The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has announced two Live Cinema Events this year for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 heart-warming classic The Kid, preceded by his 1917 short The Immigrant will screen in Auckland and Christchurch. Auckland and Wellington will show a 1928 fairy-tale tribute to New York City only recently discovered, Lonesome from Hungarian director Paul Fejos.
A moving, funny and affectingly personal title, The Kid was Charlie Chaplin’s first feature-length film – ‘Six Reels of Joy,’ as the film’s promotional material described it. The blend of agile physical comedy and unabashed sentiment in portraying Victorian London street life is still stirring to this day, never more so than when experienced with the gloriously symphonic score Chaplin composed for the film in 1981.
The Kid is preceded by The Immigrant, one of the last shorts Chaplin made before stepping up to feature-length films. In one of his most gob-smackingly inventive plots, we see the Little Tramp valiantly courting Edna Purviance only to cause humorous havoc on board a crowded ship from Europe; then on the mean streets of New York.
Charlie Chaplin’s masterpieces will be supported by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra’s will both perform a live music score in their respective cities, under the baton of Marc Taddei this year.
Orchestra Wellington’s Music Director Marc Taddei conducts Chaplin’s own gloriously symphonic score for The Kid, as arranged by Carl Davis, and a feisty new score for The Immigrant by Timothy Brock.
A long buried treasure from Hollywood’s golden age, Lonesome (1928) was only unearthed in the 1980s, a remarkable piece of cinema from the little-known but audaciously creative Hungarian émigré, Paul Fejos. A lavish New York City tale set amidst the mass mania of Coney Island during the Fourth of July holiday, Lonesome pulls out all the stops for a film of its era: colour tinting, superimpositions, experimental editing, and a roving camera, plus three dialogue scenes, belatedly added to satisfy the new craze for talkies.
New Zealand’s pop maestro Lawrence Arabia will be joined by cinematic jazz ensemble Carnivorous Plant Society to perform a World Premiere score for Lonesome. This is a rare chance to see one of the few films made by Paul Fejos, accompanied live by two of New Zealand’s finest musical acts performing an original score for the very first time in both Auckland and Wellington.