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The Blackbird

Live Musical Accompaniment
Screening on Film
Directed by Tod Browning.
With Lon Chaney, Owen Moore, Renée Adorée.
US, 1926, 35mm, black & white, 86 min.
Print source: HFA

It was with great glee that I took up Haden's invitation to curate this series. How to organize a bunch of movies around a curatorial theme when the only thing they had in common was my love for them—well, I figured out that I hadn't seen any of them for a long long time, and that because of this I was eager to see them again, and in every case on the big screen for the very first time. In many cases I realized I could remember very little of the pictures except the wondrous feelings that persisted long after specific detail faded from my memory. Often I had to go online to make sure I was even thinking of the right title when I picked it. I do remember well the greatness of Laugh Clown Laugh, and the tumescent thrills produced in me by the strange—singular even! —masochistic cruelty of Lon Chaney. Long ago I watch all f his movies I could lay mitts on. But I have to be honest, I can't remember for sure if I ever saw The Blackbird, tonight's emergency replacement. So that's taKING MY DREAMY AMNESIAS ONE STEP FURTHER—ONE STEP CLOSER TO PERFECTION, I SAY! There is no way this movie is not the quintessence of my twin obsessions with Lon Chaney and forgetfulness. This movie, just like my programming tonight, has achieved a purity of perfection. I only wish I could be with you to experience this once in a lifetime event. My own viewing perfection awaits some future night. Yours is now. Enjoy!

Live Musical Accompaniment by Bertrand Laurence

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