The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus.
Friday, March 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Greed (MGM, 1924)
Based on the novel McTeague by Frank Norris, Greed chronicles the downfall of gold miner-turned-dentist, McTeague (Gibson Gowland) and his wife, Trina (ZaSu Pitts), after their lives are destroyed by greed following a lottery win. Critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, like the Venus de Milo, is acclaimed as a classic despite missing several parts deemed essential by its creator. Its unhappy history is well known. Von Stroheim’s original film was more than nine hours long. After it was cut, cut and cut again, it was released at about 140 minutes, in a version that he disowned–and that inspired a fistfight with Louis B. Mayer. It is this version that is often voted one of the greatest films of all time.” It is no wonder after seeing this amazing film why the search for the full length version has become the film historian’s Holy Grail. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 1991. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Ben Model. 140 minutes.
Saturday, March 5 (2 p.m.)
The Dixie Flyer (Rayart Pictures, 1926)
Versatile silent-film leading lady Eva Novak stars as a plucky telegraph operator at railroad’s farthest outpost who falls in love with handsome railroad worker Cullen Landis in this low-budget action thriller. The Dixie Flyer is a fast-moving train and the story, basically one great action sequence after another, focuses on greed-driven efforts to stir up a labor dispute. Novak matches Landis stunt for stunt in, around, and on top of moving trains and an out-of-control handcar. The Library of Congress produced this restored print in 2002 and it gone one to become the surprise hit of at least two film festivals. Two silent short subjects are also on the program: the railroad related drama A Mother’s Devotion (Vitagraph, 1912) and the comedy The Show (Vitagraph, 1922) starring Larry Semon and Oliver Hardy. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Ben Model. 84 minutes.
Saturday, March 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Labyrinth (Tri-Star Pictures, 1986)
Jim Henson directed this fantasy adventure in which teenaged Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly) careless wish that goblins would steal her baby brother surprisingly comes true. Jareth, The Goblin King (David Bowie, who, along with Trevor Jones, provides the film’s music), tells Sarah that the only way to get her brother back is to find her way through a devilish labyrinth where she faces a number of horrific challenges and scary creatures, each produced by Henson’s Creature Shop. Executive produced by George Lucas, and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud, the film was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Visual Effects. 101 minutes.