Murnau's "Faust" (1926) on 16mm film! with live music by Bradford Reed and Geoff Gersh!!
Date: Friday, April 29th
The tale of the brooding seeker of knowledge transformed to ebullient youth and the waggish attendant from the underworld who both aids and sabotages him in his quest to win the innocent lass has taken many guises. F. W. Murnau's silent classic "Faust" (1926) remains one of the exemplary versions of the story, shimmering with moments of pure cine-magic. The film features Emil Jannings as a smirking, barrel-bellied Mephisto. He is encountered early on as a colossal fiend, black-feathered wings fanning outward, standing over a diminutive city; the tableau suggests another Faustian work in another medium: the striking illustration by Delacroix of Mephistopheles in flight.
Earlier, we encounter a ghoulish tableaux of the four horsemen of the apocalypse galloping across a billowing vale of lead-colored clouds. The film is abounding with charcoal shadows, radiant rays of dazzling light from on high, and the white-bearded Faust illuminated by the dim glow of the alchemist's furnace. It is oftentimes akin to a densely crayoned work of lithography or heavily inked intaglio print, or the vision of an eerie moonlit gloom of a Caspar David Friedrich nightscape rendered onto the film's cinematic canvas.
We are pleased to present Murnau's "Faust" on 16mm film, in its gleaming, glowing, analog glory, with an original score performed live by acclaimed local musicians Bradford Reed and Geoff Gersh. Their sonic rendering of the Murnau masterpiece has played to sold-out audiences at the Nitehawk Cinema. The duo's innovative musical approach includes Reed's handmade, zither-like Penicilina and Gesh's eclectically performed music for electric guitar, ranging from plaintive, poignant cadences as Faust and Gretchen woo one another in the garden, to dark, thundering power chords as Mephisto devises his moments of diabolic mayhem.
Bradford Reed never fails to entertain and inspire. This Brooklyn, NY based composer, performer and producer fights and tames the idiosyncrasies of the pencilina, an original instrument of his own design and construction. The pencilina is an electric ten stringed collision of the hammer dulcimer, slide guitar, koto and fretless bass with six pickups of varied types. It is struck with sticks, plucked and bowed, giving Reed an incredibly wide sonic palette. Many have enjoyed Reed's frequent street performances and club dates all over the world. He played with King Missile III (and produced 4 of their records) and in the Blue Man Group's original band. He's composed for film and television including the music for the first season "Superjail!" on Adult Swim and 3 seasons of "Ugly Americans" on Comedy Central. http://www.pencilina.com
Geoff Gersh explores the sonic boundaries of the electric guitar with and without the aide of electronic devices and found objects to produce sounds one would normally not associate with the guitar. Geoff works with filmmakers, choreographers, painters and plays in various bands in NYC. He performs live music to silent films at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg with his bands Black Lodge & Reel Orchestrette. He has been awarded grants by Meet the Composer, American Music Center, New York Foundation for the Arts, a residency by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and received a New York Dance & Performance Award (Bessie). http://www.geoffgersh.com
Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is canceled.
Morbid Anatomy Museum (View)
424 A Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215