A number of films have also been screened as part of this series, some being digitized from the original film and seen for the first time in decades. All were silent and some had live piano accompaniment. The films included:
Borderline, 1930: Paul Robeson, an African American singer and actor who had an international career in singing—with a distinctive, powerful, deep bass voice—as well as acting in theater and movies, stars in this meditation on love and society that is bold in both subject matter and cinematographic technique.
Beasts of the Jungle, 1913: Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female director who owned her own studio and produced hundreds of films, made Beasts of the Jungle over 100 years ago. It is an extravagantly produced (for its time) location film combining exotic scenery and some very real wild animals.
Hamlet, 1921: Danish silent movie star Asta Nielsen formed her own production company to make this film, in which new elements are combined with features (and a few lines) familiar from Shakespeare’s version of the legend. The most important of these changes sees Hamlet made into a female character – a princess forced to masquerade as a man by her scheming mother.
Fly Low Jack and the Game, 1927: Eastman Kodak wanted to sell the idea that anyone could make a movie just as easy as taking a snapshot. They felt so strongly that the Rochester Community Players had made the whole project look so easy and turned out so well, Kodak sent the film on a 125-city tour across the country. The Cine-Kodak Model B camera, which was used to make the film, was designed for amateur filmmaking. Besides being one of the first fiction films shot on 16mm film, it was also directed by one of the first female filmmakers, Marion Gleason. Partner DeBergerac Productions worked with BFF to share this piece of film history.
The Flute of Krishna, 1926: Early Color Film made by Eastman Kodak. Martha Graham’s dance “The Flute of Krishna” is performed in front of the camera in Rochester, NY by professional dancers that were a part of Graham’s dance troupe.