The Rosendale Theatre is bringing back Silent Film Sunday for a new season and new time on Sundays at 3 p.m. Opening the series – and keeping the audience in the Halloween mood – will be a screening on Sunday, November 2 of the 1920 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the 1910 Edison film Frankenstein.
Best of all, perhaps, is experiencing the films with the live musical accompaniment provided by local talent Marta Waterman, who prepares to perform by watching the films numerous times to get a sense of the pacing and does research to understand the background. “Oh, she’s great,” said Ann Citron, the Theatre’s managing director. “She’s really sensitive to the feelings and the tension in the film. She’s really good at it, and it enhances the enjoyment of the film.”
The story in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is familiar to most: “Every man has two sides, one good and one evil,” believes the good Dr. Jekyll, and to prove his theory, he conjures up a potion that changes him into the evil Mr. Hyde. John Barrymore’s transformation scene is notable for the way he is able to convey both characters without the use of any makeup – only facial contortions.
Thomas Edison’s 1910 version of Frankenstein is the first film adaptation of the novel, and plays closely to the original text as written by Mary Shelley (and in an interesting note for New Yorkers, it was filmed in the Bronx). The emotional tenor of the film is different from the more familiar versions, and his monster – “the most perfect human being that the world has yet known” – looks nothing like the iconic Frankenstein of whom we usually think.
Silent Film Sunday, Frankenstein (1910) & Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), Sunday, November 2, 3 p.m. $5-$7, Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main Street, Rosendale; (845) 658-8989, www.rosendaletheatre.org.