D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms
Released four years after Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms (1919; 89m) is his most tragic, poetic and melodramatic film. Lillian Gish - in her third of five film collaborations with the director - portrays Lucy, a young woman who has a miserable life. Her father is a professional boxer who takes his anger out not only in the ring but on her as well. When Lucy stumbles upon Cheng Huan, an immigrant from the Orient, a relationship blossoms accompanied by tragic consequences. Being 1919, the Asian-American is played by a non-Asian actor, Richard Barthelmess, while the always-angry father is played by Donald Crisp.
The new score for Broken Blossoms is composed and conducted by Al Kryszak and features Ivan Docenko on piano, Bryan Eckenrode on cello, Gregory Docenko on violin, and Al Kryszak on hammered dulcimer, banjo and guitars. Kryszak, who studied wth Lukas Foss, Lou Harrison and Morton Feldman, often combines electric guitar with orchestral instruments to create atmosphere and energy in concert and film music.
Print courtesy of Sandra Birnhak and the Killiam Collection.
Ticket prices: $20 General, $15 Members & Affiliates, $16 Students (with valid photo ID).
The silent film program at the Walter Reade Theater is made possible through the generosity of the Ira M. Resnick Foundation.
Fri Feb 3: 8
Sat Feb 4: 2