starring Lillian Gish
September 18, 2012 - 7:30 PM
Cinema Arts Centra
Huntington, New York
The Wind is one of cinema’s great masterpieces. The lovely Lillian Gish gives her finest performance ever as the young Virginian innocent who travels West to stay with relatives on the Texan prairie, only to be pushed into a harsh, unwanted marriage, and to find herself immersed in a maelstrom of rape, murder and madness.
Swedish émigré Victor Sjöström directs with immaculate attention to psychological detail, while making perfectly credible the film’s transition from low-key naturalistic comedy of manners to full-blown hysterical melodrama. Sjöström, who was one of the key figures in Swedish film in the 1920s, and made a number of classic films during his time in Hollywood, including He Who Gets Slapped (1924) with Lon Chaney, and The Divine Woman (1928) with Greta Garbo, but he was eventually just as successful as an actor. His performance in Ingmar Bergman‘s 1957 classic, Wild Strawberries as the dying old man is generally considered his greatest role.
Filmed under extremely difficult conditions on location in the Mojave desert, the film’s climactic sandstorm sequence has to be seen to be believed, although the entire film – erotic, beautiful, astonishing – demonstrates such imagination and assurance that it remains, over 80 years after it was made, completely modern.
“One of the masterpieces of the silent cinema and Sjöström’s best American film… Exteriors were shot in the blistering hot Mojave Desert, and so penetrating is the atmosphere that one can almost feel the wind oneself and taste the endless dust.” – Georges Sadoul
Louise Brooks said: ‘They were made for each other – Sjöström and Gish – like the perfume and the rose’ – and yet she had never heard of The Wind until 1956, so little did MGM promote it. It remains one of the greatest silent films – and one of our great movies. — David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film
“A silent masterpiece. Sjöström finds a perfect image for Gish’s frustration and discontent in the prairie wind of the title. His strange and effective style might be best described as pastoral expressionism.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
With music by Ben Model
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TICKETS CONTACT THE CINEMA ARTS CENTRE