‘Battleship Potemkin’ With Live Orchestra At Avon

(1.18) The Avon Cinema will host a very special event this Thursday when the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra (BSFO) performs live its original score for Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 epic “Battleship Potemkin.”

The 17-piece BSFO, made up of the top film composers and instrumentalists at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, performs its original, student-composed scores, live to picture, led by the ensemble’s conductors in perfect synchronization with the film.

Describing the BSFO’s 2016 performance at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Leonard Maltin said: “Nothing short of thrilling. . . When the film concluded, over a thousand people leapt to their feet, cheering.”

“Battleship Potemkin” is the dramatization of a 1905 mutiny on a Russian battleship. Originally commissioned by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union, it has come to symbolize the triumph of the human spirit over the forces of oppression. This is one of Roger Ebert’s ‘Great Movies.’

“The Battleship Potemkin” has been so famous for so long that it is almost impossible to come to it with a fresh eye. It is one of the fundamental landmarks of cinema. Its famous massacre on the Odessa Steps has been quoted so many times in other films (notably in “The Untouchables”) that it’s likely many viewers will have seen the parody before they see the original. The film once had such power that it was banned in many nations, including its native Soviet Union.

I spoke with the Avon’s assistant manager, James, who attended the world premiere of the BSFO’s original score at the Coolidge Corner Theatre and he can’t wait to experience it again. The orchestra will set up on the floor in front of the screen.

Tickets are $30 and available online as well as the Avon box office.

$30, 7pm, Thursday, January 18, Avon Cinema, 260 Thayer Street, (directions)

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