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2010 Event Media Release - Screen Live

Media Release: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sydney Opera House announces three more Screen Live events

One of silent cinema’s earliest masters, a knockabout version of an all-time family favourite and an array of home-grown art film makers and indie musicians will feature in the second Screen Live series for 2010 that goes on sale today.

Programmed by Head of Contemporary Culture Virginia Hyam, Screen Live combines cinema with live music at regular times across the year – two of the first three events (Nosferatu and Metropolis) sold out.

Sydney Opera House is proud to present the Australian premiere of The Georges Méliès Project in the Playhouse on Sunday, August 22. Along with the Lumière Brothers, George Méliès (1861-1938) was one of the cinema's earliest directors. He made more than 500 short films between 1896 and 1912, of which only a fraction survive.

His films, which grew out of the ether of conjuring, automata and magic theatre of his time, unite the fantastic, the alchemical, and the humorous. Early examples of sophisticated cinema techniques, they also bridge the world of the 19th century conjurer with the special effects magic of today's films.

The Georges Méliès Project had its world premiere at the Lincoln Centre, New York and has been enthusiastically received across the United States and Europe. The screening features a selection of recently-restored silent films, some hand-tinted and rarely seen, with live musical accompaniment by Phillip Johnston and a three-piece band.

A highly regarded American avant-garde jazz composer and soprano saxophonist, Johnston (now Sydney based) has created an original music score and will be accompanied by Australia’s best instrumentalists: Daryl Pratt on vibraphone, Matt McMahon on piano, and Cameron Undy on bass.

Next, Australia’s queen of boogie woogie piano Jan Preston will be joined by two musicians to perform a new score to Larry Sermon’s 1925 version of The Wizard of Oz. Rarely seen, the first feature-length adaptation of Baum’s classic story features Dorothy Dwan and a younger Oliver Hardy, pre-dating the Judy Garland version by 14 years.

Jan Preston grew up surrounded by the sounds of old-time piano music and has been creating music for film since 1977. A composer, pianist, singer and songwriter, her theme music to Australian Story can be heard nationally on ABC Television each week.

Preston composed and performed the music for the classic German silent film Fritz Laing’s The Spy, which was recorded for the National Film and Sound Archive and broadcast on television.

Finally, Screen Live changes pace with a less traditional bent in October for Brilliant Journeys.

Curated by Brisbane experimental film collective Otherfilm, the all Australian line-up of art cinema and indie musicians will celebrate the beautiful crossovers and chance encounters possible in live film and sound. This special event teams some extraordinary art films screened on luminous 16mm with specially-commissioned live performances by contemporary noise, electronic and rock musicians.

Taking viewers on a stunning kaleidoscopic journey mirrored and expanded on by the musicians presented over four unique sets, the program includes: Green Canopy by Paul Winkler with Naked on the Vague; Dirk de Bruyn’s Experiments with Joel Stern; Paw Paw and Sweet Meats by Robert Wyatt with Robin Fox; and a live soundtrack by Chris Abrahams to Rainbow Way by George Gittoes and Andrew Pike’s Fe.

Each Screen Live event is introduced by Jamie Leonarder (aka Jay Katz) from Mu-Meson who will play trailers and place each film in its cultural context. For more information on this series, visit

Screen Live Calendar of Events

The George Méliès Project: Playhouse, 5pm Sunday August 22

Wizard of Oz: Playhouse, 5pm Sunday September 19

Brilliant Journeys: The Studio, 5pm Sunday October 15

Tickets: $29 or $20 concession. Bookings: 9250 7777 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Nathan McIlroy, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House

02 9250 7596 / 0434 121 146 /


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