Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land one can never tire of exploring. There is no greater experience in a studio that to witness the expression of a sensitive face under the mysterious power of inspiration. To see it animated from inside, and turning into poetry. - Carl Theodor Dreyer, 'Thoughts on my Craft'
Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889–1968) remains a unique figure in the history of cinema. Dreyer's enduring fascination with the tragic consequences of seeking freedom from social and religious convention lead him to create an austere and intensely visual oeuvre. Dreyer's masterpiece of the silent era, The Passion of Joan of Arc 1928, remains today a powerful expression of religious persecution and spiritual transcendence.
This retrospective program features new 35mm restorations made available through the generous assistance of the Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute and Cineteca di Bolonga. Live musical accompaniment will be provided on the Gallery's Wurlitzer organ by David Bailey and on piano by Mauro Colombis. Program curated by Amanda Slack-Smith, Australian Cinémathèque.
List of Works
Præsidenten (The President) 1919 Blade af Satans Bog (Leaves from Satan's Book) 1921 Prästänkan (The Parson's Widow) 1921 Die Gezeichneten (Love One Another) 1922 Der var engang (Once Upon a Time) 1922 Michael 1924 Du skal ære din Hustru (Master of the House) 1925 Glomdalsbruden (The Bride of Glomdal) 1926 La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) 1928 Vampyr 1932 Vredens Dag (Day of Wrath) 1943 Två Människor (Two People) 1945 De nåede færgen (They Caught the Ferry) 1948 Ordet (The Word) 1955 Gertrude 1964
Live Musical Accompaniment
Mauro Colombis is an Italian classically trained musician. He completed two Masters in piano performance (from Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory in 1998 and Venice Conservatory in 2005) and a Bachelor of Art, Music and Spectacle from the University of Bologna. After returning to Italy from Moscow, he developed his own improvisation method, which embraces different styles, and began to compose and improvise for silent movies. Since 2002 he has played every year at Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (The Pordenone Silent Film Festival) in Italy, the leading silent film festival internationally. He moved to Sydney in 2005 and collaborated a number of times with the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, his piano music featuring on the DVD of the Australian silent classic The Story of the Kelly Gang (Charles Tait, 1906). He has continued to play for silent films, performing in Australian major cities and film festivals, including recent performances at the Australian Silent Film Festival (2011), the Adelaide Film Festival and the Sydney Festival.
Mauro Colombis first performed at the Australian Cinémathèque during the Out of the Shadows: German Expressionism and Beyond film program in 2008, accompanying The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) and Faust (F W Murnau, 1926). He returned in 2010 to perform the musical accompaniment for the Australian premieres of the restoration prints of Il Fauno (The Faun) (Febo Mari, 1917) and Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914), as part of the program Extravagant Cinema: From Cabiria to the Inferno. On this occasion Mauro Colombis will accompany two films by Carl Theodor Dreyer on the opening weekend of the retrospective, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and Leaves from Satan's Book (1921).
Brisbane-based Australian musician David Bailey developed a deep fascination with early 20th Century music at a young age which led to studies in piano and in particular the world of ragtime. As a teenager Bailey stumbled on the world of the cinema organ and was captivated by the rare and vast tonal and dynamic abilities of these instruments. A transition to organ studies followed and a deep passion grew for the music of the 20's and 30's and inturn their relationship to the world of silent cinema. Today Bailey is immersed in this musical world and personalities such as Sophie Tucker, Billie Holiday and Stephane Grappelli as well as theatre organists Sidney Torch and George Wright.
Bailey continues to perform in concert for many organ societies in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand. Since the installation of the rare Wurlitzer style 260 organ in the Australian Cinematheque in 2006 (originally housed in Brisbane's Regent Theatre) he has composed and performed new film scores for many of the silent cinema programs held at the Gallery of Modern Art. These programs include Buster Keaton (2007), Silent Clown: Max Linder and Charlie Chaplin (2008), German Expressionism: Out of the Shadows and Beyond (2008), Hollywood on the Hudson (2009), Charles and Elsa Chauvel (2009), Harold Lloyd (2010) and Glamour: Adrian and the Golden Age of Hollywood (2010).