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Murnau’s Silent Film Masterpiece Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans Comes to Epsilon Spires
May 19 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$5 – $20
Sunrise tells the story of a farmer who becomes infatuated with a mysterious woman from the city and agrees to murder his wife and sell his farm to start a new life with her. In this stylish, ambitious film—Murnau’s first in America—big-budget Hollywood and German Expressionism merge in a work of art featuring expansive sets and innovative cinematography. The camera disorients audiences with shots filmed upside-down and in reverse and plays with perspective by using smaller furniture and diminutive actors to manipulate the depth of field.
A commercial failure at the time, Sunrise went on to win three Academy Awards (for Best Actress, Cinematography, and Unique and Artistic Picture). It has since become widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, with a spot on both the American Film Institute’s (#82) and British Film Institute’s (#11) lists.
Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Jeff Rapsis on Epsilon Spires’ historic Estey pipe organ. Rapsis is a writer/editor, educator, composer, and performer who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film screenings. He has accompanied silent film programs in venues throughout New England since 2007. His technique is to create a set of original music in advance for each film, and then improvise a score based on this material as the screening takes place. Outside New England, he has accompanied films at the New York Public Library’s “Meet the Musicmakers” series and the Kansas Silent Film Festival. Rapsis has also provided original music for several silent film DVD releases by Looser Than Loose Vintage Entertainment of Manchester, N.H., and scored the independent feature film Dangerous Crosswinds (2005).