Composer-film and stage producer William Perry and the Peter Warlock Society

William_Perry-Warlock_Society

Composer-film and stage producer William Perry (centre) with two leading scholars of the Peter Warlock Society, Robert Beckhard and Malcolm Rudland.

Says Perry, “The Society is located in England, and I have been for many years the President of the North American Chapter. Warlock, whose real name was Philip Heseltine, was a minor but celebrated English composer (1894-1930), and influences from his music sometimes turn up in my work.”

http://www.empressbooks.com/news…/Wm_Perry_2016/article.html

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The Hollywood Trivia Closet: First Celebrity & Movie Star Jobs – Part 1

The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show on YouTube:
The Hollywood Trivia Closet – First Celeb and Movie Star Jobs Pt 1-Lucille Ball & more

Welcome to this month’s edition of The Hollywood Trivia Closet, featuring celebrities and movie stars and their first jobs – Phil Silvers, Jackie Gleason, Clark Gable, Laurence Olivier, Gloria Swanson and Lucille Ball.

(Yes, that is Greta Garbo, not Laura Hope Crews, in a photo from Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) 1931.)

Text & video editing: Lorraine Dmitrovic
Audio editing: Trevor Giampieri

The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show now on YouTube: Interview – Peggy Dymond Leavey about Mary Pickford

The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show now on YouTube:
Interview with author Peggy Dymond Leavey about silent film actress Mary Pickford. In this feature interview, journalist Lorraine Dmitrovic speaks with Peggy about the silent films era’s first superstar, Canadian-born Mary Pickford. Also discussed is Peggy’s book about the actress, “Mary Pickford – Canada’s Silent Siren, America’s Sweetheart.”

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-Creative & text: Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Theme and bridge music composed and performed by: Trevor Giampieri
-Sound editing/mixing: Trevor Giampieri

Argentine Tango danced by Anthony Dexter and Patricia Medina in Valentino (1951)

Hope you enjoy this first clip, the musical interlude before the first you tube installment of The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show 1 – coming soon. 🙂

This is the full scene featuring the famous Argentine Tango from Valentino (1951), starring Anthony Dexter and Patricia Medina. Dexter, a virtual lookalike to the real Rudolph Valentino, was a dancer in real life. Unlike today’s refined “ballroom tango,” this tango makes use of a whip in the opening and closing moments, and Dexter is wearing real spurs. The original tango was often passionate and savage, and evolved in the barios of South America in the mid to late 1800s. It eventually became a popular salon dance in Victorian society.

No other tango sequence has matched the brilliant choreography found in this scene from the 1951 film. It has never yet been recreated for any other film or in live performance. The dancing part of the scene was likely filmed in one take, using a number of cameras for the angles and kinds of shots.

In mid-dance, Anthony Dexter as the gaucho appears to pull a few unrehearsed moves, and the surprise can clearly be seen on Patricia’s face. As good a dancer as he was, Dexter was able to bring all the steps together with perfect timing, and they concluded the dance with another unique and original move, ending with a kiss.

The cast:
Anthony Dexter as Rudolph Valentino
Eleanor Parker as Joan Carlisle / Sarah Gray
Richard Carlson as William ‘Bill’ King
Patricia Medina as Lila Reyes
Joseph Calleia as Luigi Verducci
Dona Drake as Maria Torres
Lloyd Gough as Eddie Morgan
Otto Kruger as Mark Towers

The song, considered to be the tango of all tangos:
La Cumparsita
(Included on the film’s soundtrack, released on LP.)

For better video viewing, choose a higher setting in Quality from the asterisk icon.

The film Valentino (1951) is in the public domain. It is offered for sale at lovingtheclassics and other online DVD shops.

 

Book Review: The Music of the Silent Films

Ben Model the music of the silent films

Book Review by Lorraine Dmitrovic:
The Music of the Silent Films

It was a great pleasure to discover the distinguished hardcover music book “The Music of the Silent Films: 50 original pieces and arrangements for solo piano with authoritative text, film stills & photographs.”

Overall, it’s a thrilling compilation of music (by the original composers) and image selections curated and compiled by piano accompanist, Ben Model. An introduction by Graham Vickers, with additional text by Vickers, Glenn Young and Model, completes the presentation. (260 pages, including endpapers.)

My son as a dedicated keyboardist and piano player marvelled at a hardcover book that combined challenging sheet music, film history and photos of vintage film stills and vintage sheet music covers. At a higher than “hunt and peck level” ability, and with a first exposure to vintage silent film accompaniments, my son has found the arrangements to be “better than interesting” – and his interest has now been piqued, not only about the music, but the whole silent film era as well.

“The Music of the Silent Films” is also naturally educational, perhaps the perfect tool to introduce film music and film history to younger and the youngest generations. The film images and music evoke every emotion possible, crescendos with action, pauses with reflection, unfolds and follows romantically, decrescendos serenely, and sometimes charges forward at attack-pace. Teachers of music and other subjects will find this a delight and straightforward, with many applications, such as biography, music history, and film history, etc.

In light of it being a great learning experience in the sights and sounds of an earlier era, some of the greatest actors, actresses and composers are featured. We get the history, from the first dim lights appearing and then growing stronger, the famous actors, the gifted, the romantic players, the biographies of illustrious and lesser known composers. It’s a treasure chest topped with gold; one then discovers that the compilation is gold all the way through. The excellence could only be surpassed if the same team researches, writes and issues a Part II volume.

“The Music of the Silent Films” is a book worth its weight, icing classic film music with authenticity and appeal for the modern day. It also has the potential to one day be loved by your grandchildren’s grandchildren. An heirloom to be loved and passed on to the next piano player/film lover in the family.

Ben Model has truly contributed to a masterpiece here. The music and photos belonged to each other in the misty past of cinema. He has faithfully helped resurrect the best of that past, and has introduced it to, and simultaneously created a niche for it in, the contemporary world of film and music. Once again, and especially if played on the instrument(s) of the time, the silent screen images and music of early movie parlours and palaces will reign timeless and with renewed sparkle.

Definitely “Bravo!” and “Bravi!” to Ben Model and the other authors and contributors.

Copyright © June 2016: Lorraine Dmitrovic