Of Mice and Men (and Cats and Clowns)
Some of the most creative films from the silent era came out of an inkwell! Our collection includes animated shorts from 1908–1928, films that outshine much of what followed. For sheer audacity and pure joy, these films by cartoon masters including the Fleischers, Pat Sullivan, and Walt Disney, can’t be beat!
Fantasmagorie (1908, d. Émile Cohl)
How a Mosquito Operates (1912, d. Winsor McKay)
Adam Raises Cain (1922, d. Tony Sarg)
Amateur Night on the Ark (1923, d. Paul Terry)
Bed Time (1923, d. Dave and Max Fleischer)
Felix Grabs His Grub (1924, d. Pat Sullivan)
A Trip to Mars (1924, d. Dave and Max Fleischer)
Vacation (1924, d. Dave and Max Fleisher)
Alice’s Balloon Race (1926, d. Walt Disney)
Felix the Cat in Sure Locked Homes (1928, d. Pat Sullivan)
Live music by Wayne Barker and Nicholas White
Wayne Barker has garnered acclaim both for his original compositions and live performances in the theater, including a Tony nomination for best original score on Peter and the Starcatcher. His numerous credits include piano scores for Beth Henley’s Laugh, an homage to silent-era slapstick; and Joe DiPietro’s Hollywood, centered around the 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor. He composed for Dame Edna Everage as well as appeared onstage as Master of the Dame’s Music for six years.
Chicago-based musician Nicholas White has amassed the largest number of antique traps (whistles, blocks, bells, ratchets, anvils, and all manner of delightfully specific noisemakers to perform sound effects for silent movies) in the world, along the way researching exactly how they were put to use. White demonstrates the often neglected history of silent sound effects in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which includes a segment re-creating a live-radio drama from the 1930s.