I only miss two aspects of life in New York City, from a "things to do" perspective. In New York, you can hear the music of Charles Mingus performed somewhere, by somebody, most nights of the week - I don't think that is true of any other place - and in New York you can see a silent film with live musical accompaniment almost any night of the week.
I miss that silent film scene in St. Louis, not because we don't get the experience here, but because it's not an everyday thing. One has far fewer opportunities here. As a daddy with a demanding day job, I end up missing most of my chances, though The Webster University Film Series in particular keeps programming wonderful silent films with live music (that I keep missing).
Finally, one I get to see (I think), courtesy of the Saint Louis Art Museum, is screening Sunday, September 28 at 1 p.m. in the Museum Auditorium. It will be a race from church, but I plan to give it a go. The price is right: it's free.
The silent film: The Adventures of Prince Achmed. Created in 1926 by Lotte Reiniger, then a 23-year-old teacher in Germany, this early animated film tells the story of an Arabian prince, an evil sorcerer and a captured princess through shadow puppet techniques.
The live musical accompanists: Miles and Karina, who composed the score on commission from the Northwest Film Forum. CD Baby blurb says: "Miles and Karina are David Miles Keenan and Nova Karina Devonie. Since their early days with cowgirl supergroup, Ranch Romance, they have been writing and performing locally in their home town of Seattle. Miles plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and both sing, while Karina's instrument of choice is the accordion. They like to call their music 'Mid-twentieth-century music': Cartoon themes - Swing - 50's and 60's Country - Cowboy - Bluegrass - Old time - Hot Club - 60's Orchestral Spy - Bossa Nova."
For more information, call 314.721.0072 or visit www.slam.org.