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‘Sunrise’ At The IU Cinema

An IU grad's yen for improvisation and ragtime takes him from the concert stage to the cinema pit.

lovers embrace as the sun rises in the final scene

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Husband and wife reunited as the sun does indeed rise in F. W. Murnau's "Sunrise"

Event Information

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

1927 silent film directed by F.W. Murneau


Indiana University Cinema

Saturday October 15, 2011 at 6:30

IU Auditorium Box Office

The IU Cinema, directed by Jon Vickers, presents F.W. Murnau’s Academy Award-winning silent, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, Saturday October 15 at 6:30.

Murnau was already famous for films like the classic vampire tale of Nosferatu and the bitterly ironic The Last Laugh when he came from Germany to Hollywood, bringing with him his expressionistic visual style.

‘I Could Do That!’

Accompanying the film will be IU grad Ethan Uslan. He admits that playing for silent films just happened almost by accident. “I was at a silent film screening and there was a jazz band accompanying it. All of a sudden, I thought, ‘I could do that!’ So, I went home, put a DVD player in front of my piano and started to work it out. It’s very exciting to improvise as the film rolls.”

Although trained as a classical pianist, Uslan always enjoyed improvisation and harbored a ragtime addiction. He’s gone on to win championships in old time piano playing while focusing on ragtime and traditional jazz. But he admits, “Sunrise is very much a romance, and I’ll be leaning on all those exercises that I had to play, dipping into composers like Mendelssohn for much of what I’ll be playing. There is one dance party scene, and there I will make it a bit jazzier.”

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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