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Classic silent comedy with pianist Ben Model

WILLSBORO - One of the greatest of all silent comedies will be brought to life by Ben Model's spectacular piano accompaniment. Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last" features one of the most famous scenes in the history of film.

As he did for last year's popular showing of Buster Keaton's "The General," Model will also introduce the film and answer audience questions afterwards. The movie will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Willsboro Central School theater. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $3 for children younger than 18.

The Champlain Film Society and Piano by Nature join forces to present Lloyd's best-known feature film. With Chaplin and Keaton, "Lloyd was the silent film's third genius" said the New York Times. This film is "a superb blend of suspense and slapstick," said Time Out.

Ben Model has been the resident silent film accompanist on both piano and organ for The Museum of Modern Art in New York City for more than 25 years. He has also played in many other theatres, museums, and universities around the U.S. and as far away as Hong Kong and Norway. Model composes and improvises all his own scores. He has composed and recorded many scores for silent film DVDs and he co-produces The Silent Clown Film Series with film historian Bruce Lawton.

Model will also lead a free workshop at the Willsboro School from 4 to 5 p.m. He will give an overview of film music during the silent film era and compare it to film music today. "In the 1920s, the music for a movie was different in each theater. Many theaters had whole orchestras or a pianist/organist," says Model. "The fact that these shows are partially a performance make the silent film experience unique."

Champlain Valley Film Society president Kathy Reinhardt said,"We are delighted to have Ben Model back in the North Country after such a successful show last fall. This will be a very memorable evening."

Model's appearance funded in party through Meet the Composer's MetLife Creative Connections Program.

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