Snow White: Two classic adaptations to be screened at GOMA


Brisbane Festival and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art present two classic adaptations of Snow White — the silent live-action film Snow White 1916 directed by J Searle Dawley and the animated feature it inspired, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937 produced by Walt Disney.

These beautifully restored films re-imagine the famed German fairy tale which has captured the imagination of multiple generations since its publication in a collection of folk tales by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.

Walt Disney was inspired to create his timeless masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937 after seeing the playful silent film as a boy, declaring years later ‘I thought it was the perfect story… It had the sympathetic dwarfs… the heavy… the prince and the girl. The romance… the perfect story.’

Thought lost for many years, the silent Snow White was discovered in 1992 and lovingly restored by the George Eastman House film archive. A cheeky, whimsical production, Snow White — presented here with live musical accompaniment —captures the elements that audiences know and love: the beautiful princess, her wicked stepmother, the playful dwarfs and the handsome prince who spirits her away to Happily Ever After.

Snow White 1916

Adapted from the highly successful 1912 Broadway production, and incorporating its lavish sets and costumes, Snow White stars Marguerite Clark. One of ‘the big four’ silent movie stars of the time alongside Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Clark is perfect as the irrepressibly cheerful princess who faces adversity with buoyant enthusiasm. For a young Walt Disney, who first saw the film at a special event screening sponsored by the Kansas City Star for whom he was working, it was a magical experience from which he would draw on over two decades later.

Acclaimed pianist Mauro Colombis brings the sounds of Snow White 1916 to life with his playful accompaniment. Colombis is an Italian classically trained musician with international concert experience. He holds two masters in piano performance (from Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory in 1998 and Venice Conservatory in 2005) and a Bachelor of Art, Music and Spectacle from the University of Bologna. In the last decade Colombis has specialised in the live accompaniment of silent cinema, bringing together his own captivating compositions and improvisational methods. He regularly plays major film festivals around the world.

Snow White 1916
Screens 11am Sunday 11 and 18 September with live musical accompaniment

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Walt Disney’s first major love letter to the German fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Described at the time by skeptical Hollywood insiders as ‘Disney’s Folly’, Walt Disney’s ambitious animation became the first feature-length animated film in the United States and sparked a deep affection for the genre through generations of film goers. A mammoth undertaking, the animated film comprised of a staggering two million illustrations, created with the help of 32 animators, 102 assistants, 167 “in-betweeners”, 20 layout artists, 25 artists doing water colour backgrounds, 65 effects animators, and 158 inkers and painters. In 1939 Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for his significant contribution to screen innovation and in 2008 the film was named the ‘Greatest Animated Film of All Time’ by the American Film institute.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937
Screens 1pm Sunday 11 and 18 September

Snow White film program| Ticketed
Australian Cinémathèque, Gallery of Modern Art
11 and 18 September 2016

Australian Cinémathèque
The Australian Cinémathèque at GOMA provides an ongoing program of film and video that you’re unlikely to see elsewhere. Screenings take place Wednesday and Friday nights and Saturday and Sundays matinees. We offer a rich and diverse experience of the moving image, showcasing the work of influential filmmakers and international cinema, rare 35mm prints, recent restorations and silent films with live musical accompaniment.

QAGOMA is the only Australian art gallery with purpose-built facilities dedicated to film and the moving image. The Australian Cinémathèque is an Associate Member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), an organisation of the world’s leading film archives dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of film.