April 2016

NB. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these listings is accurate, silentfilmcalendar.com can take no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies. You are strongly advised to confirm with the venue that the event remains as detailed, particularly if traveling any distance to attend.


 NosferatuShadow1 April

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – Blu Ray 2013 Restoration)  Unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Max Schreck plays the sinister vampire, Count Orlok, traveling across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at Wikipedia   Live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.   Waterside Theater, Londonderry   Link

The_Battle_of_the_Somme_film_image2Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight into the realities of trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It shows scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive including the massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle (the bloodiest single day in Britain’s military history) and depictions of the small gains and massive costs of the attack. The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals Britain’s commitment to the First World War. It is the source of many of that conflict’s most iconic images. It was made by British official cinematographers Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. Though it was not intended as a feature film, once the volume and quality of their footage had been seen in London, the British Topical Committee for War Films decided to compile a feature-length film.  Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live orchestral accompaniment  by the West of England Youth Orchestra with cellist Matthew Sharp performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.  Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts    Link

2  April

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – Blu-Ray 2013 Restoration)  Unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Max Schreck plays the sinister vampire, Count Orlok, traveling across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at Wikipedia   Live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.   The MAC, Belfast    Link

underground 2Underground  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1928) (Screen format – DCP, 93mins)  Bert, an electrician, and Bill, a London Underground porter both fall in love with Nell. But when Nell chooses Bill, Bert resorts to devious tactics. The social spaces of 1920s London play an important role in Asquith’s working-class love story. Most central to the narrative of the film is the London Underground itself, its bustling public corridors and carriages providing an arena in which people from all walks of life intermingle. Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film (and the first for which he would receive a full directing credit ), he handles the melodramatic story with sophistication. As in Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Lodger (1926) and Blackmail (1929), the psychological aspects of the narrative are illustrated with imaginative touches that draw upon a variety of European cinematic influences such as German Expressionism and Soviet Montage.  Underground came in for its share of criticism on release.  The general public complained about the “distorted” angles and “murky” lighting, while others criticised the upper-class Asquith as unequipped to understand the common people.   But today, Underground is recognised as a fine film, and a thoroughly entertaining one (particularly in this beautifully restored new version), with a chase scene as gripping as anything else in British cinema, made by a perennially underrated Englishman and giving a glimpse of a vanished English world. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment by HarmonieBand (find out more about them here Harmonieband).  Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds  Link

 

3 April

Underground-1-e1356023713114Underground  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1928) (Screen format – DCP, 93mins)  Bert, an electrician, and Bill, a London Underground porter both fall in love with Nell. But when Nell chooses Bill, Bert resorts to devious tactics. The social spaces of 1920s London play an important role in Asquith’s working-class love story. Most central to the narrative of the film is the London Underground itself, its bustling public corridors and carriages providing an arena in which people from all walks of life intermingle. Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film (and the first for which he would receive a full directing credit ), he handles the melodramatic story with sophistication. As in Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Lodger (1926) and Blackmail (1929), the psychological aspects of the narrative are illustrated with imaginative touches that draw upon a variety of European cinematic influences such as German Expressionism and Soviet Montage.   Underground came in for its share of criticism on release.  The general public complained about the “distorted” angles and “murky” lighting, while others criticised the upper-class Asquith as unequipped to understand the common people.   But today, Underground is recognised as a fine film, and a thoroughly entertaining one (particularly in this beautifully restored new version), with a chase scene as gripping as anything else in British cinema, made by a perennially underrated Englishman and giving a glimpse of a vanished English world. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment by HarmonieBand (find out more about them here Harmonieband).  Home Cinema, Manchester   Link

 

4 April

underground-1928-004-00m-lta-underground-crowdUnderground  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1928) (Screen format – DCP, 93mins)  Bert, an electrician, and Bill, a London Underground porter both fall in love with Nell. But when Nell chooses Bill, Bert resorts to devious tactics. The social spaces of 1920s London play an important role in Asquith’s working-class love story. Most central to the narrative of the film is the London Underground itself, its bustling public corridors and carriages providing an arena in which people from all walks of life intermingle. Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film (and the first for which he would receive a full directing credit ), he handles the melodramatic story with sophistication. As in Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Lodger (1926) and Blackmail (1929), the psychological aspects of the narrative are illustrated with imaginative touches that draw upon a variety of European cinematic influences such as German Expressionism and Soviet MontageUnderground came in for its share of criticism on release.  The general public complained about the “distorted” angles and “murky” lighting, while others criticised the upper-class Asquith as unequipped to understand the common people.   But today, Underground is recognised as a fine film, and a thoroughly entertaining one (particularly in this beautifully restored new version), with a chase scene as gripping as anything else in British cinema, made by a perennially underrated Englishman and giving a glimpse of a vanished English world. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment by HarmonieBand (find out more about them here Harmonieband) .     Phoenix Picture House, Oxford  Link

