Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Donald Sosin opens a Pandora's Box at Webster

Donald Sosin is a big deal in the small world of live music performed to silent film. When I lived in New York, I saw him perform live to silent film often, and found his work as tasteful and interesting as anything going on in that very active scene.

Reading interviews with him online, now, to post up something about his imminent St. Louis appearance, I also find him to be a nice man. Here is his response to an interviewer's attempt to get him to carp about his enviable job:

"Oh, the Italian food makes it very difficult to come home and eat the garbage that people serve in restaurants here. Seriously, I'm very lucky in my work to have steady employment, even though it comes in unexpected times and places. But there's always something going on. I don't like the fact that I have to spend long hours in front of the computer to produce soundtracks or communicate with the world. I do it and it seems like I enjoy it, but it makes me kind of spacy and weird. Ask my wife! I much prefer a good Steinway and a big screen to a Kurzweil and a monitor."

I was fanboy-flattered when a recent post of mine about the live/silent scene here in St. Louis attracted a comment from Mr. Sosin, who has his eyes on us from New York, I suppose, because he has a gig upcoming. Here is word on that gig, from our friends at the ever-essential Webster University Film Series:


Saturday, October 18 at 8 p.m.
(G.W. Pabst, 1929, Germany, 133 min.)

One of the masters of early German cinema, G. W. Pabst had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabst's lurid, controversial melodrama PANDORA'S BOX. Sensationally modern, the film follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with. Daring and stylish, Pandora's Box is one of silent cinema's great masterworks and a testament to Brooks's dazzling individuality.

With live musical accompaniment by Donald Sosin.

Admission is $6 for the general public, $5 for seniors, students from other schools and Webster alumni, and $4 for Webster University staff and faculty unless otherwise noted. All films screened in Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood, Webster Groves, MO.


It's on my calendar. I look forward to making a crummy sketch of Donald Sosin at work in the Moore and asking him to sign it.

Sexy still of Louise Brooks from Pandora's Box from some DVD site.


Donald Sosin said...

Hey, thanks for the plug. Greetings from Pordenone. What can I bring you to swap for a crummy (probably not crummy at all) sketch?

A poster? A copy of Griffithiana? Due gusti di gelato?

Best, Donald

Confluence City said...

Nice to hear from you again. I'll be happy to make some sketches of you and let you keep one, man. I am a collector, so would accept anything in return that speaks of our mutual love for silent cinema!