Preserving Silent Cinema: An Interview with Jay Warren

Elizabeth Granato

March 20th, 2017

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Dennis Wolkowicz (aka Jay Warren). Jay Warren is a photoplay organist for The Silent Film Society of Chicago. For those who do not know, the term “photoplay” means a play that has been photographed to put on film. Warren’s job is to accompany films by playing an organ. Before the society started, they would have screenings just for fun and around Halloween, they would have a viewing of The Phantom of the Opera and other screenings here or there. They finally decided that they should form a club. The Silent Film Society of Chicago is an organization officially formed in the late 90’s and since then, they have been holding silent film viewings all over the Chicagoland area. Along with these screenings, they have a Silent Summer Festival every July and August on consecutive Fridays. The society has always aimed for two things: to bring attention to silent cinema and the music of silent cinema.

Warren has had about 40 years of experience in this business and he has a strong passion for music in silent films. He wants everyone to know the importance of this unique art form as well as the music that goes along with it. He feels that not many people appreciate silent films, but he encourages them to give them a try. His ultimate hope is that people will come to these screenings to see what silent cinema is all about. In our interview, we discussed everything from the history of silent films to the music that plays an important role in this unique art form.

 

Listen below for the complete interview with Jay Warren.

Elizabeth Granato

Senior Features Editor

Tags: , ,


Recent News

Student Work Presented at the VAC Gallery

September 20th, 2017

Saint Xavier University is currently displaying a new exhibit at the Visual Arts Center (VAC) gallery, which according to SXU is a venue exclusively dedicated to exhibiting student and alumni artwork. This semester one of the current exhibits is the “HATCHED” Exhibit. The student artists are: Karisa Brake, Ethan Gray,…
Read More >>

Saint Xavier Council Plans Homecoming 2017

September 20th, 2017

The first four weeks of school have flown by and Saint Xavier students now have Homecoming Week to look forward to. “This year’s Homecoming Week is really special,” Ali Zaharris, Director of Student Activities, says. “It’s the inauguration week of President Joyner.” Yet, President Joyner will not be the only…
Read More >>

Saint Xavier University Starts Courage to Quit Program

September 20th, 2017

Effective January 1, 2017 Saint Xavier University (SXU), both the Chicago and Orland Park Campuses, have become tobacco free campuses. According to the school website, the campus decided to become tobacco free because “Tobacco-free” campuses advocate for the health of all, including the user. “Smoke-free” is primarily focused on the…
Read More >>

More News Articles >>