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Sparrows (1926)

SUN 21 March 

Music accompaniment from The Graves Brothers
Intro with Cari Beauchamp 19:00 (11m)
Film 19:15, 1H 35M (ava 48hrs)

Post-screening Q&A

HippFest is proud to present the world premiere of a brand new restoration of Mary Pickford’s masterpiece Sparrows with a score composed by Taylor and Cameron Graves specially commissioned by the Mary Pickford Foundation.

“America’s sweetheart” the unrivaled Queen of Hollywood plays ‘mamma Molly’ the eldest of a loveable clutch of raggedy orphans, starved and brutalised by the evil Mr Grimes who exploits the luckless children, forcing them to work on his dismal swamp. This Dickensian scenario is further emphasized by sinister lighting and a dark Gothic production design – rendering a genuinely suspenseful and affecting drama in which Molly strives first to protect the children and then lead them on a daring escape across quicksand and alligator-infested swamps.

Dir. William Beaudine, Tom McNamara (uncredited) | USA | 1926 | N/C U | 1h 35m
With: Mary Pickford, Mary Louise Miller, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Charlotte Mineau, Walter “Spec” O’Donnell
Performed by: Taylor Graves (piano, violin, cello, contra bass, flute, trumpet, percussion, guitar, harp and brass); Cameron Graves (piano, violin, cello and contra bass); Rachel Grace (violin); Artymom Manukyan (cello); Sean Sonderegger (clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, and contra clarinet).

Screening material courtesy of the Mary Pickford Foundation. Sparrows was reconstructed by the Library of Congress from the best quality film elements, a 35MM nitrate print and a 35MM safety dupe negative. Additional lab work was performed by Colorlab.

 Taylor and Cameron Graves 

Programme Notes

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