Northrop and Twin Cities Silent Film Project Present
Cinema’s First Nasty Women: Silent Cinema Shorts with Live Music Featuring Dreamland Faces
Apr 04, 2023
Apr 05, 2023
Apr 06, 2023
Apr 07, 2023
Apr 08, 2023
Apr 09, 2023
Artist Q&A will follow the performance.
Here’s your chance to see “trailblazing examples of female energy, anger, transgression, rebellions and explosive hilarity in early cinema” (Silent London). Shining a spotlight on female rebellion, cross-dressing, gender burlesque, and slapstick comedy, these films are drawn from a new collection curated by Laura Horak, Elif Rongen-Kaynakci, and UMN’s Maggie Hennefeld. This screening, “oozing with every which sort of feminist imagery” (Maggie Hennefeld), is set to live, original music by Dreamland Faces (Karen Majewicz and Andy McCormick) with dynamic colorings from Northrop’s own historic pipe organ (Molly Raben).
Maggie Hennefeld will provide an introduction at the top of the program and—following the event—will moderate a panel discussion with Lynne Kirby (documentary television producer), Andy McCormick (artist, Dreamland Faces), and Julie Schumacher (Regents Professor, Department of English and Creative Writing Program, University of Minnesota).
“trailblazing examples of female energy, anger, transgression, rebellions and explosive hilarity in early cinema … rarely-seen silent films about feminist protest, slapstick rebellion, and suggestive gender play.”—Silent London
“Falling in love with Dreamland Faces might appear, at first, like falling in love with Buster Keaton … Or silent film itself.” —Star Tribune
“For nearly two decades, Karen Majewicz and Andy McCormick have composed and performed dozens of scores for silent films filled with accordion, organ and the warbling of a musical saw. The duo sets the mood, builds the mystery and cues the mayhem.” —Star Tribune
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Dreamland Faces duo Karen Majewicz and Andy McCormick will be performing their composed music to accompany Cinema’s First Nasty Women, part of a new four-disc DVD/Blu-ray set featuring rarely-seen feminist silent films that spotlight female rebellion, cross-dressing, gender burlesque, and slapstick comedy.
The female characters featured in Cinema’s First Nasty Women are indeed nasty. They organize labor strikes, bake (and weaponize) inedible desserts, explode out of the chimney, and electrocute the police force. These women assume a range of identities that gleefully dismantle traditional gender norms and sexual constraints.
Dreamland Faces had a studio at the Ivy Building in Minneapolis for 14 years, 2 blocks from the 3rd precinct. After George Floyd was murdered by police, a bar next door was set on fire. Flames drifted over, and the Dreamland Faces studio caved in completely. Everything inside was destroyed, including the duo’s instruments, music books, recording equipment, albums, and projects.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.