Search Museum of the Moving Image


Dreams of Darkness and Color


This program explores the role of costume in several silent cinema journeys into darkness, all of which are executed in color. Presented with support from the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. Total running time: 80 mins.

The Red Spectre (Le Spectre rouge)

Dir. Segundo de Chomón. 1907. France. Digital projection. In a dark cavern, a devil-like magician performs a series of tricks, putting to great use his magnificent cloak.

The Pillar of Fire (La Danse du feu)

Dir. Georges Méliès. 1899. France. Digital projection. With Jeanne d’Alcy. A demon conjures a woman wearing a voluminous white dress who performs a dance à la Loïe Fuller.

The Butterflies (Le Farfalle)

Dir. Unknown. 1907. Italy. Digital projection. Geishas dance and play with a butterfly woman whom they have imprisoned within a cage. Her lover comes to rescue her, only to be killed by the group. A butterfly revenge ensues.

Rapsodia Satanica

Dir. Nino Oxilia. 1917. Italy. 35mm print. With Lyda Borelli. A prime example of the diva genre, Rapsodia Satanica is a masterpiece of silent Italian cinema. It features Lyda Borelli as Alba d’Oltrevita in a Faustian tale of a woman’s search for eternal youth and worldly pleasures.

Free with Museum admission.