Though the executives at Disney who quashed a recent remake attempt may not think so, there is something eternally appealing about Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and Sunday night offers an opportunity to see the 1916 silent version in a really special way.
Providing the live musical accompaniment at the Cinefamily at 611 North Fairfax is the gifted Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. Merritt, whose music enlivened the indie hit "Pieces of April," starring Katie Holmes and Derek Luke, will be working from a score commissioned by the San Francisco Film Society.
I've personally never seen this rare 1916 version, complete with then-state-of-the-art underwater photography, but I do have the movie tie-in edition of the novel dating from when the film came out, and it makes this "20,000 Leagues" look truly exciting. "Special Submarine Edition" it says right on the cover, with the words "Actually Photographed Under the Sea" appearing on the spine.
The tickets are expensive -- $35 apiece -- but this event, happening at both 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. is worth it.
-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic
Photo: A scene from the 1916 film "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Credit: Courtesy of Cinefamily
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