Silent Cinema | Live Music
Director: E. A Dupont, feature film, 92 min, United Kingdom, 1929
About the film:
Anna May Wong, starred in dozens of films in the 1920’s and 1930’s. She confronted the stifling stereotypes of Asians (then invariably referred to as “Orientals”) on the movie screen. By 1929, Wong had become frustrated with the American cinema’s steadfast racism, and went to England to make Piccadilly with celebrated German director E.A. Dupont. Dupont was famed for such films as 1925’s Variety, works which explored the interiors of convoluted psyches, and the exteriors of decadent societies. Dupont’s camera was as fluid as his films’ moral stances, and Wong leapt at the chance to escape the Victorian attitudes toward race of the American cinema.
The combination of the talents of Dupont and Wong brought extraordinary results. Here, Wong plays Shosho, a dishwasher in an outré nightclub, who soon becomes the obsession of the club’s owner. In Piccadilly, Wong bursts the seams of stereotyping, waving Shosho’s exoticism as a proud banner. Her sword dance scene is one of the highlights of late silent cinema. Wong’s Shosho is an integral part of Dupont’s vision of marvelous excess; she seems to be part of Alfred Junge’s surreal art direction for the film come to life, and yet, she maintains a sparkling sex appeal and a vast psychological depth that is Wong’s alone. Dupont’s camera offers Wong several long dreamy close-ups, transforming her into a Jazz Age siren like Louise Brooks or Clara Bow. Anna May Wong’s performance in Piccadilly was hailed throughout Europe as one of the year’s finest.
About the band:
FOXTROT performs an original score for this silent film classic. With their sound consisting of FOXpop, a scent of jazz, African grooves and theatrical inspiration, and their members coming from a classically trained background we’re excited to see what these talented artists will bring to the table! Currently crafting their debut album.
Siobhan Lloyd Jones (vocals and violin)
Mart-Marie Snyman (all kinds of keys)
Ronald Davey (vocals, cello and trumpet)
James Robb (drums and percussion)
Date Fri 18 Aug 21:00