Sherlock Jr

Pune is well known as melting pot for cultural activities. Take out any day’s newspaper and you will find so many programs, events, functions, festivals organized. Consider for instance, this week’s events in Pune. Vinod Doshi Theater Festival kicked off this week. A different play is organized every day as part of the festival. In one of the earlier posts, I talked about going for a play ‘Aparadhi Sugandh’ which got showcased as part of this festival. Poona Music Society is another such place where they show case music from all over the world, especially, western classical music. This week Poona Music Society had an interesting event involving film and live music.

They were to show 2 silent movies. And they had invited piano artist Gerhard Gruber to play live music score during those silent movies. I could not attend that event either. It seems Gerhard Gruber is well known for playing music score for silent movies and has done more than 500 such shows all over. The two movies were ‘Sherlock Jr’ and ‘The Unknown’. The former is a rom-com and the latter is a horror/mystery. The event probably tried to revive the tradition where in silent movies were accompanied by music artists’ playing live score while the film was being screened.

After a bit of googling, I got hold of ‘Sherlock Jr’ on YouTube and watched it. It is about 45 minute movie produced in 1927. Buster Keaton played a role in that. He is movie operator(for projector of film) and also a janitor. But he is also interested in resolving mysteries as a detective. He is in love with a girl. While on the job of projecting a film, he falls asleep and dreams of playing a role of detective trying to resolve the mystery. Of course, the film, now is all about comic and stunt scenes which takes place during the dream and how dramatically he gets united with his love. I enjoyed the movie so much, particularly, the way Buster Keaton does it.

I could not get hold of other movie ‘The Unknown’ as yet.

All this reminded me of watching another Buster Keaton film ‘The General’. Couple of years back I had watched a film called ‘The Artist’, which show cased era of silent movies had won Oscar award that year. Many of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel Hardy movies we keep watching once in a while are of the same genre. Silent movies era is a golden era of history of films which you always enjoy. It is said that more than 70% of silent movies are lost completely.

These days, I am reading a Marathi book ‘Cinemache Diwas-Punha’ by Vijay Padalkar which describes author’s experiences when he attended a 15-day film appreciation course conducted by FTII in Pune. As film/movie aficionado, undergoing this course, is one of the things in my wishlist for long time now. Let’s see when can I get time to do that.


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