7 April

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927)  (Screening format –DVD Jan ’05 version,  118 minutes )  Made in Germany during the  Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban  dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria (Brigitte Helm), a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichmarks, making it the most expensive film ever released up to that point. It is regarded as a pioneering work of science fiction and is among the most influential films of all time.  Find out more at IMDb   Live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit  The Brunton, Venue 1, Musselburgh   Link

 

shooting-stars-01Shooting Stars (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1927) (Screening format – DCP, 103mins) A handsome cowboy gazes adoringly at his ‘gal’ perched winsomely in a tree. No, it’s not the Wild West, it’s Cricklewood, a British movie studio in the 1920s. This is not the only illusion to be swiftly shattered. A slapstick comedy is being shot on the other stage and spoiled star Mae Feather is more interested in what’s happening on the other set (particularly in its lead) than in her husband and co-star. Acknowledged to be the debut of rising talent Anthony Asquith (Underground, A Cottage on Dartmoor), it weaves together on and off screen stories with energy, flair and considerable bravado, affording rare, behind-the-scene glimpses. Find out more at  IMDb    Stoke Film Theatre, Stoke on Trent, Staffs  Link

 

8 AprilCC_Kid_Auto_Races_at_Venice_1914_(poster)

Shoulder Arms + A Dog’s Life (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1918) + Kid Auto Races At Venice (Dir.  Henry  Lehrman, 1914)    In Shoulder Arms, Chaplin is a soldier in the trenches who single-handedly wins World War One…..or does he?   A Dog’s Life  sees the little tramp at the back of the employment line, ‘Scraps’ the stray dog he rescues and Edna Purviance as the girl in the dance hall. If only he could find a wallet full of money!    Kid Auto Races was the first film release to portray Chaplin’s tramp persona, with him here interfering with the filming of a car race event   Find out more at   Wikipedia , IMDb  and  Wikipedia      Live musical accompaniment with Carl Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra   Bedford Corn Exchange, Beds.  Link

UnchienandalouposterUn Chien Andalou (Dir. Luis Bunuel, 1929) (Screening format – 35mm, 16mins)   The opening sequence of Buñuel’s first film contains one of the most indelible images, and most primal “cuts”, in film history – the chillingly tranquil slicing of an eyeball with a razor blade. From there, Buñuel and collaborator Salvador Dali use a Surrealist version of narrative to thread together sequences involving a heterosexual couple, a disembodied hand and a rotting carcass inside a piano.  Un unchieneChien Andalou is a surrealist classic made by the pair soon after their arrival in Paris from Madrid. It is a mysterious, free-associating accumulation of images of violence, beauty and absurdity that confounded those who saw it then and confounds viewers still. The scenes involving the illusion of a human eye being sliced open has lost none of its power to shock. To make the film, Bunuel said, the filmmakers had to open up all doors to the irrational and keep only those images that surprised them. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com  Being shown with L’Age d’Or (1930).  Close-Up Film Centre, London E1  Link

people with no tomorrowPeople With No Tomorrow (aka.  Ludzie bez jutra) (Dir. Aleksander Hertz, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 87mins)   People With No Tomorrow tells the tragic story of a  love affair between a Warsaw actress (Helena Brucz) and a Russian officer (Józef Węgrzyn).   Shot largely in 1919 but not released until 1921, this film was long considered lost until a print was rediscovered in the German Federal Archives.  A newly restored copy of the film was premiered in Warsaw in December last year.  This is the restored film’s UK premier (and probably the first time it has been seen outside Poland).  The film was based upon an actual 1890 liaison between Polish actress Maria Wisnowska and Russian cavalry officer Alexander Bartenev and the subsequent and notorious crime of passion.  peopleMuch of the film was shot on location in Warsaw.  Helena Brucz (alt.  Halina Bruczówna) was a popular movie and theatre star, for whom this part was the last one in a Polish movie, before she left for the United States.   Jozef Wegrzyn was one of the most famous dramatic actors in Polish theatreHe began appearing in Polish films in 1911, making a total of around 50 appearances.  Initially playing camp and comic parts he moved on to dramatic roles in the 1920s and subsequently made a successful transition to talking films.  He remained involved in acting and stage direction until the early 1950s.  Aleksander Hertz was  an influential figure in early Polish cinema, producing and directing some 50 films before his death in 1928.  Find out more at kinopodbaranami.pl  This film is being presented as part of the 14th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival.  It will be accompanied by a  musical score commissioned by the Polish National Film Archive and composed and performed live by Paweł Szamburski, Patryk Zakrocki and Sebastian Wypych.  Regent Street Cinema, London W1   Link

