Sunday, October 02, 2011

Striking a New Note schoolchildren's cinema concert: The Electric House

Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, didascalie italiane, e-subtitles in English, 2 Oct 2011.

Scuola Media Centro Storico di Pordenone
Direzione/Conductor: Maria Luisa Sogaro
Pianoforte: Andrea Del Zotto
Glockenspiel soprano/Soprano glockenspiel: Irene Cannizarro
Glockenspiel contralto/Alto glockenspiel: Marco Bortoletto
Flauto traverso/Transverse flute: Andrea Magris
Clarinetto/Clarinet: Brando Reini
Sax contralto/Alto sax: Stefano Panontin
Flauti dolci/Recorders: Beatrice Basaldella, Beatrice Bove, Matteo Magris, Tommaso Piccolo, Claudio Romano, Margherita Romano.
Metallofono contralto/Alto metallophone: Andrea Basso
Metallofono basso/Bass metallophone: Alberto Antoniolli
Rumoristi/Sound effects: Nicole Arcanà, Teresa Mutuale, Nadia Perosa, Giulia Virgillito, Giovanna Zanuttini.
Scuola Media Centro Storico - Coro/Chorus
Direzione/Conductor: Patrizia Avon
Coristi/Chorus: Ecaterina Barbu, Carlotta Basso, Cristina Brescan, Chiara Cormio, Alessia Di Rosa, Rimma Fomenko, Gamal El Din Hana, Daria Ianni, Alessia Mattiuzzi, Christele Muhigirwa, Giovanna Oyeh, Kwabena Owusu Hansah, Ilaria Palmeri, Alessia Perosa, Andrea Polo Perruchin, Benedetta Raffin, Yesenia Restrepo Garcia, Francesca Roitero, Margherita Romano, Francesca Simoni, Angela Tardio

THE ELECTRIC HOUSE (Saltarello e l’Electric-Hôtel / La casa elettrica) (Buster Keaton Productions, Inca. , US 1922) D+SC: Buster Keaton, Eddie Cline; DP: Elgin Lessley; tech. dir: Fred Gabourie; P: Joseph m Schenck; cast: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Virginia Fox, Joe Keaton, Myra Keaton, Louise Keaton, Freeman Wood; DVD, 22'31"; from: Cinemazero, Pordenone. Didascalie in italiano.

David Robinson (GCM Catalogue): "The Electric House was one of Keaton’s last 2-reel shorts before embarking definitively on feature production: only The Balloonatic and The Love Nest were still to come before The Three Ages. He had in fact begun the film 18 months and eight films earlier, but abandoned it when he broke his ankle on the comedy escalator created for the film. In the interim, he had moved to a new studio, and engaged a brilliant technical director, Fred Gabourie, who created a new set for the film, while retaining the original story."

"Buster is given the wrong diploma by his correspondence college, and to his mild surprise finds himself officially qualified as an electrical engineer. He is commissioned to equip an all electric house; and on completion demonstrates to its happy owners the escalators, mechanized bookcase and pool table, dinner table railways, washingup machines and automated swimming pool. When the house-owner invites his friends to view it, the machinery is sabotaged by Buster’s nefarious rival, the rightful owner of the diploma. The washing-up machine hurls the crockery around; the escalator works its own malice, hurling the unsuspecting into the swimming pool; and all the rest of the machinery joins in the attack. Thrown out by his employer and spurned by the employer’s beautiful daughter, Buster decides on suicide, ties a stone to his neck, and hurls himself into the swimming pool, which capriciously empties and fills around him (an effective use of accelerated motion, a device otherwise rare in Keaton films). Finally Buster is carried down the drain and out through the Los Angeles sewer into the sea." – DAVID ROBINSON

AA: Revisited Keaton's late short masterpiece with a rousing live music accompaniment by Pordenone schoolchildren. There was a prologue of their chorus singing Irving Berlin's "Always". These music events are my favourites and they might be a model for everybody who arranges silent cinema events. I have liked the previous concerts with their more ambitious compositions a little more and would have preferred less sound effects, but anyway this was a precious moment. I may remember the song performance always.

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