This looks like a good season for rediscoveries of silent film. Next month, the Polish Film Festival will screen a 1928 movie version of Pan Tadeusz, an 1812 epic poem that’s one of the most frequently adapted works in Polish literature. And tomorrow at 8 PM the Logan Center for the Arts at University of Chicago screens The Yellow Ticket, a short feature from 1918 starring Pola Negri. The film will be accompanied with a live score by violinist Alice Svigalis and pianist Marilyn Lerner, both of whom will take part in a postshow discussion with U. of C. film professor Tom Gunning. This event is free, though it’s recommended that you reserve at seat online—you can do so here.
The Logan Center website describes The Yellow Ticket as “the first film to explore Jewish discrimination in Tsarist Russia,” starring Negri as “a young Jewish woman who hides her Jewish heritage to study medicine.” Even though Ticket is a German production, it should be fascinating to see how filmmakers portrayed Russian society prior the Revolution of 1919. And as long as we’re on the subjects of Russia and silent-film rediscoveries, someone in Chicago should look into reviving the work of Yevgeni Bauer, an influential theater artist who became one of Russia’s first major filmmakers. Bauer, who died in 1917, took a different approach to cinema than the famous artists of the Soviet era. Jonathan Rosenbaum has compared Bauer’s mise-en-scene to that of Tsai Ming-liang, which suggests his films could mingle just fine with contemporary cinema.