THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

PRESS NOTES

 

the film

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (US, 1923, Paramount). Told in two parts, Cecil B. DeMille produced and directed this epic silent film with Estelle Taylor, Theodore Roberts, Charles de Roche, Richard Dix and Leatrice Joy in 1923. The first part (shot in two-color Technicolor) tells the biblical tale adapted from the Book of Exodus of the prophet, Moses leading the Children of Israel from bondage under the Egyptian Pharoahs into the Promised Land. Things go awry, however, when Moses goes to Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God and the Israelites renounce their faith to worship the Golden Calf. The second part (shot in black and white) is a modern-day parable reflecting the efficacy of the Ten Commandments in peoples' everyday lives involving two brothers -- one a saint, the other a sinner -- in love with the same girl. Remade in 1956 with Charlton Heston.

 

the conductor

Gillian Anderson

Conductor and musicologist Gillian Anderson will conduct the score for the American Cinematheque’s presentation of Cecil B. DeMille’s silent film THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1923), at the grand opening of the Egyptian Theatre. She specializes in American music and film music, and has conducted throughout the United States as well as in Europe, South America, and Canada. Her performances have been described as "triumphant" (The Washington Post), "extraordinary" (Edward Rothstein, The New York Times) and "an enormously involving experience" (Tom Di Nardo, Philadelphia Daily News). Her reconstruction and performance of Nosferatu (Murnau, 1921) with the Brandenburg Philharmonic (Potsdam) is available on BMG Classics. A videotape and CD of her reconstruction and performance of Carmen (DeMille, 1915) with the London Philharmonic are available from Video Artists International. She has been featured on a number of television programs, most notably "CBS Sunday Morning" and "All Things Considered." She has participated in the restoration and reconstruction of the original orchestral scores written to accompany twenty one of the great silent films and has conducted them in synchronization with their projection at many important film festivals, universities and performing arts centers with many symphony orchestras: Amor de Perdicao (Pallu, 1921), Ben Hur (Niblo, 1926), The Birth of a Nation (Griffith, 1915), The Black Pirate (Fairbanks, 1926), La Boheme (Vidor, 1926), Carmen (DeMille, 1915), The Circus (Chaplin, 1925), The Covered Wagon (Cruze, 1923), The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925), Intolerance (Griffith, 1916), Jeanne Dore (Louis, 1915), Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922), Old Ironsides (Cruze, 1926), Orphans of the Storm (Griffith, 1921), Parsifal (Edison, 1904), The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928), The Thief of Bagdad (Fairbanks, 1924), Way Down East (Griffith, 1920), The White Sister (King, 1923), Wings (Wellman, 1927), and The Yankee Clipper (Julian, 1927) with the orchestra throughout the world.

She has premiered a number of the reconstructed versions of these works at festivals: at the New York Film Festival, the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, the Washington (DC) Filmfest, Cine Memoire in Paris, San Sebastian Film Festival (Spain), the Toronto Film Festival, the Lisbon celebration of the 100th anniversary of the invention of the motion picture, the Bologna Film Festival, the Cologne celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the motion picture, Cinemusic Gstaad, and the Film Music Society. In June 1992, she conducted the Garde republicaine at the Fete de la Musique in Paris in a concert of opera transcription for band by John Phillip Sousa. In 1997, she founded the group Cinemusica Viva which had its premiere concert at the Louvre November 15 and 16, 1997. In 1998, she premiered a new work by Elmer Bernstein for the Melies film, 400 Tricks of the Devil, at the Library of Congress as well as the reconstructed version of La Boheme.

Ms. Anderson has written four books and numerous scholarly articles as well as edited a number of performing editions. Her book, Freedom's Voice in Poetry and Song, was chosen as the best reference book of the year by Choice Magazine, and her article, "Putting the Experience of the World at the Nation's Command: Music at the Library of Congress 1800-1917" was awarded the Music Library Association's Richard Hill Award for best article in 1989. From 1993-1995 she served as President of the Sonneck Society for American Music.

 

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