Top Five Places to Get Music With a Movie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brigitte Helm as Maria in Fritz Lang's <em>Metropolis</em> Brigitte Helm as Maria in Fritz Lang's Metropolis (

Deciding whether to go to a live performance or spend a night at the movies can be a tough choice. However, a trend that's bringing symphony halls and cinemas closer together allows fans of both choices an option that combines the two art forms with musicians playing a live soundtrack along with the movies. Playing in venues from Avery Fisher Hall to Brighton Beach, here are our top five live-scored movies and where you can find them:

1. "Koyaanisqatsi"
Nov. 2-3, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center

Godfrey Reggio didn’t include any spoken words in his 1982 debut film "Koyaanisqatsi," but instead relied on the imagery and a potent Philip Glass score, which plays throughout all 86 minutes. The music became so popular that the Philip Glass Ensemble toured with the movie, giving live performances of the work alongside screenings. Glass and his eponymous ensemble join forces with the New York Philharmonic to play and screen "Koyaanisqatsi" next month at Avery Fisher Hall.

2. Soviet Cartoon Scores
Nov. 3, Millennium Theater, Brighton Beach

Alan Pierson, the new director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, tips his hat to the borough’s Russian community in Brighton Beach with a program of Soviet cartoon scores. The works, written by composers such as Shostakovich and Vyacheslav Artyomov (as well as Beethoven in one instance), will be performed in sync with the animation created by the Soviet studio Soyuzmultfilm. Russian actors will speak the dialogue.

3. "The Passion of Joan of Arc"
October 29, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center
Unlike the previous two events, the screening of "The Passion of Joan of Arc", which is part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, will bring a new score to accompany the landmark 1928 French silent film. A pair of indie rock darlings, Will Gregory of Goldfrapp and Adrian Utley of Portishead, won favorable reviews for their effort when it premiered the last year in Bristol, England.

4. "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror"
Oct. 28-29, Nitehawk Cinema, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
The swanky Nitehawk movie theater in Williamsburg has won raves for its menu and vintage ambiance, as well as its unusual programming. As part of its Halloween offerings, the cinema is screening the 1922 horror flick "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror" (best known for its vampire Count Orlok with a rat-like face and pointy ears) with a live score by Daryl Fleming and The Blood Sucking Freaks.

5. "Metropolis"
Oct. 28, Trinity Church, Manhattan
Another Halloween offering comes courtesy of Trinity Church on Wall Street, which presents Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece "Metropolis." This cinematic vision of the future, conceived in 1927, will be shown with Peter Krasinski’s organ accompaniment, which will likely give an extra oomph of gravitas to the film.

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Comments [3]

John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

David from Flushing.....

I'm a great fan of the early silent science fiction films like Metropolis, Nosferatu, Phantom, etc. Watching that film with the Great Organ as accompaniment must have been chilling!!!

Envy, envy, envy!

Oct. 23 2011 04:20 PM
David from Flushing

I happened to attend a performance of Metropolis, one of my favorite films, at Macy's Center City, Philadelphia, with the Wanamaker Organ providing the music. It was stunning and just as effective as an orchestra. This organ, of course, can be as loud as 3-4 orchestras and this was used to full effect during the explosion scene. In its restored form, the film runs over 2 hours and the organist must have been exhausted.

Oct. 20 2011 10:41 AM
Fred Doolittle

Another event is at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Fort Greene Brooklyn at 85 South Oxford Street. On Halloween night at 8pm there will be a showing of the silent film version of Phantom of the Opera with organ accompaniment by J. David Williams. Costumes welcome.

Oct. 20 2011 09:17 AM

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