Last year, the film and video program at the Warhol Museum showcased notable works from a golden age of cinema, courtesy of the George Eastman House. The Warhol continues its partnership with the institution’s world-renowned photograph and motion picture archives to bring rarely shown silent and early sound masterpieces from its extensive collection exclusively to Pittsburgh.
Sept. 14th, 8 p.m.
From Hollywood’s golden age, Lonesome tells the story of a factory worker and a switchboard operator who fall in love then lose each other during the Fourth of July weekend in New York City. Director Paul Fejös energetically uses a host of cinematic devices including color tinting, superimposition effects, experimental editing, and a roving camera (plus three dialogue scenes, added to satisfy the new craze for talkies) to evoke a hot summer in a crowded city. This newly restored, 35mm color-tinted black and white archival print features live musical accompaniment and stars Barbara Kent, Glenn Tryon, Fay Holderness, and Andy Devine.
Oct. 12th, 8 p.m.
Stage Struck, 1925
Stage Struck, directed by Allan Dwan and starring Gloria Swanson, Lawrence Gray, and Gertrude Astor, was partially shot in nearby New Martinsville, West Virginia, where Swanson plays a small-town waitress determined to keep the interest of her boyfriend Gray by becoming a real actress. With her huge eyes, seductive smile, and unparalleled ambition, Swanson defined the word “star” for generations of fans. She doesn’t disappoint – from the opening two-strip Technicolor sequence parodying Salome to the wild boxing match finale, the star shines in this charming comedy which features all of her trademark trappings including elaborate dream sequences, elegant sets, and of course, the famous Swanson wardrobe.
Nov. 2nd, 8 p.m.
Beggars of Life, 1928
With her trademark bob and gamine appeal, Louise Brooks was the quintessential flapper. But it was her penetrating charisma and transcendent naturalness that made her an icon of 1920s silent cinema. In director William Wellman‘s early Depression-era portrait of transient life, she gave one of her strongest performances during her brief stint in the Hollywood, playing a girl who must go on the run after killing her abusive stepfather in self-defense. Fleeing, she meets the handsome drifter Richard Arlen and the two hit the road, one step ahead of the law and soon encounter Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery), a tough, high-spirited hobo. Together they ride the rails, with Brooks dressed as a boy, through a hobo underworld where danger is always close at hand. This empathetic, darkly realistic drama is loaded with stunning visuals and is one of the great late silent-era features.
All screenings are $10.