I was excited to have the chance to experience Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount after writing about them a couple of weeks ago. I went last night to see 1929’s The Godless Girl, a hate-turns-to-love story between the atheist rabble-rouser high school girl and the God-fearing student body president boy. They make their way through a series of perils, including a riot that breaks out between the opposing sides, neighboring reform schools for the two of them (featuring a grisly stigmata scene), escape, and return to the reform school culminating in a fire to end all fires. There is lust, piety, and an overabundance of over-acting -- necessary, I suppose, when you don’t have sound to rely on to communicate emotion.
I was surprised to see a healthy number of the young and hip contingent in the crowd, thinking (as referenced by Seattle Metropolitan’s fantastic Steve Wiecking in his blog post) that the average age of the audience member would be about 77. I was also amazed by how engaging the story was, due in no small part to the live organ accompaniment. Though it wasn’t Dennis James behind the organ -- the protestors outside and the fliers they were handing out an indicator that this was an unexpected and unwelcome development -- his replacement was phenomenal. Kudos to anyone who can play with that much skill and enthusiasm for nearly two hours straight.
I heartily recommend that if you have the chance to catch the last movie of the summer series, do it. It’s one heck of a unique experience. The remaining performance:
Monday, June 29 at 7:00pm: Seventh Heaven