Estes Park hosts its annual Silent Comedy Movie Festival
While Barbie and Oppenheimer top the box office around the U.S., moviegoers in Estes Park are seeking a very different cinematic experience.
The annual Silent Comedy Movie Festival that takes place over the Labor Day weekend will feature films that are nearly 100 years old.
All films are accompanied by live piano playing, courtesy of Scott “Flyin’ Fingers” Wilseck.
"I watch the movies before we play them in the theater, and I look for certain scenes to suggest certain songs," said Wilseck.
"And the scenes go from, a lot of times, they go from sad to happy. Something happens," said Wilseck while playing a tune in a minor key, before transitioning to a more upbeat melody.
"Well, then it turns to major key again, because...then you transition. So it sounds, you know, it's a happy time."
The silent film festival began over a decade ago in the Historic Park Theater in Estes Park, one of the oldest continuously operating movie theaters in the country.
It's a fitting location to see movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy who were in their prime a century ago.
Silent movies may lack the bells and whistles of modern films, but there's a lot on offer for audiences says Wilseck.
"The more I watch these, the more subtleties I pick up in them. And you think about there's no dialogue. So all they've got is their actions or facial expressions, the looks, you know, and the music behind it. That's really all you have to portray the mood or the scene."
The Silent Comedy Movie Festival takes place Friday, September 1, Saturday, September 2, and Sunday, September 3.
Each day features three silent films accompanied by the live piano playing of Scott Wilseck.
This story was shared with KSUT via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico including KSUT.
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