Film Streams presents an indie twist on silent films

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October 18th, 2011

Omaha, NE – Film Streams is currently presenting a series of classic, silent films in much the same way they were originally screened, but with indie, ragtime, and contemporary twists.

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Beginning in the late 19th century, the advent of film captured the hearts and minds of people all around the world. Fast motion images emerged from early projectors offering audiences tales of bravery, comedy and drama. It was an innovation that would change the way viewers saw the world, but not really how they heard it. At the time, technological restrictions didn’t allow for the accompaniment of recorded voices. But early filmmakers soon found a successful substitute: a musical soundtrack.

Orenda Fink will join fellow indie artists Todd Fink and Ben Brodin, performing to the silent film Nosferatu on Oct. 21.

Live pianists provided the atmosphere and emotional cues an audience needed. The addition soon became a hit. Fast forward to present day. Now, the art house movie theater in Omaha, Film Streams, is celebrating that time in history with “Silent Films in Concert,” a presentation of a series of silent films accompanied by contemporary musicians from Omaha and around the country.

“It was just sort of an organic process of working with the artist to choose something they were interested in scoring,” said Rachel Jacobson, founder of Film Streams. Jacobson said a collaborative effort between musicians and the theater is what led to the selection of diverse silent classics to showcase with live music.

Nosferatu is one of the original vampire films, and will be screened at Film Streams Oct. 21.

The performances include Omaha ragtime pianist Jim Boston performing to “The General,” local ensemble Alloy Orchestra playing to “Wild and Weird,” and even indie regional artists Todd Fink, Orenda Fink, and Ben Brodin performing to the classic horror film “Nosferatu”- a fan favorite around Halloween, which will be screened on October 21. (For a full listing, click here)

“Nosferatu was an obvious choice,” Jacobson said. “It’s one of those classics that’s really lived, and a lot of people are still familiar with it. It’s one of the original portrayals of a vampire in film and that’s been such a popular thing even lately.”

The series began on October 4th and will continue to run through December 15th at the Ruth Sokolof Theater in downtown Omaha.

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