Silent Film Festival (These Are So Fun!)

orchestraPress release:


Symphony to accompany Chaplin, Keaton comedies

I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician” 

Charlie Chaplin

– Escape the insanity of the election season and revisit the brilliance of one of the most consistently relevant actors of modern times as the ArMack Orchestra presents its annual Silent Film Festival featuring Charlie Chaplin’s “The Adventurer.”

The festival opens at McKinleyville High School Thursday, Oct. 13 through Saturday, Oct. 15. Performances continue at Arcata High School Thursday, Oct. 27 through Saturday, Oct. 29.

The 70-member-strong Arcata-McKinleyville High School Orchestra (ArMack) will play the score to the 1917 silent film while the percussion section provides convincing and sometimes zany sound effects. Buster Keaton’s 1921 short comedy “The Haunted House” will also be shown. Homemade goodies, popcorn and other refreshments will be available by donation.

The Silent Film Festival — a North Coast family favorite for many years – is a fundraiser to support the student orchestra’s biennial music competition trip, this year to New York City, where the ensemble will play Carnegie Hall under the direction of ArMack Conductor Cassandra Moulton.

Each year ArMack’s Silent Film Festival gives moviegoers an opportunity to experience Hollywood’s old-time favorites in a way seldom shown — with a live orchestra. When the two artistic mediums come together the result is nothing short of amazing: symphony music accompanying every scene of the film with each rising and falling note, illustrating the actors’ antics and emotions.

In “The Adventurer” Chaplin plays an escaped convict on the run from prison guards. He falls in favor with a wealthy family after saving their daughter from drowning, only to be hunted by the young woman’s suitor. Keaton’s “Haunted House” revolves around a bank heist, counterfeiting and a theatrical troupe posing as spooks in a haunted house.

The festival kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in McKinleyville High School’s multi-purpose room, 1300 Murray Road, with 7 p.m. shows following on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15. One matinee performance is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.

The festival continues 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 in the Arcata High School Fine Arts Center, 1720 M St. Screenings continue at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door, from any ArMack student or by calling (707) 599-5414. For further information, visit the ArMack Facebook page or call (707) 825-2400.


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