The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Detroit Film Theatre marries classic cinema with live accompaniment this weekend.
In two special viewings this Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, the Detroit Film Theatre will host the Rackham Symphony Choir as they provide a live score to the 1928 silent film masterpiece “La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc” (The Passion of Joan of Arc). This will not be the first time the DFT has augmented its cinematic programming with live components; for example, an evening of Buster Keaton films was screened last October with accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra. The choral performance is paired with the black-and-white silent film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, which is conventionally considered one of the most important cinematic landmarks in the history of the genre, due to production, direction and the portrayal of the titular role by actress Reneé Jeanne Falconetti.
Falconetti's performance as Joan of Arc has been critically hailed as one of the finest ever caught on film.
"Voices of Light" is an oratorio by Richard Einhorn, and the performance will include eight soloists and the Detroit Chamber Wind & Strings conducted by Suzanne Mallare Acton. Friday’s performance is a dress rehearsal, with Saturday being the main event, but both provide a rare opportunity to see a confluence of great artistic media being executed at the top of their form. Considering that, the $14 price of admission is more than reasonable. Clearly the DFT is upholding its passion for revitalizing cinema classics. Be sure and stop by this weekend to see what passion of your own you might uncover.
Detroit Film Theatre: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7887; www.dia.org/detroitfilmtheatre/14/DFT.aspx.