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Fri, May 19


Epsilon Spires

SUNRISE: A Song of Two Humans w/ Pipe Organ Soundtrack by Jeff Rapsis!

Widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, SUNRISE continues to surprise audiences and defy cinematic expectations. Enjoy the stunning artistry of F. W. Murnau’s masterpiece on the big screen with a live pipe organ score performed by renowned silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis!

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SUNRISE: A Song of Two Humans w/ Pipe Organ Soundtrack by Jeff Rapsis!
SUNRISE: A Song of Two Humans w/ Pipe Organ Soundtrack by Jeff Rapsis!

Time & Location

May 19, 2023, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

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

About the event

“F. W. Murnau's Sunrise (1928) conquered time and gravity with a freedom that was startling to its first audiences. To see it today is to be astonished by the boldness of its visual experimentation.” —Roger Ebert

F. W. Murnau’s masterpiece Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, 95 minutes) explores themes of betrayal, temptation, devotion, and love. A farmer becomes infatuated with a mysterious woman from the city and agrees to murder his wife, sell his farm, and abandon his child to start a new life with her... but nothing goes as planned. In this stylish, surprising and ambitious film, big-budget Hollywood and German Expressionism come together with elaborate sets and innovative cinematography including some shots filmed upside-down and in reverse and by using smaller furniture and diminutive actors in backgrounds to manipulate the visual depth-of-field. Nearly every shot in the film involves a striking effect, whether from an unusual light source, a superimposition, or a complex camera movement. Yet each artistic decision is motivated by allegiance to the story and its emotions.

Now most famous for Nosferatu (1922), Murnau began his film career in 1919 and had already established a name for himself as a master of German Expressionism when producer William Fox invited him to Hollywood. Sunrise became Murnau’s first film in America. Armed with a large Hollywood budget, Murnau was able to build a unique world and realize his vision. One set alone cost $200,000—one of the most expensive at the time. A commercial failure at the time, the film went on to win three Academy Awards (for Best Actress, Cinematography, and Unique and Artistic Picture), and has since become widely considered one of the greatest films of all time. Life magazine’s Robert Sherwood called it “the most important picture in the history of the movies.” The innovation and originality of the film also came to influence the work of other directors, John Ford declared it “the greatest picture that has been produced.” Now you can experience the stunning artistry of F. W. Murnau’s groundbreaking masterpiece with an exciting live soundtrack performed on our historic Estey by renowned silent film accompanist, Jeff Rapsis!

About the Live Musical Score:

Jeff Rapsis is a writer/editor, educator, composer, and performer who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film screenings. He has accompanied silent film programs in venues throughout New England since 2007. His technique is to create a set of original music in advance for each film, and then improvise a score based on this material as the screening takes place. Outside New England, he has accompanied films at the New York Public Library’s “Meet the Musicmakers” series and the Kansas Silent Film Festival. Rapsis has also provided original music for several silent film DVD releases by Looser Than Loose Vintage Entertainment of Manchester, N.H., and scored the independent feature film Dangerous Crosswinds (2005). Jeff Rapsis has previously performed live film scores at Epsilon Spires for Buster Keaton's "Our Hospitality", "It!" starring Clara Bow, Victor Sjöström's "The Phantom Carriage"", and Josef von Sternberg's "The Last Command".


  • SUNRISE w/ Pipe Organ Score!

    Admission for one to SUNRISE! w/Pipe Organ Soundtrack by Jeff Rapsis. Popcorn & 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!

    Sale ended
  • Sliding-Scale Ticket

    General Admission Tickets for this event are $20. Thanks to a generous grant from the Adelard A. and Valeda Lea Roy 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.

    Pay what you want
    Sale ended
  • Support For 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!

    Pay what you want
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