Definitely not the IMAX Experience as the Revue Cinema Returns to Silent Films

The Silent Sundays series returns to the Revue this weekend -- with stop-motion dinosaurs and live musical accompaniment! The rep house is screening the 1925 version of The Lost World (no doubt the special effects equivalent of Avatar in its day) at 4 p.m. this Sunday, January 10th.

True, silent films might be a tough sell, but Silent Sundays is the only year-round series of its kind in Toronto, and thus a rare chance to appreciate the "silent era" experience in a cinema that once upon a time actually screened silents (back in the '10s and '20s).

Silent Sundays premiered in June and, with Buster Keaton starring in the 1927 film College, featured a packed house. "Initially, I really wasn't sure what kind of audience to expect," programmer Eric Veillette tells me.

Veillette, who also writes about Toronto movie theatre history for the Toronto Star, describes the event as "a real afternoon at the movies" catering to cinephiles, families, and music lovers. At the first Buster Keaton screening, he notes, "one guy brought his four year old son to the movies for the first time. The highest honour!" Indeed!

Music is key. William O'Meara, the go-to pianist for film accompaniment in the city, will provide the live soundtrack for the film. O'Meara has previously lent his talents to Cinematheque's Nuit Blanche offering A Trip to the Moon and to TIFF 09's SHHH! Silent Film Classics screenings (also programmed by Veillette) at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Based on a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel, The Lost World is part adventure, part romance. An expedition team sets out to the remote areas of the Amazon jungle to disprove a kooky professor's claim that dinosaurs still live in the area. Spoiler alert: they find dinosaurs.

While previewing The Lost World earlier week, all I could think was that if, say, you added sound and swapped the clay model dinosaurs for computer-generated monsters, action/adventure movies haven't changed a whole lot in 85 years!

Silent Sundays presents The Lost World (1925)
Sunday, January 10th at 4 p.m.
The Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave.
Admission $10 for non-members $8 for members


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