BRATTLEBORO — A film that helped define an era returns to the big screen in June at Epsilon Spires.
It (1927), a romantic comedy that came to epitomize the Jazz Age of the 1920s, will be screened with live music on Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m.
The screening will feature live accompaniment on the venue's Estey pipe organ by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent-film musician.
It tells the story of a shop girl who sets her sights on the handsome and wealthy boss of the department store where she works. The two are from completely different parts of society, but will attraction be strong enough to bridge the gap in their backgrounds?
The film made actress Clara Bow a major star, earning her the nickname of the “It Girl.” Released at the height of the Jazz Age, the movie was a hit with audiences all over the U.S., breaking box office records.
It is based on a novella written by Elinor Glyn and originally serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine. Glyn, whose writings popularized the concept of “It” as a quality of attractiveness, has a cameo role as herself in the film.
It is also an early example of product placement, as Cosmopolitan magazine is featured prominently in a scene where a character reads Glyn's story and introduces it to the audience.
The picture was considered lost for many years, but a copy was found in Prague in the 1960s. In 2001, It was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
To accompany It, Rapsis will improvise a score created live in real time as the movie is screened, in the tradition of theatre organists during the silent era.
Rather than focus on authentic music of the period, Rapsis creates new music for silent films that draws from movie scoring techniques that today's audiences expect from the cinema.
Epsilon Spires is located at 190 Main St. Admission is $15 per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance at epsilonspires.org or at the door.