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HippFest Online - Sparrows (1926)

  • Sunday, 21 Mar 21 at 19:00 PM

SUN 21 March 

Music accompaniment from The Graves Brothers
INtroduction with Cari Beauchamp 19:00 (10m)
Film 19:10, 1H 49M (ava 48hrs)

Post-screening Q&A with The Graves Brothers and Elaina Friedrichsen


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 emphasised 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 49m
With: Mary Pickford, Mary Louise Miller, Gustv von Seyffertitz, Charlotte Mineau, Walter “Spec” O’Donnell
Music Accompaniment: composed by Taylor and Cameron Graves
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,

The Mary Pickford Foundation scanned the preservation elements in 4K, and worked closely Roundabout Entertainment, Inc. to complete all digital work, addressing imperfections to ensure that Sparrows is presented in its best possible form for a modern audience. Since this film is known for its stunning visuals, we worked hard to ensure that audiences today can enjoy it in all its splendor.

The Mary Pickford Company commissioned a new, original, orchestral score by the Graves Brothers, which was produced and recorded at the Savannah Studios in Los Angeles.

Taylor and Cameron Graves were born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Their father, Carl Graves and Mother Anna Graves enrolled them in the Yamaha school of music studying classical music at the age of 4. Carl Graves was a legendary soul singer and original member of Oingo Boingo, and Anna Graves was a secretary at an entertainment law firm. It was backstage at their father’s concerts that Taylor and Cameron Graves developed their love for musical performance. Although music was always prevalent in the household, it was their high school experience that molded their trajectory as Jazz musicians. Cameron and Taylor share a unique gift of perfect pitch and virtuosic abilities on their instruments and have excelled professionally from scoring films for Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith to writing albums alongside legends like Stanley Clarke, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat and many more.

In the Spring of 2020, Taylor was hired to play piano at a studio session when the CEO of the Mary Pickford Foundation, Henry Stotsenberg was so impressed by his playing, that he was commissioned Taylor to score one of Mary Pickford’s short films titled The Mountaineers Honor. Impressed with his work, Taylor was then hired by the foundation along with his brother, Cameron to score the feature film Sparrows. The two joined forces to deliver a compelling film score, and they will now be collaborating on more feature film scores for the foundation.

Dates & Times

Sunday, 21 Mar 21 at 19:00 PM to 20:59 PM Book

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