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SILENT MOVIE DAY 2022
On April 20, 2021, local film archivist and director of the Pittsburgh Silent Film Society, Chad Hunter, announced that he, along with a group of film archivists with a passion for silent movies, had established September 29 as Silent Movie Day - an annual day to celebrate silent film history and raise awareness about the race to preserve surviving silent films. With an official proclamation from National Day Archives naming the day, the inaugural Silent Movie Day was held on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
Saturday, October 1
Parkway Theater & Film Lounge
Jump Cut is celebrating Silent Movie Day Saturday, October 1st at the Parkway Theater and Film Lounge with a tribute to early queer films. Join us for a wonderful night of groundbreaking silent cinema featuring The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928) and Salomé (1923).
The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928)
A tormented young priest goes insane with lust for the wife of an elderly general in this ravishingly beautiful silent film by one of the greatest surrealist filmmakers of all time, Germaine Dulac. In collaboration with avant-garde luminary Antonin Artaud, they created La Coquille et le Clergyman, known internationally as The Seashell and the Clergyman - an unprecedented work of art considered to be the first surrealism contribution to film world.
The Seashell and Clergyman’s premiere at the Studio des Ursulines on February 9, 1928 incited a small riot - a reaction, some believe, to a lesbian woman directing the first true surrealist film. One account of the premier cites as soon as the title card appeared on the screen, some group of misogynists began hurling gendered insults at the film and its director. Others defended the film, and chaos ensued.
Life experiences and coming to terms with her sexuality impacted Dulac’s cinematic professional development. She was married to Albert Dulac from 1905 to 1922, who was a great artistic and intellectual influence on her and encouraged her affairs with women. This would have a great impact on her career as well as her romantic life as one of those women, Irène Hillel-Erlanger, became a significant early collaborator, the two of them founding Dulac’s first production company, Les Films DH.
The 1923 silent film Salomé is an avant-garde cinematic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s scandalous 1891 play. Directed by Charles Bryant and starring Alla Nazimova in the title role, it has long been rumored that the film's cast is composed entirely of gay or bisexual actors in an homage to Oscar Wilde. Salomé is all about atmosphere - an incredibly stylized minimalist art film with beautiful, striking imagery – a beautiful, sultry ride.
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