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Alden's 'Classics of the Silent Screen' Series Returns for 2nd Season in VA Today, 11/14

The Alden's Classics of the Silent Screen series returns for its second year by popular demand from the growing fan base for "silents." Featuring live accompaniment and introductions by a film historian and preservationist, the series has been giving audiences more of what they've been craving since tasting "The Artist." Tickets for each film are $10/$6McLean district residents.

Ben Model will play his original silent film music for each of the films. A five-time recipient of the Meet the Composer grant, Model has been playing piano and organ for "silents" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the last 28 years. His style both evokes the music of the silent film era while taking into account a modern audience's expectations of film scoring. Model's scores for the series are composed on the spot.

Model and film historian and preservationist Bruce Lawton, an archival and preservation advisor for AFI, HBO and the Chaplin estate, curated Classics of the Silent Screen especially for The Alden. Their aim was to share with audiences a sampling of popular silent films, film directors and actors. All movies are special 16mm editions restored by Lawton himself.

Silent Stocking Stuffers

Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Model and Lawton look into their bag of silent cinema and pull out some suitable short films as a prelude to the seasonal onslaught. Rarities such as "The Courtship of Miles Sandwich" presenting a travesty on how Thanksgiving began and the "Our Gang" kids getting into the spirit during a snowstorm in "Good Cheer" are just a couple of the delights that will be on tap during this festive and (mostly) funny program.

Tickets: $10

Vaudeville Veterans: W.C. Fields & Will Rogers

Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Two of America's greatest stage performers, W.C. Fields and Will Rogers – both 'Ziegfeld royalty,' alternated between performing for live audiences and appearing on screen. While both became immortal on film for the distinctive voices that went with their public personas, they also shine in their nearly forgotten silent appearances. Fields stars as a seemingly hapless drugstore proprietor (with an alluring Louise Brooks as his clerk) in "It's the Old ArmyGame," while Rogers has trouble even getting to the drugstore in the hilarious short "Don't Park There."

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