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Lois Weber’s The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) screens at Anthology Film Archives, December 16-18, 2016!


Don’t miss the restoration premiere of The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), distributed by Milestone Films

Friday, December 16 – Sunday, December 18, 2016.

Anthology Film Archives, New York.

From the AFA website:  

Following on the heels of our series, “Woman with a Movie Camera,” which included a program devoted to Lois Weber, the most successful female filmmaker of her time, we’re thrilled to host the NYC premiere of the newly-restored THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICI. Just in time for its 100th anniversary, Weber’s extravaganza is being re-released thanks to the combined efforts of the Library of Congress and Milestone Films (who are also re-releasing Weber’s SHOES).

One of Universal’s most lavish and ambitious films to date, and a landmark in women’s cinema, PORTICI is also remarkable as perhaps the most important filmic showcase for famed ballet dancer and choreographer Anna Pavlova. A Russian émigré resident in London, the dancer was “stuck” in America as WWI raged. Pavlova was currently appearing with the Boston Opera Company in D.F.E. Auber’s 1829 “La Muette de Portici,” portraying Fenella, a mute fisher-girl living during the Spanish occupation of Naples in the mid-17th century. In order to save the almost-bankrupt Boston Opera Company, Pavlova agreed to portray Fenella in Weber’s film, and the result was the most extraordinary document of Pavlova on celluloid.

Sadly, over the years PORTICI has fallen out of distribution. But that is about to change: utilizing the only prints known to have survived, the Library of Congress archivists George Willeman and Valerie Cervantes have brought the film to a form closer to the original than has been seen in decades, while further restoration by An Affair With Film’s Lori Raskin has resulted in the stabilization of the restoration and the addition of the original tinting. Thanks to these efforts, projection at the proper film speed, and a dazzling new score by dance composer Jonathan Sweeney, THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICI and prima ballerina Anna Pavlova are poised to delight audiences all over again.