Rare and hilarious silent films to play on campus

Pie battle

Bromeley Family Theater will be transformed into an old-time black-and-white silent movie theater on Tuesday -- but the popcorn will be fresh.


Starting at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Pitt-Bradford will screen two comedy “shorts” - “Battle of the Century” by the famous comedy duo Laurel and Hardy and “One Week,directed by Buster Keaton.


Goodies (including popcorn) accompany the one-hour screening.


Providing live musical accompaniment will be pianist Donald Sosin, who will play music that he wrote and arranged himself. A virtuoso performer and composer, Sosin is one of the only composers in the United States creating music for silent movies and has been the house pianist at the Museum of the Moving Image for 20 years.


He has also accompanied movies at major film festivals and museums, including The Museum of Modern Art (where he was a staff accompanist for five years), the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.


Dr. Joshua Groffman, assistant professor of music, is a long-time acquaintance of Sosin's and arranged for his visit to campus.


“He's a rock star in the world of silent film, an enormously talented performer and composer, and he can have the audience rolling in the aisles with his accompaniment,” Groffman said. “To be able to see these films done on the big screen in Bromeley, with live music, will be a really special experience, I think.” 


As part of Sosin's visit, he will speak to students in Groffman's Music in Film course.