429 Castro St
San Francisco, California 94114

The San Francisco Film Society will present Sir Arne’s Treasure with the Mountain Goats in Solo Performance, a special screening of Mauritz Stiller’s 1919 silent film classic with live musical accompaniment by indie rock icon John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Tuesday, December 14 at 8:00 pm at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street.

Set in the 16th century against a particularly unforgiving winter landscape, Sir Arne’s Treasure (Herr Arnes pengar, Sweden 1919) is Swedish master Stiller’s haunting tale of murder, betrayal and divine redemption. This epic journey begins with the escape from captivity of three Scottish mercenaries who go on to slay the local parson—Sir Arne—and nearly all of his kin. After stealing his treasure, which is rumored to carry a brutal curse, the soldiers find themselves trapped by a frozen sea and must remain in close quarters with the vengeful townspeople. As one of them falls in love with the sole survivor of their murderous spree, the film hones in on the eternal paradox of love versus justice. What fate will the lovers choose? Employing a technical prowess far ahead of its time, Stiller’s historical melodrama is rife with both subtle beauty and supernatural intrigue.

“Young men have all kinds of crazy ideas about what they’re going to end up doing for a living,” says Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle, the Northern California native and former psychiatric nurse who began his recording career from a humble studio apartment in 1991. Equipped with a dual-cassette recorder, a cheap guitar and several notebooks filled with poems, Darnielle released a string of critically acclaimed albums for the 4AD label. Darnielle’s musical enterprise has expanded to include bassist Peter Hughes and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster. Characterized by a low-fi aesthetic and a poignant world view expressed through lyrics that are both raw and immediate, Darnielle’s band has attracted a sizeable international fan base and, recently, a deal with renowned indie rock label Merge Records. Writing for the New Yorker, Sasha Frere-Jones calls Darnielle “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist” and observes that he “may be the least self-conscious singer alive. His songs, insistent and stuffed with words, are like late-night pay-phone calls from a lover determined to complete a thought before the quarter runs out.”

Darnielle will be presenting the world premiere of his live score for Sir Arne’s Treasure as part of the Film Society's ongoing endeavor to present classic silent films with live music performed by extraordinary contemporary musicians. Previously commissioned works are 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Stephin Merritt, The Lost World with Dengue Fever, The Golem with Black Francis, The Phantom Carriage with Jonathan Richman, Street Angel with American Music Club, Sunrise with Lambchop, A Page of Madness with Superchunk and Jean Painlevé: The Sounds of Science with Yo La Tengo.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sffs.org/content.aspx?catid=8,69&pageid=1961

Official Website: http://www.sffs.org/content.aspx?catid=8,69&pageid=1961

Added by cinesoul on November 11, 2010

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