Sunday, July 13, 2008

SFSFF: Stephen Horne Brings Kinugasa to Life

Pianist and silent film accompanist Stephen Horne just electrified the Castro Theatre with a stunning performance that glorified a gorgeous 35-mm print of Teinosuke Kinugasa's "Jujiro" ("Crossways"). He captured the film's mesmerizing, experimental visual language and draining emotional content. The score incorporated flute and other sounds to great effect, and ended in an exhausted, emotional entanglement.

Prior to the feature, Horne accompanied an early experimental color short from the Kodak labs called "Kaleidoscope," which was a perfect prelude, as the performance reflected the film's building blends of shapes, colors and light (I know, it sounds like one of George Lucas's upcoming projects).

There have been a lot of fine performances by orchestras, oranists, quartets and pianists at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival this year, but this one (Horne's third), I'll never forget.


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