Silent Film Night with Martin Marks and Rin Tin Tin
Silent Movies and Live Music: A brief Introduction to a very large subject — and some remarkable films about canines!
Strings Music Festival and the Bud Werner Memorial Library invite you to join world renowned silent film expert Martin Marks for a FREE talk about the art of silent films followed by his live piano accompaniment for three iconic silent films that feature dogs -- including Hollywood's most famous canine star, Rin Tin Tin.
THE LINEUP: Three Silent Films
Rescued by Rover (1905)
This film was a "breakthrough" narrative. A baby is kidnapped by an old beggar woman, but the faithful family dog Rover comes to its rescue.
Run time: 6 min.
Dog Factory (1904).
Directed by Edwin S. Porter (the most important director in the Edison studio at the time)., this short comedy is about two men operating a 'dog factory', using a device that they call a Dog Transformator. A man brings three dogs into their shop, which they purchase from him. They place the dogs one by one into the machine, which turns each dog into a string of sausages. As their customers come in, they are then able to select the kind of dog that they want, and the machine changes the corresponding string of sausages back into a dog.
Run time: 4 min.
Clash of the Wolves (1925).
A fire in the mountains drive a wolf pack into the nearby desert where they terrorize the local residents. The leader of the wolf pack is Lobo, actually a halfbreed (Rin Tin Tin). When the pack is discovered hunting a herd of cows, a posse gives chase. Lobo leaves his pack to lead the posse away. He is injured and found by a local prospector, Dave Weston (Charles Farrell). The prospector nurses Lobo back to health and the two become close friends. Meanwhile, Weston has made a Borax find in the area. His girl friend May Barstowe (June Marlowe), daughter of a wealthy rancher, is pleased. However the local chemist, Borax Horton (Pat Hartigan), actually a claim jumper, plans to steal the claim. In a sandstorm he is able to shoot Weston and leave the prospector for dead in the desert. Lobo tries to get a message to May, but runs afoul of Horton. Finally, he is able to bring May to Weston, who are then both terrorized by Horton. Lobo calls upon his pack to eliminate the menace, allowing for the young lovers to finally find happiness. Lobo also finds happiness being reunited with his mate, Nanette.
Run time: 74 min.
About Martin Marks
Martin Marks is a music historian and pianist, with an expertise in film music. He received his PhD in Music from Harvard University and teaches as a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also creates and performs live piano accompaniments for silent films, performing frequently at the Harvard Film Archive and elsewhere in Boston, as well as across the USA and abroad. He has served as the Music Curator for four critically acclaimed DVD sets created by the National Film Preservation Foundation, beginning with Treasures from American Film Archives: 50 Preserved Films (2000), which was followed by More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 (2004), Treasures III: Social Issues in American Films, 1900-1934 (2007), and Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938 (2011).
For each set he composed, performed, and commissioned scores for dozens of silent films, as well as providing written notes on the music. His scholarly writing includes the book Music and the Silent Film (Oxford University Press, 1997), and two recent essays: (1) “Screwball Fantasia: Classical Music in Unfaithfully Yours,” in 19th-Century Music (2011), and (2) “Saint-Saëns and Silent Film / Sound Film and Saint-Saëns,” in Saint-Saëns and His World (2012). He is currently at work on a book-length study of music in American sound films from the late nineteen twenties to the sixties, as well as on the construction of a historical database of music for silent films.
Martin Marks performs on Wednesday, July 24 at Strings Music Festival for "Music from the Movies and Appalachian Spring." Find out more information and get tickets here.