9 April

Underground  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1928) (Screen format – DCP, 93mins)  Bert, an electrician, and Bill, a London Underground porter both fall in love with Nell. But when Nell chooses Bill, Bert resorts to devious tactics. The social spaces of 1920s London play an important role in Asquith’s working-class love story. Most central to the narrative of the film is the London Underground itself, its bustling public corridors and carriages providing an arena in which people from all walks of life intermingle. Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film (and the first for which he would receive a full directing credit ), he handles the melodramatic story with underground-1928-004-00m-lta-underground-crowdsophistication. As in Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Lodger (1926) and Blackmail (1929), the psychological aspects of the narrative are illustrated with imaginative touches that draw upon a variety of European cinematic influences such as German Expressionism and Soviet MontageUnderground came in for its share of criticism on release.  The general public complained about the “distorted” angles and “murky” lighting, while others criticised the upper-class Asquith as unequipped to understand the common people.   But today, Underground is recognised as a fine film, and a thoroughly entertaining one (particularly in this beautifully restored new version), with a chase scene as gripping as anything else in British cinema, made by a perennially underrated Englishman and giving a glimpse of a vanished English world. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment by HarmonieBand (find out more about them here Harmonieband). Broadway Cinema, Nottingham  Link

10 April

Merchant of Venice (Dir. Peter Paul Felner, 1923) (Screening format – 35mm,  93 mins) Released in the US (in 1926) as The Jew of Mestri, this is a loose adaption of Shakespeare’s play, filmed on location in Venice but with additional characters and scenes.  The Doge of Venice is played by Nosferatu star Max Schreck.  Find out more at  Wikipedia  Part of the Barbican’s Shakespeare on silent screen season with live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne. Barbican, London   Link  

A Dogs Life - Chaplin Shoulder Arms + A Dog’s Life (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1918) + Kid Auto Races At Venice (Dir.  Henry  Lehrman, 1914)    In Shoulder Arms, Chaplin is a soldier in the trenches who single-handedly wins World War One…..or does he?   A Dog’s Life  sees the little tramp at the back of the employment line, ‘Scraps’ the stray dog he rescues and Edna Purviance as the girl in the dance hall. If only he could find a wallet full of money!    Kid Auto Races was the first film release to portray Chaplin’s tramp persona, with him here interfering with the filming of a car race event   Find out more at   Wikipedia , IMDb  and  Wikipedia      Live musical accompaniment with Carl Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Royal Festival Hall, London.  Link

Arsenal_1928_filmArsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 110mins)  Beautifully framed and shot, this is a visceral anti-war movie. The Great War (World War I) has brought devastation, heartache and hardship to the Ukrainian people. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown Kiev amidst the celebrations of Ukrainian freedom. But Timosh challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. From its devastating opening sequence onwards you are acutely aware of the emotional impact of a completely different style of filmmaking. Find out more at Wikipedia.com  Presented as part of the Filmic 2016 film festival.  Live musical accompaniment by Guy Bartell/Bronnt Industries Kapital.  Watershed, Bristol  Link

city lights poster twoCity Lights (Dir Charlie Chaplin, 1931) (Screening format – not known, 97mins) The story of the little tramp (Charlie Chaplin)’s on-off friendship with an alcoholic millionaire (Harry Myers) and his efforts to help a blind flower seller (Virginia Cherrill).  A Chaplin classic, eloquent, moving and funny.  The sound era was well under way when production of City Lights started but Chaplin decided to use the soundtrack to his own purposes while still leaving the dialogue on inter-titles, thereby utilising the best of the modern technology while still retaining the silent film sensibilities of his character and his physical comedy. City Lights also marked the first time Chaplin himself had composed the film score to one of his productions.  Chaplin was nervous about the film’s reception because, by this time, silent films were becoming obsolete, and a negatively received preview had undermined his confidence. Nevertheless, City Lights became one of Chaplin’s most financially successful and critically acclaimed works.  Find out more at Wikipedia.com   Presented by the Suffolk Silents Society.  Ipswich Film Theatre Cinema 1, Ipswich, Suffolk  Link

