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Stephan Graf von Bothmer (Flügel)
Maggie Hennefeld

A Pair of Tights

The Extra Girl

Preceded by: A Pair of Tights

USA 1929, director Hal Yates, cast: Anita Garvin, Marion Byron, DCP, 20 minutes, English titles

Sue wins a trip to Hollywood and already sees herself as a big star. However, in California everything is more different than expected: Sue finds work in the costume department of a film studio, stumbles through a film shoot as an extra and is almost eaten by a lion. All these comic turbulences are caused by the magnificent Mabel Normand, the most popular slapstick actress of her time. In The Extra Girl, Normand – who also directed several films herself – delightfully parodies the illusion of fame and fortune in Hollywood.

Comedians Anita Garvin and Marion Byron star in the preceding short film A Pair of Tights (1929). As a duo, they were the female answer to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Here, the two want to be taken out – and almost cause a riot.

Both films are accompanied musically by pianist and composer Stephan Graf von Bothmer who, in the past two decades, became known as one of Germany’s most productive and most entertaining silent film musicians. Nationally and internationally, he has been playing in cinemas, concert halls and churches, often also at the organ. In addition to his work as a soloist, he has written new orchestral scores for the Braunschweig State Orchestra for films like Madame Dubarry and Zuflucht. Stephan Graf von Bothmer lives in Berlin.

The program is introduced (in English) by American film historian Maggie Hennefeld, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota and author of a widely acclaimed book on women comedians in early cinema: Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes (New York: Columbia University Press 2018).