The silent feminist film classic Shoes screens with a live score by local musicians at the Alamo Drafthouse.
The silent feminist film classic Shoes screens with a live score by local musicians at the Alamo Drafthouse.
Milestone Films

Musicians Play Live Score Over Lois Weber's Silent Feminist Film Shoes

The Alamo Drafthouse Littleton is enjoying a glut of films celebrating International Women’s Month, with a diverse selection of titles celebrating women in acting, writing, directing and more. One of those films, the 1916 silent classic Shoes, will screen this Thursday, March 16, courtesy of the theater's Colossal Women series, with a live score played by Denver musicians Kate Hannington and Christine Palmer.

More than 100 years old, Lois Weber’s Shoes is a milestone silent film, in part because it was directed by a woman in an era when women were still fighting for the right to vote.

The musicians are sure to add depth to Weber’s movie, the tale of Eva Meyer, a poor shop girl struggling to make ends meet for her family — her three younger sisters, stretched-thin mother and petulant and uncaring father — while keeping her tattered and torn shoes, which she needs to maintain her job, from falling apart.

Weber, who directed nearly 200 films, was the first woman to direct movies in Hollywood.
Weber, who directed nearly 200 films, was the first woman to direct movies in Hollywood.
Milestone Films

In 1905, Weber started as an actor in Hollywood, but she wanted to make her own stories touching on social issues that affected people around her: alcoholism, poverty, prostitution, abortion and other topics widely deemed taboo in the early 1900s. Her ambitions catapulted her career, and she became the first woman to direct films in Hollywood, a career she rode through the silent era and ended just after the dawn of talkies in the ’30s. She made only one movie with sound: White Heat, in 1934.

Shoes was a mid-career project and remains one of Weber's more accomplished and fiercely feminist tales, with vision and storytelling that still shine 100 years after its premiere.

The film will be shown alongside the 1912 feminist-leaning silent short movie, "The Girl in the Arm-Chair," which Hannington and Palmer will accompany as well.

Shoes screens Thursday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at drafthouse.com.

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