As the Earth Turns

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USA | 2018 | 46 minutes | Richard Lyford

Available for the first time in over 80 years, this 1938 Seattle-shot silent film tells of an apocalyptic future war that could devastate the planet. This presentation is accompanied by a new score from local composer Ed Hartman.

"A silent movie that is silent no more."—KING 5

Recovered from the home of director and Seattle native Richard Lyford, As the Earth Turns is a 1938 sci-fi thriller that cleverly foreshadows many things still relevant to us, among them the U.S.'s involvement in war and global warming. Young news reporter Julie Weston (Barbara Berger) is eager for a big break, so when her boss sends her to a naval radio base she promises to bring back a story that will "rock the Earth." What she doesn't realize is she's about to come face-to-face with a mysterious peace activist named PAX (played by Lyford), who will stop at nothing to stop global war—even if it means destroying everything in his path. Filmed in and around the Pacific Northwest—including shots at Boeing Field and Gas Works Park (back when it was still an operating gasification plant)—As the Earth Turns is a low-budget indie before being a low-budget indie was a thing. Lyford was only 19 when he filmed this spec-fic adventure—mastering miniatures, DIY explosions, unusual camera angles, and triple-exposures for a jaw-dropping array of ahead-of-its-time practical effects. Newly restored and accompanied by a lively new score by local composer Ed Hartman, As the Earth Turns is a gem of early Seattle filmmaking that is finally available after more than 80 years.

Director Biography
When As the Earth Turns was in production in 1938, a 20-year-old Richard Lyford had already written 58 plays and nine award-winning films. His career began when he won a filmmaking contest in his native Seattle, and he made his full-length directorial debut in 1950 with the Oscar®-winning documentary The Titan: Story of Michelangelo (1950), and worked on Disney's television anthology "Wonderful World of Color" (1954).

Sponsored by 4Culture, City of Shoreline, Encore Media Group, National Endowment for the Arts, Seattle Composers Alliance, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Shoreline Community College, Washington State Arts Commission, WatchGuard Technologies, Inc

  • Director: Richard Lyford
  • Principal Cast: Richard Lyford, Barbara Berger, Alan Hoelting, Edwin C. Frost, Roger Bassett
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 46 minutes
  • Producer: Richard Lyford, Kim Lyford Bishop, Ed Hartman
  • Screenplay: Richard Lyford
  • Cinematographers: Richard Lyford
  • Editors: Richard Lyford
  • Music: Ed Hartman
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition, 2018 (Outstanding Excellence Direction, Viewer Impact: Entertainment Value, Award of Excellence SFX Visual, Original Concept)
  • Filmography: Island of Allah (1956); The Titan: Story of Michelangelo (1950)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP