Presented as a part of the 14th Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival
(Henri Étiévant & Mario Nalpas , 1927, France, 86 minutes)
St. Louis' extraordinary Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra returns to the Classic French Film Festival to perform a newly created score for a classic silent.. Available only as a fragment for decades, “Siren of the Tropics” is Josephine Baker’s feature-film debut. Made in 1927, around the time St. Louisan Baker was making a Paris splash as a Folies Bergère star, “Siren” establishes the rags-to-riches, fairytale template from which her subsequent films would be cut. Baker plays Papitou, a free-spirited, animal-loving native girl who falls in love with Andre, a sophisticated young man who has been sent to the Parisian Antilles as a prospector. She is unaware that he is betrothed to another or that his work assignment is actually a perilous ruse concocted by his scheming boss. As the truth becomes known, Papitou finds herself pursuing Andre back to Paris, where fate intervenes. Will Papitou's new job as a music-hall performer (a natural role for La Baker) bring the romantic resolution she so desperately desires? Though silent, “Siren of the Tropics” abounds with musical energy, aided in no small part by Baker’s innate screen magnetism. The film contains perhaps her greatest dance work on celluloid, the frenetic “Charleston.”
Intro and discussion by Pier Marton, video artist and self-described “Unlearning Specialist at the School of No Media.”
With new score and live accompaniment by the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra.
Sponsored by Jane M. and Bruce P. Robert Charitable Foundation
Venue: Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium in Webster Hall, 470 E. Lockwood Ave.
Tickets: Tickets are $15 for general admission; $12 for students and Cinema St. Louis members. Webster U. students are admitted free. Advance tickets can be purchased through the Cinema St. Louis website (Link Below).
Passes: Two types of passes are available: Five-Film Passes are $65, $50 for CSL members; All-Access Passes are $120, and $95 for CSL members.
Saturday, August 6 at 7:30pm
Winifred Moore Auditorium
470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119