P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
July 3, 2001
Donald Sosin Adds Live Music to Classic Silent Foolish Wives
Film Will Show on Oversized Screen
Foolish Wives is a nasty comedy of manners, legendary for director von Stroheim's spendthrift ways and obsessive attention to detail. Advertised as "the million dollar production" (a fortune in 1922), this satirical extravaganza ended up earning Universal a for tune, further encouraging von Stroheim in his directorial excess and arrogance. The extravagant film includes two detailed recreations of Monte Carlo designed by von Stroheim.
In Foolish Wives the sardonic von Stroheim plays Count Sergius, a fake but incredibly charming aristocrat/officer flanked by a pair of phony princesses -- what the Count does best is seduce and bilk empty-headed wives. Ensconced in a Monte Carlo mansion, he and the princesses revel in nonstop depravity and debauchery, but when the Count targets the wife of a rich American financier, his attempts at seduction are strangely thwarted at every turn.
Von Stroheim's directing career was short-lived due to his runaway budgets and lengthy films, some up to 8 hours long, which were all cut extensively before release. Recently his films have been reconsidered and are now hailed as some of the most sophisticated of the silent era. This reexamination has inspired a major project to reconstruct much of his work close to its original state by adding what footage can be found. Von Stroheim is perhaps best known for his acting roles as the cultured commandant of the POW camp in Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion and as Gloria Swanson's fiercely loyal servant Billy in Sunset Boulevard which earned him an Academy Award nomination.
Donald Sosin has been accompanying silent films both in the United States and abroad for over twenty-five years. He was the resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for five years, and has been with the American Museum of the Moving Image (AMMI) since 1989. He has composed music for film screenings at AMMI, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and most recently was commissioned by the Westchester Film Festival to compose a score for the earliest existing silent feature film, Richard III. Sosin's television credits include Another World, One Life to Live and several PBS documentaries including The West. The Hampton Chronicle-News calls him "astonishing". Keyboard Magazine calls Sosin "an unflappable pianist."
MASS MoCA's series of silent films with live music is sponsored by First Massachusetts Bank and also includes The Blue Angel accompanied by The BQE Project on August 18.
Full dinners or snacks from Lickety Split will be for sale starting at 7:30 pm when the doors open.
Tickets for Foolish Wives with Donald Sosin and The Salisbury Society Orchestra on August 4 are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the Box Office at MASS MoCA off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. every day. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release