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Sat, Feb 25, 2023
Doors 6:30pm Show 7:00pm
Silent Film “The Man Without a World” with Live Music by Donald Sosin & Alicia Svigals
No dogs are allowed on site.
Enjoy this special screening of the comedic and dramatic 1920’s-style silent film with original music composed and performed live by world-renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and celebrated silent film pianist Donald Sosin.
Donald Sosin (pianist and composer) has performed his silent film music at Lincoln Center, MoMA, the Kennedy Center, and major film festivals in the US and abroad. He records for Criterion, Kino, Milestone and TCM. He has played his scores for Jewish-themed silent films at the New York Jewish Film Festival. His one-act opera for families, Esther, was performed at the National Yiddish Book Center. Other Jewish music includes a short children’s opera, A Parakeet Named Dreidel, Yiddish folk song arrangements, and Three Psalms, premiered in 2009 by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Alicia Svigals, violinist/composer and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, is the world’s foremost klezmer fiddler. Alicia almost singlehandedly revived the tradition of klezmer fiddling, which had been on the brink of extinction until she recorded her debut album Fidl in the 1990’s.
She was an NEA MacDowell Fellow in 2014, an honor for first-time fellows of “extraordinary talent.” She is the recipient of the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 2013 New Jewish Culture Network commission for her new live score to the 1918 Pola Negri silent film The Yellow Ticket, which she tours internationally with pianist Marilyn Lerner, and was commissioned to create an expanded version of the score for the Seattle Symphony’s clarinetist Laura DeLuca, premiering in May 2014. She was fellow at LABA: a Laboratory of New Jewish Culture in 2014, where she studied Jewish texts with a multidisciplinary group of fellows and wrote a song cycle for soprano, violin and accordion drawn from that experience. In June 2018, Flicker Alley released her score to the 1923 silent film Das Alte Gesetz, co-written with pianist Donald Sosin, which they are touring internationally.
Svigals has taught and toured with violinist Itzhak Perlman, who recorded her compositions as duets with Ms. Svigals and the Klezmatics; and she was awarded first prize in performance at the Safed, Israel international klezmer festival. She’s been featured in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues (at Madison Square Garden with Phoebe Snow, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, and Brooke Shields). She’s composed for the Kronos Quartet, and composer Osvaldo Golijov was commissioned to create a work for her and clarinetist David Krakauer (then a fellow band member in the Klezmatics) entitled Rocketekiya, recorded on the Milken Archives label and performed at Merkin Concert Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
THE MAN WITHOUT A WORLD is credited to the legendary (and imaginary) 1920s Soviet director, Yevgeny Antinov. But the film is anything but old. In fact, Antinov himself is the creation of contemporary filmmaker Eleanor Antin. A world-renowned artist, author, and performer, Antin has exhibited her work at major museums around the world. In her art. Antin explores history through the eyes of various personas, including Eleanor Nightingale (a nurse in the Crimean War) and Eleanora Antinova, the famous black ballerina in Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe who wanted to star in Swan Lake but was only allowed “ethnic” roles like Pocahontas. This great and fictional dancer also appeared in Antin’s earlier work From the Archives of Modern Art and The Last Night of Rasputin, also distributed by Milestone. The film has an amazing cast and crew from the world of art, literature, and theatre including Pier Marton, Christine Berry, Anna Ruth Henriques, Nicolai Lennox, Sabato Fiorello, Marcia Goodman, Allan Kaprow, Jerome Rothenberg, David Antin, and Don Sommese.
The film is Antin’s “love letter” to her mother, a former actress in the Yiddish theater of Poland, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at the time this film was created. Like the character Zevi in the film, Antin’s mother yearned for the stages of Warsaw, but unlike him, she never made it to the big city. The film is also a love letter to the heyday of silent cinema.
THE MAN WITHOUT A WORLD is a moving, comic melodrama set in a typical shtetl (village) in Poland. The Jews’ struggle against poverty and racial hatred is complicated by their own division into hostile political factions of the religious orthodoxy, assimilationists, socialists, Zionists, anarchists and survivors. While the Jews of the shtetl pursue their loves, politics, religion, business and dreams for the future, the Angel of Death is ever near…
“I make seemingly old films in order to enter the lost world of the past from the inside, not to stand outside of it and see it as history. The technology of a film determines a large part of what the audience sees. A Hollywood costume drama holds the subject of the film at the conventional distance of representation. I want my audience to experience this world as if from inside — but at the same time — with a sense of the distance they have traveled to get there.” — Eleanor Antinor Antin