Three Women

with live accompaniment by David Drazin
Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 7:00pm

Part of the weekly palaver series hosted by Professor Tom Gunning, Department of Cinema and Media Studies.

In 1923 Ernst Lubitsch left Weimar Germany for Hollywood, and developed a visually witty and narratively concise style that influenced filmmakers around the world. Three Women is his third Hollywood film. George Eastman House has loaned an archival print of this rarely shown example of the “Lubitsch Touch” as it was being created: a comic style based in portraying the subtle strategies of desire rather than pratfalls, conveyed through carefully selected details that hint rather than expose.  

(Ernst Lubitsch, 1924, b/w, silent, 35mm print courtesy of George Eastman House, 83 min)

Chicago-based pianist and composer David Drazin is a music and motion picture archivist who has acquired a national reputation for his piano improvisations accompanying silent films. Among silent movie screenings for which he has performed are Cinevent Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago (staff accompanist since 1985), Silent Film Society of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, LaSalle Bank Theatre, North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Cinematheque as well as at many universities, libraries and churches. Drazin is notable among contemporary accompanists for playing 1920s-era hot jazz and blues, rather than classic ragtime, to enhance silent comedies. His command of dance-accompaniment improvisation enables him to craft dynamic music for dramatic films.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.