‘It’ screening at Red River with live music

A film that helped define an era returns to the big screen in May at Red River Theatres.

It (1927), a romantic comedy that came to epitomize the jazz age of the 1920s, will be screened with live music Friday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at Red River Theatres, 11 S. Main St.

It tells the story of a shop girl who sets her sights on the handsome and wealthy boss of the department store where she works. The two are from completely different parts of society, but will attraction between the two be strong enough to bridge the gap in their backgrounds?

The film made actress Clara Bow a major star, earning her the nickname of the ‘It’ girl. Released at the height of the jazz age, the movie was a hit with audiences all over the United States, breaking box office records.

It is based on a novella written by Elinor Glyn and originally serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine. It is also an early example of product placement, as Cosmopolitan magazine is featured prominently in a scene where a character reads Glyn’s story and introduces it to the audience.

All films in Red River’s silent movie series will feature live music by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film accompanist and composer.

“These films are audience favorites, and people continue to be surprised at how engrossing and exhilarating they can be when shown as they were intended: in a theater, and with live music,” said Shelly Hudson, executive director of Red River Theatres.

To accompany It, Rapsis will use a digital synthesizer to recreate the texture of the full orchestra. The score is created live in real time as the movie is screened. Rather than focus on authentic music of the period, Rapsis creates new music for silent films that draws from movie scoring techniques that today’s audiences expect from the cinema.

Other dates and titles in the Red River silent film series include: Orphans of the Storm (1921), Friday, July 10, 7 p.m.; The Cameraman (1928), Friday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m.; The Lodger (1927), Friday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.

Admission is $10 per person. For more info, call 224-4600 or visit redrivertheatres.org. For more information about the music, visit jeffrapsis.com.

Author: tgoodwin

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