Before director Ernst Lubitsch left Germany to ply his famous ‘Touch’ in Hollywood, he made a series of comedies that gave hints at what was to come. The Wildcat is his last German comedy and his most riotously zany. Subtitled ‘A Grotesque in Four Acts,’ Wildcat makes use of extravagant set design and eccentric frame shapes that lend a surrealistic edge to its antic energy. Pola Negri’s Rischka leads a gang of mountain bandits who ambush Lieutenant Alexis (Paul Heidemann) on his way to the local fortress, leaving him pant-less (and smitten) on the ice. Film writer John Gillett called the film “both an anti-militarist satire and a wonderful fairy tale.”
Live music by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
A chamber ensemble that revives the tradition of silent-film orchestras, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra culls historic libraries of music for its live musical accompaniments. Together, musicians Rodney Sauer, Britt Swenson, David Short, Brian Collins, and Dawn Kramer have recorded and toured widely, creating vibrant, emotional, and historically appropriate scores for more than 125 films. Officially formed in 1994 after discovering the music collection of a 1920s-era theater music director, the ensemble combines precision playing with expert selections to bring silent cinema to life.