The expressive face, deadpan delivery, and antic comedy of silent film legend Buster Keaton are a perfect match for orchestras, most famously, the Alloy Orchestra. But there’s a new one in town: Not So Silent Cinema, a project founded by Boston-based composer and arranger Brendan Cooney, will perform live, original scores to four classic Keaton short films: “The High Sign”(1921), “The Goat”(1921), “Cops” (1922), and “One Week” (1920).
Cooney’s trio will accompany the Keaton shorts next Sunday at the Brattle Theatre. According to Cooney, his original scores will provide a classic 1920s urban-Americana soundscape that combines ragtime, blues, bluegrass, klezmer, and hot jazz. A founding member of the West Philadelphia Orchestra, Cooney performs on piano, along with Kyle Tuttle on banjo, and Andy Bergman on clarinet.
Lost and found
The Found Footage Festival — a one-of-a-kind event showcasing videos discovered at garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses, and dumpsters throughout North America — began in New York in 2004 and has gone on to sell out hundreds of shows here and in Europe. Another Found is an annual magazine and community art project from Chicago that collects notes and letters found on the ground or on the street and mailed in by thousands of finders worldwide. The magazine and bestselling “Found” books are edited and assembled by filmmaker-writer Davy Rothbart and his brother Peter, a Seattle-based singer and songwriter. Found Footage Festival (FFF) and Found magazine will go toe-to-toe at the Brattle on April 25. Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, of the FFF, and the Rothbarts will be sharing their favorite finds, playing music, and performing comedy.
Several noteworthy out-of-town events highlight films that focus on the environment. Filmmaker Tom Garber will present “The Salt of the Sea,” his new documentary about the state of the fishing industry, which he shot aboard several commercial fishing boats in the Northeast. The screening is at Gloucester’s Cape Ann Community Cinema Monday evening. Garber will host a discussion after the screening.
Go to www.capeanncinema.com.
The sea and ships
Meanwhile, the Waters Edge Cinema, in Provincetown, celebrates Earth Day all next weekend with a mini-festival in partnership with the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Science on Screen program. Director Jenny Deller and actress Lili Taylor will be on hand for a screening of “Future Weather” (Friday), Deller’s film about a 13-year-old loner, Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine), passionate about nature and obsessed with ecological disaster. Taylor and Amy Madigan costar.
Charles “Stormy” Mayo, cofounder and director of the Habitat Studies Program at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, will be the special guest for a screening of John Huston’s 1956 “Moby Dick” (Saturday), starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab in an adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel.
Director Jay Burke presents “Whaling City” (Saturday), a fiction feature about an independent commercial fisherman who must fight to save his boat, his livelihood, and his way of life.
Jeff Orlowski’s acclaimed documentary “Chasing Ice” (next Sunday) follows National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he uses time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. Mark Borrelli, director of the PCCS Marine Geology Program, will present the film.
“Whale Research and Rescue” (next Sunday) features up-close footage of the Center for Coastal Studies’ work disentangling whales from fishing nets. The special guest is Scott Landry, director of the PCCS Marine Animal Disentanglement Program.
The series concludes with director Candida Brady’s documentary “Trashed” (April 22). Special guests Laura Ludwig, project director for the marine debris program, and Jesse Mechling, marine education director, at the PCCS host the film, which takes actor Jeremy Irons on a journey around the world as he investigates the effects of global waste and pollution on some of the planet’s most beautiful sites.
Nature and sports
On April 22, newportFILM presents a free Earth Day screening of “Elemental,” about three “eco-warriors” from different parts of the world united by their efforts to confront daunting ecological challenges. Director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee will hold a question-and-answer session following the 6 p.m. screening, at Newport’s Jane Pickens Theater. Also on the Newport slate, the challenges faced by elite athletes will be explored April 25 when newportFILM screens “Venus and Serena,” a documentary about the ground-breaking Williams sisters, who have dominated professional women’s tennis for more than a decade. Director Michelle Major will host a post-film Q&A. Presented in partnership with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the screening is April 25 at Newport’s Casino Theater.
Go to www.newportfilm.com.
Journey to hope
Middlesex Community College, in Lowell, continues its 2012-13 International Film Series with free monthly screenings. “Lost Child: Sayon’s Journey” is the story of Sayon Soeun, now a community activist in Lowell, who was abducted at 6 and forced to fight as a child-soldier under Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. The film screens Thursday in the school’s Federal Building Assembly Room. Admission is free and open to the public.
Circle of life
Nicolas Brynolfson, Santiago Gil, and Julie Miller are local artists and filmmakers. Along with an audiovisual performance using 16mm projectors by New York-based artist Thomas Dexter, they headline the next Balagan program, “Vicious Circle,” at the Brattle, on April 23. In keeping with the program’s theme of cyclical structure and circular form, there will also be a showing of Japanese avant-garde artist Toshio Matsumoto’s 1975 experimental film, “Atman.”
Go to www.balagan films.com.Loren King can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.