Film Concert Lime Kiln Club Field Day/Moses Boyd - Solo – X

Friday 8 December 2017 - Auditorium

8 p.m.
Bert Williams, production still from the dance sequence of Lime Kiln Club Field Day 1914/2014, Museum of Modern Art New York
Film Concert Lime Kiln Club Field Day/Moses Boyd - Solo – X

Bert Williams, production still from the dance sequence of Lime Kiln Club Field Day 1914/2014, Museum of Modern Art New York

Film concert introduced by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator in the Department of Film, Museum of Modern Art and organised in conjunction with the exhibition Being Modern: MoMA in Paris.

Lime Kiln Club Field Day is the oldest-known feature film to date with a cast of black actors. This recently rediscovered and restored work – an excerpt of which is shown in the exhibition – is screened in the auditorium, accompanied by a concert by Moses Boyd - Solo – X. Boyd, representing the new English jazz scene, presents a novel musical programme as it relates to the film, with updated renditions of the ragtime that traditionally served as a live soundtrack for the silent films of the 1910s. The screening is introduced by Ron Magliozzi, Curator of MoMA’s Department of Film and the person responsible for the rediscovery of Lime Kiln Club Field Day.    

Lime Kiln Club Field Day


The actor Bert Williams, a Broadway star at the time, plays the lead role in this film. He shares the screen with Odessa Warren Grey as a young woman who is the subject of attention from rival suitors.


Although an exact contemporary of Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, this film features an interracial cast and demonstrates exemplary progressive values for an era marked by discrimination and performance restrictions. Although Bert Williams wears “blackface”, as demanded by theatrical conventions, the rest of the cast performed without makeup. The scene in which Grey and Williams kiss was the first representation on film of such intimacy between two black actors. Perhaps due to this audacity, production was suspended in 1915 by Biograph Studio, and the reels were abandoned and forgotten. In 2012, the footage was identified in an archive acquired in 1939 by MoMA following the collapse of Biograph Studio, and the film was restored and edited by the museum’s team of scientists in 2014.


Moses Boyd – Solo - X

Leader of the Moses Boyd Exodus ensemble, founder of the eponymous label and a celebrated figure in contemporary British jazz (2014 Steve Reid Foundation Grant, 2015 Mobo Awards, 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, 2016 Jazz FM Awards, etc.), composer and drummer Moses Boyd has worked with artists such as Lonnie Liston Smith, Tony Allen, Ed Motta, Four Tet and Floating Points.


Born in 1991, Boyd has already been likened to Art Blakey both for his qualities as bandleader and for his innovative drumming style, which draws on different aspects of London’s electronic music scene.

The essential

Friday 8 December 2017
8 p.m. - Auditorium


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