Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


As much as any film in American history, D.W. Griffith’s Way Down East expresses the purity of the melodramatic imagination. Lillian Gish starts as the seduced and abandoned country girl. Her shame revealed, she attempts suicide on a frozen river and, in one of cinema’s most climactic moments, is rescued just as the ice flow plunges over the falls.

Through the efforts of the Film Archive of The Museum of Modern Art and on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary, Way Down East is now viewable in its most complete form since its original release. The story of the film’s restoration, a fascinating one taking some five years of detective work one the part of the Museum’s Film Archivists, will be elaborated upon at the presentation. It should be pointed out that so-called “silent” films were rarely, if ever, silent. Musical accompaniment was always provided in one form or another. With the Salt Lake Chamber Ensemble performing the original score, this already exciting film is elevated to a realm of experience that is absolutely exhilarating.

The performance by the Salt Lake Chamber Ensemble is part of the Utah Performing Arts Tour and made possible, in part, through a grant from the Utah Arts council and the national Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Presented in cooperation with the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art.

Wednesday, January 23, 7:00pm
Egyptian Theatre, $25.00

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]