Shoes & Suspense

When: Sun., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. 2016

Lois Weber went from street corner evangelist to actor to director during the silent era. Weber was the first American-born woman to direct a feature film in 1914 with The Merchant of Venice, and by the end of that decade she had started her own production company. This was a necessary step, as she wanted to make films that addressed serious social issues such as alcoholism, abortion and prostitution (clearly, she still had that evangelical spirit). That last one is the subject of her feature film Shoes, based on Jane Addams' novel of the same name. It tells the story of Eve, a young woman who must support her parents and three siblings with her very small salary. Her current pair of shoes is falling apart, exposing her feet to every loose nail and puddle, but there's no money to buy another pair. Cabaret Charlie is a disreputable man who desires her company: If she were to accept his advances, he would buy her the shoes she needs. The Webster Film Series screens a restored version of Shoes at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; Weber's short subject "Suspense" precedes it. Tickets are $5 to $7.

Paul Friswold

Price: $5-$7

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