‘Silents Synced’ Pairs Classic Silent Movies With Rock Music

Blue Starlite, an independent drive-in theater in Austin, Texas, has announced its first national cinema event series, Silents Synced, where classic silent movies will be paired with rock music from Radiohead, R.E.M., They Might Be Giants, Pearl Jam, Pixies, and Amon Tobin.

Silents Synced series 1 is the first of multiple series to be produced by Blue Starlite Entertainment, the new content arm of the independent drive-in.

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The content screenings will be distributed this fall via a partnership with independent event cinema distributor CineLife Entertainment, a division of Spotlight Cinema Networks, which is now booking independent indoor and drive-in cinema networks domestically.

Silents Synced is a strategic format to draw new audiences to cinemas for a communal music experience like no other,” said Josh Frank, CEO and creator of Silents Synced.

Frank continued, “The question for independent theater operators has become what can we do to inspire people to leave their homes outside of Hollywood blockbusters films? While traditional moviegoers will always be our lifeblood, music fans will go to greater lengths for a shared experience. They are a fundamentally new audience for us all. With these essential artists and our distribution partner, CineLife Entertainment, we seek to inspire people to gather in cinemas and invigorate independent theaters in a totally new way to help them with engaging and unique events.”

Blue Starlite initiated conversations with the management of these artists to reimagine these timeless silent films with their seminal albums and other selections from their catalogs.

Silents Synceds first season will kick off in the fall of 2024 with Radiohead’s “KID A (2000) / Amnesiac (2001),” paired with Nosferatu (1923), with future films slated to follow every four months.  A world premiere of Silents Synced “Radiohead: Nosferatu” will take place in advance of its national launch in the fall.

R.E.M.’s Silents Synced film is slated for distribution in early 2025.

“The guys thought it seems like a good idea and they like the uncanny way their music and Buster Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr., match up — kind of perfect.  What a great and unlikely way of presenting great art,” stated Bertis Downs, manager for R.E.M.

Additional titles will follow suit throughout 2025 with time-honored silent films to be announced soon, synced to They Might Be Giants, Pearl Jam, Pixies, Amon Tobin, and more to be announced as additional deals are finalized.

“There is something strangely appealing about syncing modern music to an old silent film — it brings a whole new perspective. I like to imagine Buster Keaton moving around on set with a 1927 version of They Might Be Giants bouncing around in his head. It’s a perfect combo,” says Pete Smolin, manager of They Might Be Giants.

“We’re thrilled to be a partner in distributing because we believe in the power of event cinema combined with alternative music’s most enduring artists,” said CineLife Entertainment’s EVP, Bernadette McCabe.  “This is a concept that should work equally well for independent, indoor and drive-in cinemas, as it offers attainable event cinema that will appeal to multiple generations of current patrons, as well as music fans.”

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