Underground-1-e1356023713114Underground  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1928) (Screen format – DCP, 93mins)  Bert, an electrician, and Bill, a London Underground porter both fall in love with Nell. But when Nell chooses Bill, Bert resorts to devious tactics. The social spaces of 1920s London play an important role in Asquith’s working-class love story. Most central to the narrative of the film is the London Underground itself, its bustling public corridors and carriages providing an arena in which people from all walks of life intermingle. Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film (and the first for which he would receive a full directing credit ), he handles the melodramatic story with sophistication. As in Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Lodger (1926) and Blackmail (1929), the psychological aspects of the narrative are illustrated with imaginative touches that draw upon a variety of European cinematic influences such as German Expressionism and Soviet Montage. Underground came in for its share of criticism on release.  The general public complained about the “distorted” angles and “murky” lighting, while others criticised the upper-class Asquith as unequipped to understand the common people.   But today, Underground is recognised as a fine film, and a thoroughly entertaining one (particularly in this beautifully restored new version), with a chase scene as gripping as anything else in British cinema, made by a perennially underrated Englishman and giving a glimpse of a vanished English world. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment by HarmonieBand (find out more about them here Harmonieband).  Quad Cinema, Derby  Link

12 April

Silent Comedy Night .  (Screening format – DVD) Five of the most well known, iconic and hilarious comedians from the silent film era; Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Laurel & Hardy, all played back to back. (Film titles not known)  With live musical accompaniment by Seamus Carey.   Colchester Arts Centre   Link

13 April

Man,_Woman_and_Sin_1927_film_posterMan, Woman and Sin (Dir. Monta Bell & (uncredited) John Gilbert, 1927) + shorts. (Screening format – not known) A young man (John Gilbert) takes a succession of odd jobs in order to save enough money to buy he and his mother (Gladys Brockwell) a house. He lands a position in a newspaper office and falls in love with the beautiful society editor (Jeanne Eagels), who is secretly having an affair with the married managing editor (Marc McDermott). She returns the young man’s affections in order to make her lover jealous, but finds herself falling for him. This was a relatively rare cinema appearance by Jeanne Eagels who was predominantly known for her theatrical work.  Although widely praised for her acting ability, Eagles had the reputation of being difficult to work with, due largely to drug and alcohol problems. John Gilbert reportedly described Eagels as the most temperamental actress he had ever worked with and her contract on Man, Woman & Sin was prematurely terminated.  Eagels went on to make a couple of talkies, The Letter and Jealousy, both in 1929, before dying from a heroin overdose the same year.  She was posthumously nominated for an Oscar for The Letter but lost out to Mary Pickford in Coquette.   Man, Woman & Sin was not a critical or popular success.  Eagels’ performance received mixed reviews, but the picture was a failure primarily due to the poor reviews garnered by Gilbert. Critics rejected the great lover playing a naive mama’s boy in this film. Gilbert’s career was salvaged (and Man, Woman & Sin largely overshadowed by)  the release of his second film with Great Garbo, Love (1927), which was a smash hit at the box office. Find out more at allmovie.com  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope and introduced by world-renowned silent film historian Kevin Brownlow.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

15 April

Silent Comedy Night .  (Screening formar – DVD) Five of the most well known, iconic and hilarious comedians from the silent film era; Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Laurel & Hardy, all played back to back. (Film titles not known)  With live musical accompaniment by Seamus Carey.   The Boo,  Waterfoot, Rossendale  Link

turksibTurksib (Dir. Victor Turin, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 75mins)  One of the most breathtaking documentaries ever shot, Turksib is an epic spectacle that lyrically and intensely depicts Stalinist Russia’s improbable efforts to build a railway through one of the most inhospitable deserts in the world.  Directed by Viktor Turin and prepared for an English audience by John Grierson, this captivating timepiece allows us to witness the technological world we’ve built on nature’s shoulders: it is also a priceless artifact of cinema history, giving us unparalleled insight into the daunting technical and artistic creativity undertaken in the name of Communism.   For more information see IMDb  Presented as part of the Site Festival 2016.  With live musical accompaniment by Bronnt Industries Kapital.  SVA Goods Shed, Stroud, Gloucs.  Link

