the independent feature film Dangerous Crosswinds (2005).
Jeff Rapsis has previously performed live film scores at Epsilon Spires for Buster Keaton’s “Our Hospitality”, “It!” starring Clara Bow, Victor Sjöström’s “The Phantom Carriage””, and Josef von Sternberg’s “The Last Command”.

Venue

Epsilon Spires
190 Main Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301 United States
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