The silent clowns

Those readers of mine who are interested in silent film (about which I recently wrote here) will note the 20th anniversary of The Silent Clowns Film Series, a monthly schedule of screenings shown at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and named for Walter Kerr’s 1979 landmark study. “We present monthly, year-round showings of the silent movies of Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Lloyd, and many others, all with live musical accompaniment by renowned silent film accompanist Ben Model. Every program features a spoken introduction and Q&A by film historians Bruce Lawton and Steve Massa,” says the web page for the organization — and the screenings, delightfully, are free. This Saturday at 2.30pm, the series will present a rare showing of the 1926 Raymond Griffith Civil War comedy Hands Up! The feature will be preceded by the Harry Langdon short subject Saturday Afternoon of the same year.

The anniversary was marked last month on the NYC-ARTS television series. You can see that story below (once you get through the five minutes or so of commercials — ahem, I mean “sponsor acknowledgements,” of course).