16 April

Piccadilly (Dir. E A Dupont, 1929)  (Screening format – DVD/Blu-Ray, 108mins) Piccadilly is a sumptuous show-business melodrama seething with sexual and racial tension.  Chinese-American screen goddess Anna may Wong stars as Shosho, a scullery maid in a fashionable London nightclub whose sensuous table-top dance catches the eye of suave club owner Valentine Wilmot (Jameson Thomas).  With her exotic dance routine she rises to become the toast of London and the object of Wilmot’s erotic obsession – prompting the jealousy of Mable (Gilda Grey) Wilmot’s former lover and star dancer.  This stylish evocation of jazz-age London boasts dazzlingly fluid cinematography and atmospheric sets and is one of the truly great films of the silent age.  Find out more at silentfilm.org     With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza.  Guildhall, Devonport      Link

18 April

Silent Comedy Night .  (Screening format – DVD) Five of the most well known, iconic and hilarious comedians from the silent film era; Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Laurel & Hardy, all played back to back. (Film titles not known)  With live musical accompaniment by Seamus Carey.   The Peckham Pelican, London SE15  Link

written-in-dust-2014-posterWritten in Dust (Dir. Gareth Rees, 2014) (Screening format – DCP,  82mins) Set in Beijing during the most intense period of urbanisation the world has ever known, Written in Dust tells the story of three young rural migrant friends (Bin Ba, Lilly Guo and Nick Ma) who seek the new life that modern Beijing promises.  But as they strive for money and struggle in an unfulfilled love triangle, their different desires lead to moral corruption, betrayal, theft and ultimately murderous tragedy. Find out more at IMDb   With  live musical accompaniment (Chinese/British fusion) by Ling Peng (on erhu, guzheng and xun) and Andy Middleton (on keyboards and guitar).  John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket,  Suffolk  Link

19 AprilVampyr1932

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – DVD,  75mins) (Technically, Dryer’s first sound film but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favorable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Flatpack Film FestivalWith live  musical accompaniment by Minima and Stephen Horne.   Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham   Link

20 April

South West Silents present an evening of silent Shakespeare.  Further details TBC.  Lansdown Pub, Bristol   Link

22 April

BlackmailUSWindowCardOndraBlackmail (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1929)    (Screening format – DCP, 84mins)   Blackmail marked a landmark in British cinema when released in June 1929, hailed as ‘the first British all-talkie film’.  Director Alfred Hitchcock took full advantage of the new technical opportunities which sound offered. But the film was also released in a silent version, and to this day some critics consider this version a superior film. Presented in its original silent form with live piano accompaniment, Blackmail is a wonderful study of all things Hitchcockian: a blonde heroine in jeopardy, a surprise killing, some brilliantly manipulated suspense, and a last-reel chase around a familiar public landmark (in this case, the British Museum).  Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Seamas Carey.   The Poly, Falmouth  Link

23 April

AdrianbrunelThe Roaring Twenties: A Celebration of 1920s British Silent Comedy  (Dir. Various) (Screening format – not known) We’re all familiar with the classic American silent film stars of the 1920s.  But what was happening here in Britain?  This selection of rare British silent comedies includes master parodist Adrian Brunel – a forerunner to Peter Cook and Monty Python – and films inspired by the work of AA Milne and PG Wodehouse. (No specific film titles yet).   Presented as part of the London Comedy Film Festival (LOCO).  Introduced by BFI Silent Film curator Bryony Dixon. With live musical accompaniment by Lucky Dog Picturehouse.   BFI Southbank, London  (No link yet)

Girl-Shy-4_webGirl Shy (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, 1924) (Screening format – DVD, 77mins)  Harold Lloyd is forever enshrined as the fella who dangled from a clock in Safety Last (1923). That iconic moment often overshadows his other works of genius, and Girl Shy – made a year later – certainly qualifies as genius. Lloyd stars as a tailor’s apprentice with a terrible stutter. Despite being cripplingly shy around women, he writes a book brazenly titled The Secret of GirlShy_originalLove Making. When he bumps into a lady who believes his manuscript to be a work of truth, he only has one thing on his mind – but in order to get the girl, he has to overcome her bigamist boyfriend. One of the funniest comedies of the silent era, Girl Shy also boasts the greatest race-to-the-rescue sequence in film history. And if you recognise the ending, you’ll now know where Mike Nichols got his inspiration for The Graduate’s famous wedding scene.  Find out more at silentfilm.org      Presented as part of the Flatpack Film FestivalWith live  musical accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.  Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – Edwardian Tea Rooms, Birmingham  Link

