Carmen: Silent Film & Live Symphony

On Friday, a friend and I went to Gemeindesaal Zollikon, not to be confused with Gemeindesaal Zumikon, which is what pops up in Google maps when you Google the location, and we enjoyed the 1918 German silent film starring Pola Negri set to live music by a small group of very talented musicians.It was my first time seeing a feature-length silent film and it was an experience. It is not too hard to keep up with a silent film, even reading the caption screens in German, but it did take a bit of time to get into the rhythm of the film with the text and live music.

After awhile, both my friend and I forgot that the musicians were even there for a minute. They timed things so well, like a trumpet sounding as it happened in the film, and we both enjoyed the evening.

Having seen the operatic version of Carmen, where I had sympathized with her and thought her death was unfair, Pola really seemed to deserve what she got after how cruel she was to Don José Navarro in the film.

Have you ever watched a “real” silent film? What about a film set with a live orchestra?

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