Monday, August 27, 2007

Silent Dialogue

(Silent Film Pianist, Yvo Verschoor)

(Setting for the silent film - Bed & Sofa)


Silence. I left vocalizing.

As many of you know, I am not a movie buff. Anytime I walk into a theater or hit the play button at home, it takes me no more than 15 minutes to lose interest, brainstorm other things I should be doing, and then react either by getting up or falling asleep.

Tonight though, I was infatuated.

Before the start of the film, a gentleman stood before us, and with basic English and a thick Holland accent, he gave us a brief teaser of the film ahead.

My glass of wine casually dangled from my fingers and my body attempted to get comfortable in the Communist era chairs.

Simple was the setting, complicated was the topic, and engaged was the mind.

The film. "Bed and Sofa" - a silent Russian film.

Our gentleman. A pianist, who without notes, free-flowed and created the dialogue within the scenes.

My engaged mind created the story. 1927 Russia. The underlying topic - abortion. A breakthrough, hushed topic at that time and still, a scared subject of discussion today.

A woman, married to a working man, fell into bed with his best friend. A love triangle. The husband and best friend switched places from bed to sofa. She became pregnant. Told to have an abortion, she complied. Sitting in the clinic, awaiting her demanded fate, she awoke. Free from her commanding men, she left and embarked on a solo journey with her new lives.

As my imagination came up with the script, my eyes become mesmerized by the pianists dancing fingers. His right eye was looking at the black and white keys and his left eye was following the black and white film. Together, his fingers fluttered through the story.

He carries the voice - a nomadic silent film pianiast - only 10 of them left in the world. With a pully contraption, alone, he moves his piano to different venues and tells a tale.

Yvo Verschoor, accompanied by his his 1901 Bluethner Piano.

Silence. I left vocalizing.

Next show – Theaterbar, Berlin, September 26th, Charlie Chaplin. Can you hear it?


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