Lifestyle

Vintage Silent Films and Live Gypsy Swing

February 17, 2017, 2:09 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 5:00 PM
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Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela will present The Hot Club of San Francisco and their production of Cinema Vivant on Friday, March 3 at 7 p.m.

Imagine yourself in the idyllic French countryside in the 1930s. Sometime before dark, a gypsy caravan sets up camp in a field outside of town, luring the locals out for an evening’s fun. The wanderers travel with a film projector, pointing it at the side of a barn. As the images flicker to life beneath the stars, gypsy musicians play their guitars and fiddles, matching every movement on the screen with characteristic virtuosity, passion and humor.

Reviving this lost entertainment, The Hot Club of San Francisco presents Cinema Vivant, an evening of vintage silent films accompanied by live gypsy swing.

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Cinema Vivant is a celebration of imagination and innovation. Before World War I, European filmmaker Ladislaw Starewicz pioneered stop-action animation, creating a never-before-seen movie experience.

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A gifted storyteller who used the new medium of animation to illuminate his fantastic imaginings of the secret lives of ordinary objects, Starewicz has become an obscure cult hero.

Two Starewicz films are featured in Cinema Vivant: The Cameraman’s Revenge, a charming piece about the marital troubles of beetles; The Mascot, an adventure story about lost toys.

On the other side of the Atlantic, American Charley Bowers revolutionized the industry in the 1920’s by combining animation with live action. There It Is, a recently rediscovered film by Bowers, is a whimsical comedy about a mysterious occurrence investigated by Scotland Yard.

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The Hot Club of San Francisco is an ensemble of accomplished and versatile musicians celebrating the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pioneering Quintette du Hot Club de France. The ensemble borrows the instrumentation of violin, bass and guitars from the original Hot Club, while breathing new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group’s superb lead guitarist, Paul Mehling.

Featuring the silken violin of two-time Grammy Award-winner Evan Price, the velvet vocals of Isabelle Fontaine, and a swinging rhythm section made up of Sam Rocha on bass and Jordan Samuels on rhythm guitar, the group never fails to surprise and delight.

“…one of the most cohesive and entertaining Gypsy swing bands in the United States.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Doors open at 6 p.m. Beverages and snacks will be available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar.

In the Kahilu Galleries, Solo Exhibits 2017 will be on display, featuring works by Eli Baxter, Margaret Shields and Jean René Leblanc.

Tickets are $68, $48, $38 and $20, available for purchase online, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Kamuela, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Mike and Ruth Bernstone, Phillip and  JoAnn Conley, Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel, Jon Staub and Jefferson Finney, Kona Brewing Co. and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

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