– a clip from “The Black Pirate,” sadly without the music of the Alloy Orchestra…
Review by J Hunter
I used to love going to the movies, but I don’t do it very much any more: Too many blockbusters, too little plot, too much CGI… and, if I really get down to it, I think MASS MoCA has ruined me for modern films. I mean, why watch a snail race around Indianapolis when the animations Bill Frisell accompanied in the singular gallery’s courtyard were more original and more bizarre? Why watch Adam Sandler try to be funny (let alone relevant) when I’ve seen Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy do their best work to the music of Marc Ribot and Steven Bernstein’s Millenial Territory Orchestra? And, most importantly, why should I watch Liam Neesen and a cast of nobodies ruin a perfectly good board game when I can watch Douglas Fairbanks ride the high seas in “The Black Pirate,” all to the music of MASS MoCA faves Alloy Orchestra?
Alloy’s become a beloved tradition at MASS MoCA, thanks mostly to their multiple appearances backing Fritz Lang’s iconic silent film “Metropolis.” (Alloy’s 2011 show was the eighth time they’d brought Fritz Lang’s twisted sci-fi masterpiece to North Adams.) Both “Metropolis” and “The Black Pirate” are two of many films Alloy has helped regenerate, including Lon Chaney’s “Phantom of the Opera” and the vampire movie equivalent of Genesis, F.W. Murneau’s “Nosferatu.”