First Light: International Silent Cinema, 1894-1934

Columbia Global Centers | Paris Newsletter
June 02, 2017

Come celebrate the summer with “First Light,” a richly curated selection of classics of the international silent cinema, many featuring live musical accompaniment.  Too few are aware that the silent cinema was a period of almost incomparable artistic creativity; the lack of sound, rather than a hindrance, was actually a kind of inspiration for the era’s finest filmmakers, who found ingenious ways to expand the visual expressiveness of their works. Not surprisingly, the great silent filmmakers—from Méliès to Griffith, from Eisenstein to Buster Keaton—continue to influence and inform contemporary artists across the disciplines.  

Following last summer’s series on French and American film noir, Columbia Global Centers | Paris will now present a wide-ranging survey of highlights from cinema’s earliest years. Once again organized and presented by Richard Peña, Professor of Film Studies at Columbia and former Director of the New York Film Festival, the series will explore the origins of the cinema as it emerged from the influences of theater, literature and the visual arts. Topics to be discovered include German Expressionist Cinema; African-American silent film production, and the appearance of cinema in Japan and China. Each program will begin with a brief introduction by Professor Peña, followed by screenings of selected films, many of which will feature live musical accompaniment offered by students of Jean-François Zygel from the Conservatoire National Supérieure de la Musique et de Danse de Paris. Each film will be then discussed by Prof. Peña, often together with a noted film critic or scholar. 


All screenings held at Columbia Global Centers | Paris
4, rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris

Admission is free

Check out all event listings here: