Even the most casual cinephile knows it’s one of the most iconic images in Hollywood history: Harold Lloyd dangling from a super-size clock on the side of a building that towers over busy Los Angeles. But how many have actually seen “Safety Last!”? On the big screen? With a live orchestra? The 1923 silent classic screens Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Coolidge Corner Theatre accompanied by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra (BSFO). It’s the latest in the Sounds of Silents series which commissions new scores to silent classics.
Fans of the series can thank film buff and collector Martin Norman who, as a member of the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s board of directors, proposed a silent film program back in 2007. (“My wife, Becki, and I have always loved film and film history,” he explains.) Three years later, Sounds of Silents launched its partnership with the BSFO. “Safety Last!” is the eighth collaboration between the two organizations.
These screenings with a live orchestra have become so popular that even First Night wants in: ArtsEmerson will present an encore performance of “Safety Last!” accompanied by the BSFO at the Cutler Majestic Theater on Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Both the Coolidge and Cutler Majestic will show a new digital restoration from Janus Films, sourced from an original nitrate print. The original has been preserved for decades by the Harold Lloyd estate. The First Night screening will be preceded by the debut of a short documentary made by Emerson MFA students under the supervision of professor and filmmaker Marc Fields about the creation of the original musical score for “Safety Last!” The short follows Berklee students and their professor, Sheldon Mirowitz, as they create the new score and ready it for its premiere performance at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
For more information on the Coolidge screening, go to www.coolidge.org. For the First Night screening, go to artsemerson.org.
From Salem to Africa
Salem native and Emerson College student filmmaker Connor Buso-Jarnis will head to Senegal Dec. 26 with other members of the Salem-based, nonprofit teen organization Spark 540U. Over the two-week visit, Buso-Jarnis plans to gather footage and interviews for a trailer that will be used to promote a feature documentary, to be shot in Senegal at a later time, called “Project Senegal.” A team of Emerson students, with Buso-Jarnis directing, will participate in the creation of the documentary about teenagers in Senegal and their interactions with teens from the United States, all with the purpose of advocating for sustainable education in Senegalese schools. The project is being aided by the crowd-funding site Indiegogo.
“Our teacher, Prof. Claire Andrade-Watkins, came into contact with Marc Hofstatter, head of the film department at Indiegogo. He has been mentoring our team and given us advice as to how to create a successful crowd-funding campaign,” Buso-Jarnis explains in an e-mail. “Emerson College is hoping to use Project Senegal as a pilot for a possible collaboration with Indiegogo, though this is still in the very early stages of development.”
For more information on the documentary, go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-senegal
Marking the date
Two area screenings are timed to commemorate significant global and social events. In honor of World AIDS Day earlier this month, NewportFILM on Dec. 11 screens “Blood Brother,” about a young man’s journey to India and the time he spends at an HIV/AIDS orphanage for children and women who have been disowned by their families. This event is in partnership with AIDS Care Ocean State, which will share in the proceeds. It takes place at 7 p.m. at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport. For more information, go to www.newportfilm.com. . . . Director Phil Harrison of Ireland will be on hand for the New England premiere of “The Good Man” on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Studio Cinema in Belmont. Presented by Belmont World Film, the screening date commemorates South Africa’s National Day of Reconciliation, created in 1994 to mark the end of apartheid in South Africa. Shot in Northern Ireland and South Africa, “The Good Man” is about the seemingly disconnected lives of a banker in Ireland and a teen in a South African township. For more information, go to www.belmontworldfilm.org
Calling student filmmakers
The 2014 Salem Film Fest, which takes place March 6-13, is seeking short films by college students. Filmmakers must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at a Massachusetts college or university, or a recent graduate who attended a Massachusetts college or university in 2013. The fest is partnering with Mass Reality Check, a college documentary shorts showcase. Every student whose film is selected to screen at Salem Film Fest 2014 will receive an all-access pass to the festival.
The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31. All rules and guidelines for submitting can be found at www.salemfilmfest.com/massrealitycheck.
For more information, go to www.salemfilmfest.com.