The Freshman

Starring Harold Lloyd

Sat March 3, 2017 | Beloit Memorial High School Auditorium
7:00 PM Film/Performance

$20 online & at the door
$5 students with ID

Sponsored by:

BMO Harris Bank

BIFF’s Silent Film Showcase

A signature element of the Beloit International Film Festival since its first year has been The BMO Harris Silent Film Showcase. Not only has it entertained audiences of all ages in Beloit, it has been duplicated by other film festivals around the country.

This year the Silent Film Showcase, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, will present an historic comedy blockbuster of the silent era on the big screen in a new venue. It will also feature the exciting sound of one of the finest high school jazz ensembles in the country.

The Beloit Memorial High School Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Chris Behrens, will provide the musical accompaniment to the film. This BMHS Orchestra has brought home top awards for their performances and has been invited to play at Lincoln Center in major national competitions. Their talents will help to create the feel one would have had in a first-run movie house in the 1920s.

They will perform the score to the feature length 1925 film classic, The Freshman, starring the silent era genius Harold Lloyd. The film offers the timeless tale of the nerdy freshman wishing to gain popularity on campus despite the antics of bullies and the competition from the captain of the football team.

The program will be presented at Beloit Memorial High School, making its debut at a BIFF venue. “This is an ideal setting for this popular event,”, “We will have plenty of seats for an event that has often sold out. And we will finally have adequate and convenient parking.”

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students of all ages. “We have instituted student pricing this year since this is such a great family event,” says incoming Executive Director Max Maiken. “Each year it is refreshing to watch generations coming together and finding that the humor has not been lost over the past 90 years.”

The Beloit International Film Festival, celebrating its 12th year, is sponsored by the Hendricks Group in association with Beloit College and with additional support provided by Visit Beloit. Support for the Festival comes from area businesses and civic organizations, and individual support for BIFF is provided through membership in the BIFF Founders and the Film Society of Beloit.

The Freshman


Three Movie Buffs

Harold Lloyd, besides being funnier than either Keaton or Chaplin, was also more of a romantic leading man. This is evident in his sweetly simple movie The Freshman.

The plot is now a worn out cliché. Harold ‘Speedy’ Lamb goes off to college. He takes with him only his youthful optimism and a clever little jig that he saw in a movie and that he does every time he meets someone new. Oh yeah, and his dreams of being a star football player. But Harold has one small problem, namely that he lacks any apparent talent. Out of pity, however, he is made the team water boy, although he is under the impression that he is really on the team. Unaware that his classmates are being completely facetious in their treatment of him as a popular hero, Harold adds new meaning to the old adage that ignorance is bliss.

Continue reading the full review

Harold Lloyd & This Film

WikipediaHarold Clayton Lloyd, Sr. (April 20, 1893 – March 8, 1971) was an American actor, comedian, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer who is most famous for his silent comedy films.

Harold Lloyd ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era. Lloyd made nearly 200 comedy films, both silent and “talkies”, between 1914 and 1947. He is best known for his bespectacled “Glasses” character, a resourceful, success-seeking go-getter who was perfectly in tune with 1920s-era United States.

Harold LloydHis films frequently contained “thrill sequences” of extended chase scenes and daredevil physical feats, for which he is best remembered today. Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock high above the street in Safety Last! (1923) is one of the most enduring images in all of cinema. Lloyd did many of these dangerous stunts himself, despite having injured himself in August 1919 while doing publicity pictures for the Roach studio. An accident with a bomb mistaken as a prop resulted in the loss of the thumb and index finger of his right hand (the injury was disguised on future films with the use of a special prosthetic glove, though the glove often did not go unnoticed).

Although Lloyd’s individual films were not as commercially successful as Chaplin’s on average, he was far more prolific (releasing twelve feature films in the 1920s while Chaplin released just four), and made more money overall ($15.7 million to Chaplin’s $10.5 million).

Continue reading the fuller bio on Wikipedia

Accompanying the Silent Film

Beloit Memorial Jazz Orchestra

Under the direction of Mr. Chris Behrens
National Board Certified Teacher

Chris Behrens | Beloit Memorial Jazz Orchestra

The BMJO has developed a tradition of exceptional and nationally recognized jazz music program. BMJO was first invited to the nation’s leading high school jazz band festival and competition Essentially Ellington hosted by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City in 2009. Hundreds of high school jazz bands from across the country submit three performances for the judges of internationally known jazz masters at the Lincoln Center for blind review. Each year only fifteen are invited to New York for the nation’s foremost high school jazz band festival and concert.

In 2012 BMJO was invited back again. And BMJO has earned an invitation back each year since. Quite a feet considering their competing with metros many of which are considerably larger than Beloit, arts magnet schools or both. The Beloit Jazz Band program is well known and recognized at the Lincoln Center in New York and among the greatest H.S. Jazz programs across the county.

One thing that doesn’t get mentioned is the fact that these students aren’t just exceptional musicians, they’re also exceptional students. It should be noted that the average GPA of the student-musicians hoping to make it to Essentially Ellington this year is 3.6.

Beloit Memorial Jazz OrchestraThey really as good as I’ve heard?
Sample from prior years BMJO performances.

Sorry, can’t show you this year’s band as they’re still in competition and don’t want to tip their hand.
You’ll just have to come out and experience them live. :-)

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival