Join Calgary Cinematheque, the Department of Communication, Media, and Film, and the School for Performing and Creative Arts at the University of Calgary for a special film concert with renowned Belgian big band ensemble the Flat Earth Society. The performance will be accompanied by two unique works: Ernst Lubitsch’s sophisticated silent comedy The Oyster Princess (1919) and a reworking of rare home movie footage from of the luxury ocean liner SS Belgenland (1927).
The Oyster Princess (1919) tells a satirical story of an American oyster tycoon who attempts to marry his daughter to a bona-fide prince. But the relatively poor, marriage dis-inclined prince sends his friend in his stead, to get an idea of what the Oyster Princess is like. Displaying qualities which Hollywood would later dub “the Lubitsch touch”, The Oyster Princess represents an evolution for Lubitsch, away from his early slapstick towards the sophisticated subtleties of his later work.
S.S Belgenland World Cruise (1927) is comprised of 16mm home footage from a wealthy Chicago citizen William Olson aboard the luxury ocean liner S.S. Belgenland. Filmed from 1927-28 on a cruise around the world, this footage is one of the first examples of an amateur travelogue. Rediscovered in 2015, the footage was restored, and a new work was commissioned by the Red Star Line Museum. That work, by FES composer Peter Vermeersch, was re-edited “entirely according to his own understanding and with a healthy disinterest for the documentary and historical value of the images.”
-Written by Kevin Dong