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Although Hollywood scriptwriters and mass audiences may find more to gossip about in the events leading up to silent-film giant Thomas H. Ince’s mysterious 1924 death onboard the yacht of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst, Ince’s contributions to the film industry remain of higher significance to those actually interested in the history of cinema. An actor, writer, director, and pioneering producer of more than 100 films, Ince introduced early Hollywood to the “assembly line” system of filmmaking—a method of efficiently preplanning and breaking down a script that allows several scenes to be shot simultaneously by assistant directors. Tonight, Films on the Hill presents three of Ince’s silent shorts (with recorded musical accompaniment): Soul of the Beast (1923), The Clodhopper (1917), and the quintessential William S. Hart western, Hell’s Hinges (1916). Preceding the shorts is a behind-the-scenes publicity film titled A Tour of the Thomas H. Ince Studios (1920-22). The program begins at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. $5. (202) 547-6839. (Matthew Borlik)