Silents with accordions

Falconetti in La passion de Jeanne d’Arc with Austrian accordionist Maria Düchler

The Bioscope is unremittingly keen to see new forms of musical accompaniment for silent films, so news of the Akkordeon Festival in Vienna is most welcome. The annual festival is pretty much what you would expect it to be – a festival of accordion music, and quite possibly something of a challenge to the senses were you to attend it in its entirety from 15 February to 23 March 2010. But the festival has assorted strands, and this year one of these is a series of matinees featuring the screening of silent films accompanied by accordionists. Clearly the choice of films has been made to demonstrate the range of the instrument and challenge preconceptions.

On 21 February Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr. (1924) and Fatty Arbuckle and Keaton in Back Stage (1919) will be accompanied by Sascha Shevchenko on the accordion and Maciej Gloebiowski on clarinet.

On 28 February D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms (1919) will be accompanied by accordionist Christian Bakanic.

On 7 March Carl Th. Dreyer’s La passion de Jeanne d’Arc is accompanied by accordionist Maria Düchler.

On 14 March there is Conrad Veidt in Robert Weine’s Orlacs Hände (1924), accompanied by Stefan Sterzinger on accordion and Franz Schaden bass.

On 21 March there’s Harold Lloyd in Safety Last (1923), with Lothar Lässer accompanying on the accordion.

More information (in German only), including ticket details, can be found on the Akkordeon Festival website. All the silent film screenings take place at the Filmcasino, Margaretenstrasse 78, A-1050, Vienna, Austria.