Ashville, NC: THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN (1921)

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Ashville, NC: THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN (1921)

PostWed Jan 18, 2017 9:48 pm

http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2017/01/18/two-important-movie-events-attend-weekend/96718086/

2 important movie events to attend this weekend
Hayley Benton , hbenton(a)citizen-times.com Published 2:37 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2017 | Updated 7 hours ago


(Photo: Courtesy still)

In back-to-back topical and historically important events this weekend, Grail Moviehouse is hosting both a screening of "The Burden," brought to the theater by the Asheville Chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby, and the 1920s silent film "The Conquest of Canaan," filmed in black and white on the streets of an Asheville past.

The theatrical re-premiere of "The Conquest of Canaan," filmed downtown in the spring of 1921, will be making its 21st century debut at Grail on Jan. 22 — and, though the film itself is void of sound, Asheville pianist Andrew Fletcher will be in-house for the screening, providing live musical accompaniment to go along with the show.

"Conquest" follows silent-era stars Thomas Meighan and Doris Kenyon through Pack Square, up and down Biltmore Avenue and near Charlotte and Chestnut streets, as the two act out the story of small-town corruption, based on Booth Tarkington's 1905 novel.

In the movie, audiences will see Asheville landmarks lost in the past century — the old First Baptist Church at College and Spruce streets, City Hall, the firehouse, the city jail, the Swannanoa-Berkely Hotel and an interior courtroom of the Buncombe County Courthouse.

In a release, Frank Thompson, the film historian who reconstructed the near-century-old reel, wrote that "watching 'The Conquest of Canaan' today is like touring a lost city. Nearly everything seen in the film is now gone."

According to Thompson, the film hasn't been seen in its original form in Asheville since its 1921 debut, "which makes this screening a genuine historic event," he wrote. Until recently, the film was lost to time — until it was found in a Russian film archive and shipped to the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation.

Head to Grail on Sunday at 7 p.m. or 9:20 p.m. to watch a moment in time and experience a silent film with musical accompaniment for $15 (a huge markup from the prices of yesteryear, but appropriate for 2017). How often do you get to take a trip through time?

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