Travel back in time with 1922 Cinema Centennial Sept. 28 at Music Box Theatre

  • Chicago-based percussionist, historian, and instrument collector Nicholas White speaks during a Q&A at Music Box Theatre in 2019 following Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival's 1919 Cinema Centennial event.

    Chicago-based percussionist, historian, and instrument collector Nicholas White speaks during a Q&A at Music Box Theatre in 2019 following Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival's 1919 Cinema Centennial event. Courtesy of Michael Noens, Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival

 
 
Updated 9/21/2022 8:13 PM

The Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival will present their 1922 Cinema Centennial program on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. The celebration of films released 100 years ago will begin at 7 p.m. and include two shorts followed by a feature-length film. Each silent film will be presented with music and sound effects performed live by local artists.

"This year's program is centered around kids," according to Cinema Centennial Program Director Tricia Legat. "These stories contain a special kind of magic as they are from the perspective of children; the ones who see the world as a place of wonder, adventure, and potential for the future."

 

"One hundred years ago, we were just taking our first steps into the future of the modern world," Legat continued. "In 1922 alone, the White House installed its first radio, congress welcomed its first female senator, and the Harlem Renaissance began to cast a spotlight on talented artists like Langston Hughes and Louis Armstrong."

Original music will be performed live by Gail Gallagher, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter, composer, and music teacher. Gallagher has been developing her improvisational piano skills over the last decade as a music director for the Chicago improv scene.

"My music is lyric driven, witty, and vulnerable," says Gallagher. "Recently, I've been writing more comedy songs and exploring elements of genre parody."

Live sound effects will be performed by Nicholas White, a freelance percussionist, historian, and instrument collector in Chicago. White's growing collection of percussion instruments specifically used during the silent movie area will be showcased at the 1922 Cinema Centennial. White is also an active performer with professional orchestras all over the country.

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"I'm an avid fan of early 20th century jazz music," says White. "I often perform and arrange xylophone music from the 1920s and play with 1920s jazz bands here in Chicago."

The first short film curated for this one-night event invites the audience to watch a cartoonist and his animated clown compete to see who can blow the biggest "Bubbles." Then, "Our Gang" will take part in a series of shenanigans together as they initiate a new member and keep the shop run by the mother of another in business.

The evening will conclude with Jackie Coogan and Lon Chaney in "Oliver Twist," the story of an orphan boy whose character is tested once he falls into the hands of criminals. While Oliver proves to be an honorable young man, events beyond his control put both his hope of finding a real home and his very life in peril.

Tickets are available through the box office at Music Box Theatre for $10. Music Box Theatre members receive a $3 discount. For more information about the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival's Cinema Centennial program and to purchase tickets, visit centennial.bwiff.com.

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival is a nonprofit organization that seeks out independently produced cinema by bold and innovative filmmakers that utilize story elements in a new and exciting way, presenting character-driven independent cinema fueled by the filmmaker's passion for the craft without studio support.

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