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Lonesome

Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 7:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre

(Pál Fejös, US 1928, 69 min., 35mm)

It’s the classic story of boy-meets-girl, both lonely but not alone, cyphers lost among the bustle of the big city until at last fate brings them together. They share a brief moment of utter joy (in this case at Coney Island) before being torn apart again to go back to their lives. The style, however, is not classical at all. Director Pál Fejös uses double exposure, quick edits, and a carefully designed color palette to create a contrast between the industrial city and the oasis of the amusement park. Produced at a time of great change, the sound design is also important, particularly the repeated use of Irving Berlin’s “Always,” and features three talking sequences, added after the entire film had been shot silent.

The history of this film is a quintessential George Eastman Museum story. The original nitrate print was repatriated to the US in a trade James Card made with Henri Langlois at the Cinémathèque Française. The title has gone through no fewer than three preservations as technologies became available to restore the film to its original visual and auditory brilliance—and restore the title to its place among the greats of the late silent era.

 

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still from Lonesome

Film Screenings | Lonesome

A Preservation Legacy: Ed Stratmann It’s the classic story of boy-meets-girl, both lonely but not alone, cyphers lost among the bustle of the big city until at last fate brings them together. The history of this film is a quintessential George Eastman Museum story. The original nitrate print was repatriated to the US in a trade James Card made with Henri Langlois at the Cinémathèque Française. The title has gone through no fewer than three preservations as technologies became available to restore the film to its original visual and auditory brilliance—and restore the title to its place among the greats of the late silent era.

Read More