No. Andover, MA: The Winning of Barbara Worth

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Rufus T Dowd

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No. Andover, MA: The Winning of Barbara Worth

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 3:57 pm

The Winning of Barbara Worth starring Ronald Coleman and Gary Cooper will be shown on Weds. Jan. 25th at 7:00 PM. The venue is the Rogers Center on the campus of Merrimack College. The movie will be accompanied by Jeff Rapsis. Admission is free and free cookies and hot chocolate are served before the show in the lobby.
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Re: No. Andover, MA: The Winning of Barbara Worth

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 9:22 pm

http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/lifestyles/see-a-silent-western-epic-that-speaks-volumes/article_29eb1e7b-4ac8-5f8a-9e0b-71517ca7208a.html

See a silent Western epic that speaks volumes

By Terry Date Staff writer 19 hrs ago

An early kiss in Hollywood’s love affair with the American West silently brightens the screen at Merrimack College’s 600-seat Rogers Center for the Arts next week.

The 1926 epic story “The Winning of Barbara Worth” — with original accompaniment by silent film musician Jeff Rapsis — is the latest installment in the North Andover school’s 2016-17 Tambakos Film Series.

The free screening will showcase many of the elements that would become Western staples:

A cowboy seeking the affections of a damsel in distress.

Rugged individuals reinventing themselves on the frontier.

A cowhand battling a city slicker for a lady’s heart.

Pioneers facing the wild western landscape.

Spectacular scenery, filmed on location in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

And star power — Gary Cooper, Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky.

Rapsis said that well-made silent films are a telescope to the past, bringing into view that which stirred people’s imaginations way back in the beginning.

“The movies were pop culture 100 years ago,” he said.

But the visual storytelling still fascinates audiences.

“They still retain a tremendous ability to cast a spell, engage an audience, tap into elemental emotions and provoke strong reactions,” he said of the films.

Richard Piatt, director at Merrimack’s Rogers Center for the Arts, is an avid silent film fan and gets excited to see exactly what thrilled audiences all those years ago — the design elements, the acting styles, the evolution of film.

“You see acting styles you don’t see anymore,” he said. The acting is highly stylized, conveying emotions and story through body language and facial expressions, he said.

At the same time, audiences get a window to what contemporary directors are pulling from, the foundations of modern film.

Due to film restoration techniques, the movie quality remains crisp and clean.

While much with the silents is the same, what is new is the musical accompaniment.

Rapsis, 53, who lives in Bedford, N.H., travels the region, the country and beyond lending his original music to about 100 silent films a year. It’s a real niche. He’s one of only about a dozen silent film accompanists in New England and will make his debut in London later this year.

None of the music that Rapsis plays is written down. He improvises the score for each movie he accompanies, constantly checking the mood of the audience as he carries the story along with his musical interpretation.

“The Winning of Barbara Worth,” which will be shown on Wednesday at 7 p.m., promises to be a unique experience.

Grab a snack in the lobby, and prepare for Rapsis to strike a chord. The lights will lower, and the digital projector will light up the screen through the proscenium onstage.

“Spend the next two hours or so immersed in old Hollywood, baby,” Piatt said.

IF YOU GO

What: “The Winning of Barbara Worth,” silent film screening with live musical accompaniment

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Rogers Center for the Arts, Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St., Route 114, North Andover

How much: Free admission

Coming attractions: The 2016-17 Tambakos Film Series, which runs most Wednesday nights during the semester, continues Feb. 1 with the crime thriller “The Grandmaster,” followed by “A Clockwork Orange,” “Taxi Driver” and “Jules et Jim.” The next silent film in the series is “The Passion of Joan of Arc” on March 22. All screenings start at 7 p.m.

More information: http://www.merrimack.edu/academics/rogers/tambakos_programs

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