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21 January 2021
(Czech Republic)

Frigo na mašině (The General, 1926)
Filharmonie Bohuslava Martinu conducted by Robert Israel - Zlín Congress Center

Program Info:
The General, 1926
Screenplay and direction: Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman
Starring: Buster Keaton
Music (non-original): Robert Israel

From the very beginning of cinema, music has been an integral part of it. Even the very first public screening of short films by the brothers August and Louis Lumier, which took place at the end of December 1895 at the Café Grand in Paris, was accompanied by music. It was no different in the era of silent film, whose golden age came during the 1920s.

In fact, silent film has never been completely silent, as it was the music that always accompanied the individual screenings, thus completing the atmosphere of the story taking place on the screen. The musical component was usually provided by a gramophone, or a pianist, whose playing was often based on momentary improvisation. As a rule, the release of the same film always had a different musical undertone.

Somewhat different conditions prevailed in the more affluent cinemas, which could afford to engage a complete live orchestra.

In the year the Lumier brothers presented their moving images to an inquisitive Parisian audience, Buster Keaton, later a film comedian and director, was born in the US state of Kansas, and alongside Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, one of the most famous silent film characters of all time. During his professional career, Keaton participated in the realization of more than a hundred different grotesques, while the most valuable ones are by far the ten-part series of feature films from 1923-27. This period includes, among other things, the film Frigo on the Machine (originally ¨The General), in which Buster Keaton excels in the lead role of an acrobatic comedian, who is skilfully seconded by a steam locomotive. It is worth noting that this film was selected by the prestigious magazine Premiere in the category of the fifty best comedies of all time.

The fourth subscription concert of the C series will offer a screening of the film Frigo on a machine, which will be accompanied by live music performed by the Zlín Philharmonic.

The performance will be directed by the American conductor Robert Israel, who is also the creator of the music for this famous American grotesque.

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Last edited: 10 October 2020 - 08:41 hours