"Some kids like trucks or trains," he said. "For me, it was Charlie Chaplin."
Model grew up to become one of the greatest champions of the medium. For more than three decades he has written and performed scores for hundreds of silent films. He is also the resident film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as with the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theatre. His production and distribution company dusts off aging silent films on celluloid and converts them to a digital format.
Model travels extensively to educate and perform, which is what will bring him to the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 17, for Silent Movies with Orchestra, a presentation of four silent films accompanied by live music composed by Model and performed by members of the Boise Philharmonic. The films include Buster Keaton's One Week (1920), Laurel and Hardy's Wrong Again (1929), Oh! What a Day (1918) featuring comedian Marcel Perez and Number, Please? (1920) starring Harold Lloyd.
- Wrong Again starting Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
"You're really experiencing what people experienced 90 years ago," Model said. "Silent film is an experience as well as a form of cinema."
Performing at the Egyptian Theatre, he said, an important element for moviegoers. The downtown cinema has a classic Pharaonic motif, and has one of two theater organs in the Gem State—a working 1927 Robert Morton Theatre Pipe Organ, which Model will play Saturday evening.
"Playing in a historic venue is icing on the cake," Model said.