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The Silent Avant-Garde

Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 7:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre

Curator-preservationist-historian Bruce Posner will comment upon the expressive possibilities of twentieth-century avant-garde experimental cinema with an outstanding selection of 35mm and 16mm films digitally restored by Posner as part of his landmark touring film retrospective, Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Films, 18941941, which includes five titles preserved on film by the George Eastman Museum. Featured will be the Rochester-made, 1933 homoerotic milestone Lot in Sodom and an extraordinary six-film/four-soundtrack mashup of different versions of the 1924 modernistic masterpiece Ballet mécanique by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy.

The Silent Avant-Garde: Selections from the Unseen Cinema Retrospective

Ballet mécanique [A medley of six versions and four soundtracks]

(Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, Man Ray, Ezra Pound, George Antheil, France 1924–1931, 13 min., Digital)


Twenty-Four Dollar Island

(Robert Flaherty, US 1925–1927, 12 min., Digital)



(Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand, US 1920–1921, 11 min., Digital)


Rose Hobart

(Joseph Cornell, US 1936–1972, 19 min., Digital)


The Life and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra

(Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich, US 1927, 13 min., 35mm)


Mr. Motorboat’s Last Stand

(John A. Flory, [Theodore Huff, Priscilla Peck], US 1933, 22 min., 16mm)


Autumn Fire: A Film Poem

(Herman G. Weinberg, US 1930–1933, 22 min., 35mm)



(Emlen Etting, US 1940, 10 min., 16mm)


Lot in Sodom

(James Sibley Watson, Jr., Melville Webber, Alec Wilder, Remsen Wood, US 1930–1933, 28 min., 35mm)


Live piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli.