Friday, February 10, 2006

Silence, please

If the thought of seeing Steve Martin embarrass himself even more than he already has by trying to even come close to Peter Sellers as "The Pink Panther" repulses you, here are a couple alternatives for this weekend in Macon.

Sunday afternoon at 3 at the Capitol Theatre there will be a showing of the 1927 silent film "Sunrise" accompanied by organist Ron Carter. The movie was directed by F.W. Murnau and won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Here, according to, is the plot summary: "An attractive woman from the city, on vacation, stays in a small farming community and dazzles a young married farmer. The wicked woman suggests that the man's deceptively dowdy-looking wife might "accidentally" drown. Can he, will he go through with it? The scene changes; in unexpected company, the man gets a kaleidoscopic taste of what the actual city is like. The dramatic climax comes in a fearsome storm and its aftermath ..."

Sounds juicy to me, and co-worker Dan Maley assures me that the acting is so good that there are very few title cards between scenes.

I've only seen a silent film in this type of setting once, when I got to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform as accompaniment to Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus" at the Wolf Trap Farm Park in Virginia. It was a memorable evening, and a great way to see silent movies.

While the Capitol may not have a full symphony, I'll be there Sunday for "Sunrise" with theater organist Carter. If you wanna join me, note this: There is no admission, but they will be taking donations to support the Capitol.

Also downtown Sunday, and for it's first two shows at least, in competition with "Sunrise," is the Macon Film Guild's presentation of "Touch the Sound" at the Douglass Theatre.

It is a documentary about percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who is nearly completely deaf but is able to feel the vibrations of the sounds she makes. Along with experiencing the wonder of her art, the movie offers a travelogue of sorts as we go with Glennie on tour through shows in California, New York, England and her native Scotland.

If I ran the world, and believe me, I'm working on it, the Guild would be showing "The Squid and the Whale," my second favorite film from 2005.

You doubt my powers? Although it's a little unclear, the postcard I get from the Guild each month seems to imply that March's movie is indeed this great little autobiographical film from Noah Baumbach about his parents' divorce and its impact on his childhood. The house will surely be packed for this one.

In the meantime, check out "Touch the Sound." It's showing at 2, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Douglass, with a discussion led by Guild guru Camp Bacon after the 4:30 show.

With these two events unfolding simultaneously in our normally tranquil downtown at the same time, a dark thought floated through my mind: Is this too much cinema for one fairly small city? Luckily its a thought that passed quickly, because it's one that I simply can't accept.

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