The program:

"Cafe Elektric" Marlene Dietrich, Willi Forst, Gustav Ucicky

"Moon of Israel" (Die Sklavenkönigin) Michael Kertesz (Michael Curtiz)

"Sodom und Gomorrha" Michael Kertesz

"A throw of dice" - Indian Silent Movie


Mahindra United World College

Film and Television Institute Of India (FTII)

National Film Archive of India (NFAI)

Poona Music Society

National Centre for the performing arts (NCPA) Mumbai

Many thanks to:

Frau Viktoria Wagner vom Kulturforum Delhi, Frau Binaifer Malegam und ihrem Mann Jehangir Batiwala (Poona Music Society)

Herrn Prashant Pathrabe (Direktor des NFAI), Prof. Indranil Bhattacharya (FTII), Frau Farrahnaz Irani (NCPA Management International Music)

Herrn Ernst Kieninger (Filmarchiv Austria) für die Bereitstellung der Filme

Gerhard Gruber im FTII Pune 2012

Organisatoren Binaifer Malegam und Jehangir Batiwala

Gruber mit Gattin  - Malegam - Battiwala

Organisator Prashant Pathrabe (Direktor des NFAI)

Gerhard Gruber mit Dir. Pathrabe Filmarchive of India

Organisator Prof. Indranil Bhattacharya (FTII)

Gerhard Gruber mit Indranil Bhattacharya, FTII Pune

Mitglieder des FTII - members of the FTII

Gerhard Gruber mit Professoren des FTII, Pune
Filmarchive of India, Pune
Gerhard Gruber mit Mumbai Plakat NCPA

Gespräch nach der Aufführung - answering questions after the performance

Q&A nach der Aufführung

our driver - unser Fahrer Kamal (Delhi - Agra - Jaipur)

unser treuer Taxifahrer Kamal, New Delhi

India Gate

vor dem India Gate New Delhi 2012 Stummfilmpianist Gerhard Gruber
beim Taj Mahal

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Studio

im FTII Pune Indien, Filmstudios


Stummfilm-Publikum im FTII in Pune, Indien

Mazda Hall Pune

Auftritt bei der Poona Music Society, Pune Indien

National center for the performing arts (NCPA)

Auftritt im NCPA Mumbai, Indien
Eva und Gerhard Gruber in Mumbai, NCPA
Gerhard Gruber in Mumbai, Indien
Gerhard Gruber in Mumbai NCPA, Plakat Cafe Elektric

junge Besucherin im NCPA - young girl wanting to learn improvisation

Gerhard Gruber mit kleiner Pianistin, die gern improvisieren will
letzter Tag in Mumbai am Meer

The pianist and his cinematic muse

By: Hardik Vaidya Date: 2012-02-26 Place: Mumbai

Head to the NCPA for the screening of the classic silent film Cafe Elektric. Accompanying the screening, will be the music of Gerhard Gruber, a leading silent film pianist

In case you've watched The Artist and want to indulge more in the films of yore, when talkies were still a novelty and cinema completely silent, then head to the NCPA for the screening of Cafe Elektric on Wednesday. Made in 1928, this silent Austrian classic by Gustav Ucicky is among the top rated acts of popular actress Marlene Dietrich.

However, this isn't just any other screening. If it were, then we'd have suggested that you watch a DVD. The screening will be accompanied by a performance by Gerhard Gruber, regarded as one of the world's leading silent film pianists. Gruber will compose and play music while he watches the film with the audience.

Possibly the most unique characteristic of Gruber is that no two performances of his are ever the same. He believes in spot improvisation in his work every time he performs, since according to him that is the best way of a direct and continuous dialogue between the screen, the music and the audience. As Ilse Aichinger, the grand dame of Austrian literature had once succinctly put, "Those who listen to Gruber play the piano can once again trust their own breath." Gruber's modesty is also considered to be one of his greatest assets. According to many, his music is neither an exaggeration of the film, nor the "digestible-making" of an "old-fashionable" artefact. His music, far from being a simplification of existing work, is a partnership that never becomes boring. Having worked as a pianist for screenings of over 450 different silent films across the globe, he admits that spreading the joy of silent movies accompanied with his piano pieces isn't easy. Coming to the defence of silent films, he says, "There is nothing missing in silent films, it is just a different kind of movie. The pictures are more beautiful and more interesting, because the focus is more on gestures and on expression." Gruber says, "Cafe Elektric is a favourite. I have a special love for it, and I also composed the music for the movie's DVD." Set in a cafe in Vienna, the film tells the story of Erni Göttlinger (Marlene Dietrich), the daughter of a rich construction entrepreneur (Fritz Alberti), who gets attracted to a pickpocket, Herr Fredl (Willi Forst). Meanwhile, another important character in the film, a young engineer named Herr Max St ger (Igo Sym), who assists G ttlinger, finds himself unable to focus on work whenever a young lady (Anny Coty) is around. If you are a cinema and music buff then you wouldn't want to miss this event.

At: 7 pm, February 29, NCPA, Nariman Point


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