SCHROON LAKE, NY: As the initial headliner for its second year of special summertime programming at the Strand Theatre, the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) is pleased to announce that Ben Model — silent film accompanist extraordinaire — will make his inaugural visit to the classic Art Deco moviehouse playing to a trio of Charlie Chaplin comedy shorts on Sunday, July 23rd, at 8 p.m.
Mr. Model, who is a resident accompanist at one of New York City’s great museums, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and who plays frequently at silent film programs at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will be performing his own original music live on piano for three Chaplin classics from the legendary comedian’s Mutual period, all released in 1916 or 1917—The Floorwalker, The Pawnshop and The Adventurer.
The program kicks off Version 2.0 of the AFS “Easy Screening” Series celebrating the Strand Theatre’s acquisition, in 2016, of digital film-projection equipment, for which the AFS served as the needed nonprofit conduit for New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grant funds that paid for the upgrade. In August, the AFS and the Strand will partner over two weekends. On Saturday and Sunday, August 12-13, the series will present encore screenings of The Night We Met, the independent feature film that was shot in Schroon Lake, which received its world-premiere screenings as part of the 2016 “Easy Screening Series.”
The weekend of August 19-20 will bring two very different programs. On Saturday evening, the 19th, the AFS and Strand will present a 65th-anniversary of the Gene Kelly-Debbie Reynolds-Donald O’Connor classic movie musical, Singin’ in the Rain, hosted in person by film historian and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) contributor Jeremy Arnold, who has highlighted the film in his 2016 TCM tie-in book, The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter.
Then on Sunday evening, August 20th, the series will conclude with a screening of the documentary feature Encounters at the End of the World, directed by the great German filmmaker Werner Herzog (whose feature films include Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, the Wrath of God), introduce by Albany-based research scientist Samuel Bowser, who is featured in the film.
All programs in the series will start at 8 p.m. and have an admission price of $10 per person. To learn more about any of these programs, please contact AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 523-3456 or 588-7275 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
About the Performer
One of the nation’s leading silent film accompanists, Ben Model performs on both piano and theater organ. Over the past 30-plus years, he has created and performed several hundred live scores for silent films on piano and theater organ—for films lasting anywhere from one minute to five hours. Ben is a resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and performs regularly at the Packard Campus Theatre of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. His recorded scores can be heard on numerous DVD/Blu-ray releases, on TCM and on his own YouTube channel.
Ben is a regular accompanist at classic film festivals in Norway as well as throughout the United States and is equally at home performing in a range of venues such as at universities, museums and historic theaters. He is the producer and co-founder of “The Silent Clowns Film Series,” now in its 20th season in New York City. The ensemble scores he composed for films by Chaplin and Keaton are performed around the United States. every year by orchestras and concert bands. Ben has co-curated a number of film series for MoMA, while also programming two recent DVD box sets of Ernie Kovacs television shows. To learn more about Ben’s work and the art of silent film accompaniment, please visit his website, silentfilmmusic.com, or connect with him via Twitter and Instagram: @silentfilmmusic.