Library Film Series returns with silent cinema day

The Library Film Series will showcase a variety of movies throughout the fall semester, including a silent cinema day with a diverse selection of music from different genres and eras. (Kaleigh Ma’ake)

The Harold B. Lee Library is hosting a film series throughout the fall semester starting Sept. 24 with “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

The series takes place in the Alice Louise Reynolds Auditorium on the first level of the library. Faculty and staff picked the movies with no particular theme, however the majority were influenced by literary works and holidays that fall under the month. For example, in October they will be playing “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” as a fun Halloween movie. 

Ben Harry, curator of audiovisual and media arts history, said he is particularly excited for the National Silent Movie Day on Sept. 29 from 7-9 p.m. He said BYU will be standing out this year because between Fort Worth, Texas and Los Angeles, the university is the only place having an event in the entire region. What’s even more special about this one-time special screening is the hard work BYU students are doing behind-the-scenes by choosing non-traditional music and allowing a diverse range of music from all eras and genres to be featured.

“This year we are trying something radical and it really will be an absolute experience, but it’s not just something you’ve never seen before but it’s something you’ve never heard before,” Harry said. 

Hunter Hill, 26, studying interdisciplinary humanities is one of the students helping select music for the silent cinema. 

“For the two shorts I selected music for, I tried to think what would be fun to both see and hear together. For a western short we are showing, I selected western film music from all over cinema history, from old fashioned ragtime piano to ‘The Mandalorian’, ” Hill said. 

Jane Athay, 21, studying anthropology is another student helping behind-the-scenes in selecting music. 

“Songs were chosen for a combination of lyrics and the general feel of the music. For instance, I use a number of songs by indie folk rock band Lord Huron,” Athay said. 

Social Sciences Reference Specialist Brian Wages encourages students to bring friends and family to the theater to have a shared experience on the big screen.

“As the scenes unfold, you hear gasps, or a hysterical laugh; those shared reactions are really things you can never recreate on Netflix or a streaming service. Especially for the younger students that are used to seeing action movies, come to the film series and you’ll get to experience something totally different,” Wages said. 

The film series will run until the last showing on Dec. 3. Admission is free for all viewers. Readers can also learn how the curator prepares films every Tuesday at 3-5 p.m. The showtime calendar can be found online.

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