Week of April 13, 2005

Two Nights of Lost Cinema. (Not Rated) Here are silent films presented as they should be: with musical interpretation. The standout is director D.W. Griffith's 1921 masterpiece, Orphans of the Storm, featuring superb acting by Lillian Gish as Henriette Girard and real-life sister Dorothy as Louise. Baby Henriette is left on Notre Dame cathedral's steps by her destitute, noble mother; Louise's impoverished father intends to leave his baby, but compassion moves him to take both home to raise. When a disease leaves Louise blind and the grown-up sisters seek a doctor in Paris, their lives intersect with the French Revolution. Known as the Father of American Cinema, Griffith shines with masterful compositions, well-crafted melodrama and astonishing crowd scenes. The superb pianist Robert Sallier will provide live musical accompaniment. Orphans screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16; Hands Up! (1926) and Are Parents People? (1925) screen at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)