Wunder der Schopfung 2_600Wunder der Schöpfung (Dir. Hanns Walter Kornblum, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 92mins)  This ground-breaking silent documentary is an extraordinary and unique document outlining human knowledge about the world and the universe in the 1920s,  literally translated as ‘Wonder of Creation’. Fifteen special effects experts and nine cameramen were involved in the production of this beautifully tinted and toned film which combines documentary scenes, historical documents, fiction elements, animation scenes and educational impact.  Find out more at  filmmuseum.com    Presented as part of the Outskirts 2016 Festival  with live performance from acclaimed jazz duo Herschel 36 of a new electronic/acoustic soundscape score.   The Bridge, Westerhouse Rd, Glasgow      Link

  24 April

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known.  78 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at Wikipedia    Presented as part of a Barbican season on German Expressionism in Extreme.  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand and John Sweeney.  Barbican, London  Link

Sunrise_vintageSunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – DVD, 95mins)   A woman vacationing from the City (Margaret Livingston) lingers in a lakeside town. After dark, she goes to a farmhouse where the Man (George O’Brien) and the Wife (Janet Gaynor) live. She whistles from the fence outside. The Man is torn, but finally departs, leaving his wife with the memories of better times when they were deeply in love. The man and woman kiss passionately. She wants him to sell his farm and join her in the city. Then she suggests that he solve the problem of his wife by drowning her….   Considered by some to be the greatest film of the silent era, Sunrise is at very least a combination of artistic triumph and artistic enigma. Perhaps the finest example of the melding of German visual design with American studio production techniques, Sunrise is an oddly disconnected story that still manages to reach its audience with its tremendous emotional undercurrent. Find out more at Wikipedia With live musical accompaniment by Seamus Carey.  Hay Studio,  Trenewth, nr Wadebridge, Cornwall   Link

Felix-paceFelix the Cat et al (Dir. Various)  (Screening format – 9.5/16mm)   Cartoon Rock brings together celluloid and cereal. Kick-starting a day at the Flatpack Festival dedicated to proper silent film, this should be a treat for all the family with a very rare chance to see some old classics. Expect episodes of Felix the Cat, Bonzo the Dog, and a Chaplin crowd-pleaser(no further details)  to finish things off.  Presented as part of the Flatpack Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.  Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – Gas Hall, Birmingham  Link

An Introduction To Silent Film (Dir. Various)  (Screening format – not known, 90mins)  Family screening with a selection of comedy classics plus a live introduction, music and magic.  A look at silent comedy and slapstick techniques, how music affects what makes us laugh, all seen through the skills of some of the greatest names in British and Hollywood silent film (No film details as yet). Presented as part of the London Comedy Film Festival (LOCO).  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

Faust_1926_MGM_poster_US_ReleaseFaust (Dir. F W Murnau, 1926) (Screening format – Blu-Ray, 107mins)    The demon Mephisto (Emil Jannings) has a bet with an Archangel that he can corrupt a righteous man’s soul and destroy in him what is divine. If he succeeds, the Devil will win dominion over earth. The Devil delivers a plague to the village where Faust, an elderly alchemist, lives. Though he prays to stop the death and starvation, nothing happens.  Faust then makes a trial, 24-hour bargain with the Devil.  At first, Faust uses his new power to help the people of the village, but they shun him when they find out that he cannot face a cross. They stone him and he takes shelter in his home. He then makes a further deal with Mephisto, who gives Faust back his youth and offers him earthly pleasures and a kingdom, in return for his immortal soul. Faust soon grows weary of debauchery and yearns for “Home”. Here Faust falls in love with an innocent girl, Gretchen (Camilla Horn), who is charmed into loving Faust by a golden chain left by the Devil. How can Faust escape from his deal with the Devil.  Faust was Murnau’s last German film, and directly afterward he moved to the US under contract to Fox to direct Sunrise (1927) butbefore sailing for Hollywood, Murnau used every trick in the toy-box to transform Goethe’s words into thrilling cinema, the film effortlessly taking us from gothic horror to bucolic comedy and back again. For more information see silentfilm.org   Presented as part of the Flatpack Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Matt Eaton and Gareth Jones.  The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham  Link

