Silent Celluloid 

Before the technological advent of soundtrack-synchronized motion pictures, filmmakers were reliant on extremely broad, emotive acting and the simplest possible melodrama — the stories had to be conveyed by imagery alone. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame lends itself to the form with its romantic tale of unrequited love and a visual space that soars from high bell towers down to cobblestone streets. The 1923 production, directed by Wallace Worsley, stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the heroic Quasimodo and Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmerelda. It screens today at 2 p.m. at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick, 816-753-5784) as part of the ongoing Silent Cinema Series.
Sun., Oct. 14, 2 p.m., 2007

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