It might be surprising to know a movie titled The Man Who Laughs is actually a silent film. It’s a sort of macabre and unsettling one at that, following a downtrodden character with a disfigurement that has him permanently grinning (interestingly, he was also the inspiration for the early Joker character in the Batman comics).
It’s also one of the films being given a new life with this year’s Movies & Music on the Lawn series at Baton Rouge Gallery. Local DJ Matsy is creating an original soundtrack for the 1928 film, which will be projected on a huge screen behind the gallery.
He’s returning, along with England in 1819 and Denton Hatcher & the Soapbox Blues, to create live soundtracks for their respective silent films. New this year is chamber-folk band Minos the Saint, which will provide music for Sunrise, considered one of the great silent films.
“We are wanting to obviously bring the best bands we can to the program, but also bring out new folks who can add something unique,” says BRG Executive Director Jason Andreasen.
Organizers are also keeping mum about the final performance of the season, Sept. 26, which will feature a musical performance that Andreasen says “is one of the ones that will stick with people for a while.” That secret performance and screening will be announced at the June 28 event.
May 31 Grandma’s Boy, slapstick comedy
Denton Hatcher & the Soapbox Blues
June 28 The Man Who Laughs, drama
July 25 Sunrise, romance/drama
Minos the Saint
Aug. 29 The Lodger, early Alfred Hitchcock film
England in 1819
To be announced June 28.
Tickets are $5. Free popcorn will be served. Show begins at 8 p.m. or sundown. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets or chairs. For more information, go to batonrougegallery.org.