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Fri, Apr 21


Epsilon Spires

SAFETY LAST! Harold Lloyd Comedy w/ Pipe Organ Score by Ben Model

The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal and the famously jaw-dropping stunts and laugh-out-loud fun of SAFETY LAST! is the perfect introduction. Experience this classic with a live organ soundtrack performed by Ben Model, one of the nation’s leading silent film accompanists!

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SAFETY LAST! Harold Lloyd Comedy w/ Pipe Organ Score by Ben Model
SAFETY LAST! Harold Lloyd Comedy w/ Pipe Organ Score by Ben Model

Time & Location

Apr 21, 2023, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

BEN MODEL is one of the nation’s leading silent film accompanists, and performs on both piano and theatre organ.

Over the past 35+ years Ben has created and performed live scores for several hundred silent films, films lasting anywhere from one minute to five hours. Ben is a resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theatre, and performs at theatres, museums, schools and other venues around the US and internationally. As a film programmer, Ben has co-curated film series for The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and co-programs a monthly silent film series at the Cinema Arts Center. This will be Ben Model's third cine-concert at Epsilon Spires, he has previously accompanied Metropolis, and Steamboat Bill Jr on our historic Estey pipe organ. Ben recently featured our Estey organ in his blog which you can read HERE.

Safety Last! (1923) Harold Lloyd will forever be associated with Safety Last! because of a single image. Even people who have never seen a Lloyd film are familiar with the iconography of a bespectacled man hanging off the hands of a collapsing clock on the side of a skyscraper high above teeming city streets. One of the most celebrated images in cinema. it remains one of the most effective and thrilling moments in film comedy—a visual metaphor for the upwardly mobile everyman of the 1920s and the extent to which he climbs to achieve the American Dream. Safety Last!—and the genius of Harold Lloyd—continues to dangle over all who attempt to fuse comedy and thrills in the movies. 

Lloyd’s scaling of the building is a classic sequence in which comedy at its most inspired and suspense at its most excruciating are ingeniously interwoven—the climb is the grand finale to the superb gags that precede it. As he climbs higher and higher, more complex obstacles confront him, from a flock of pigeons to entanglement in a net, to a painter’s trestle, to a swinging window, to the clock itself. “Each new floor is like a stanza in a poem,” wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning author, poet, and critic James Agee. While Lloyd navigates these travails, the audience’s hysteria escalates. It was not uncommon for 1920s spectators to hide their eyes or even faint when watching these portions of the film. Many cinemas reportedly hired a nurse or kept ambulances on call outside the theater. -Safety Last! An Essay by Jeffrey Vance for Senses Of Cinema 

"The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. With its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him. Laugh-out-loud funny and jaw-dropping in equal measure, Safety Last! is a movie experience par excellence, anchored by a genuine legend." - Criterion

For more in-depth background about the film- enjoy this article in Vanity Fair: Harold Lloyd's Slight-of-Hand




    Admission for one to SAFETY LAST! w/Pipe Organ Soundtrack by Ben Model. Refreshments will be provided. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. $2 from every ticket goes directly towards the historic preservation of the venue. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

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  • Sliding-Scale Ticket

    General Admission Tickets for this event are $20. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, subsidized tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship. In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by sliding scale. Taking equity and inclusion into account, please pay what you can to help support the artists and venue.

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  • Support Future Events!

    I would like to add a donation to my ticket to express my support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work!

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