Friday, November 04, 2005

Halloween's delights

Last year, Disney Hall held a screening of Phantom of the Opera, the 1927 silent film, accompanied by the Disney Hall organ, on Halloween. It was wonderful. It had been restored, with some Technicolor bits thrown in. Apparently some of the original had been filmed in Technicolor, and the Phantom's red cape shines brightly on the screen. The movie itself was riveting enough, I rarely watched the octopus-masquerading-as-human who was playing the organ.

This year, they held another silent-with-organ movie on Halloween, the 1922(?) version of Nosferatu. It did not survive the test of time as well as Phantom. It was filled with what are now seriously funny cliches, such as having the bad-guy rise from his coffin as if he was laying on a board. One could only tell day scenes from night scenes by the action and/or dress of the actors. The bad guy, Nosferatu, however, would still make a good villian today - not at all the dashing Dracula one normally thinks of.

The conversation on the drive home was "what will they do next year?" One I'd like to see, but not until Halloween falls on a Satuday, is Metropolis. Why a Saturday, you ask? Because Metropolis is quite long, and if shown on a Saturday, could start earlier and have an intermission, without running into "We've got work tomorrow," at least for most of us. Several silent shorts, one of which was a 20-minute Frankenstein, would also be fun.