28mm projector28mm: Pathe’s Forgotten Film Gauge   Initially designed by Arthur Roussel after the Pathe Company decided to venture into the home entertainment market, the 28mm projector is something of a rarity these days. Available domestically from the early 1910s, it was also the projector-of-choice in schools, and by 1920 machines were flying off the shelves. However, with the arrival of 16mm and 9.5mm its days were numbered, and by 1930 it had become a footnote in movie history. Resurrecting the magic of this unique film gauge,  28mm aficionados Chris Bird and Brian Giles will share a programme of prints from their collection. Treats in store include a snippet by pioneering animator Emile Cohl, classic railroad drama The Raid on Train 522, French trick film The Magic Screen, and the only known print (in the world!) of Harold Lloyd’s That’s Him. Presented as part of the Flatpack Film Festival.   Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s Gas Hall, Birmingham  Link 

LastlaughposterThe Last Laugh (Dir.  F W Murnau, 1924) (Screening format – DVD, 90mins)  The Last Laugh is on the face of it an everyday tale – a proud doorman (Emil Jannings) must come to terms with ageing and a humiliating demotion to lavatory attendant. He tries to conceal his demotion from his friends and family but, to his shame, he is discovered. His friends, thinking he has lied to them all along about his prestigious job, taunt him mercilessly while his family rejects him out of shame. The man, shocked and in incredible grief, returns to the hotel to sleep in the washroom where he works. The only person to be kind towards him is the night watchman, who covers him with his coat as he falls asleep. Murnau and crew still make it feel like an epic however, constructing an enormous sound-stage hotel and tethering the camera to a wheelchair and even a swing to get the required sense of momentum. It is the most famous example of the short-lived Kammerspielfilm or “chamber-drama” genre. It is noted for its near-absence of the inter-titles that characterise most silent films; moreover, none of the inter-titles in The Last Laugh represent spoken dialogue.  Find out more at silentfilm.org      Presented as part of the Flatpack Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by electronic duo Les Trucs.  Birmingham and Midland Institute – Lyttelton Theatre, Birmingham  Link

Manxman posterManxman (Dir.   Alfred Hitchcock,1929) (Screening format – DCP, 84mins)  Despite their differing backgrounds, fisherman Pete (Carl Brisson) and lawyer Philip (Malcolm Keen) have been life long friends on the Isle of Man. Pete wants to marry Kate (Anny Ondra) , the landlord’s daughter at the local inn, however Kate’s father (Randle Ayrton)  doesn’t think he is good enough. Pete leaves the island to seek his fortune abroad and entrusts Kate to Philip, but they start to be attracted to each other.  This was the last silent film directed by Hitchcock. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment   by harpist Elizabeth Jane Baldry.   Electric Picture House Cinema, Wotton-Under-Edge. Gloucs.  Link

Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 95mins)   A woman vacationing from the City (Margaret Livingston) lingers in a lakeside town. After dark, she goes to a farmhouse where the Man (George O’Brien) and the Wife (Janet Gaynor) live. She whistles from the fence Kevin_Brownlow_1outside. The Man is torn, but finally departs, leaving his wife with the memories of better times when they were deeply in love. The man and woman kiss passionately. She wants him to sell his farm and join her in the city. Then she suggests that he solve the problem of his wife by drowning her….   Considered by some to be the greatest film of the silent era, Sunrise is at very least a combination of artistic triumph and artistic enigma. Perhaps the finest example of the melding of German visual design with American studio production techniques, Sunrise is an oddly disconnected story that still manages to reach its audience with its tremendous emotional undercurrent. Find out more at Wikipedia     Presented as part of an evening with renowned silent film historian Kevin Brownlow (right) who will discuss the making of his landmark 13 part documentary TV series for Thames Television in 1980 entitled, HOLLYWOOD and include clips from the programme featuring famous silent stars and directors.  The Riverside Cinema, Woodbridge, Suffolk  Link

25 April

220px-AnnaMayWong2Lotus Blossoms and Dragon Ladies: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong.  Author, filmmaker, critic and curator Jasper Sharp details the life and work  of movie legend Anna May Wong (1905–1961).  The world’s first Chinese-American film star  uncomfortably straddled two cultures. Born in California, she was regularly cast in stereotypical roles of long-suffering, submissive Oriental women, doomed prostitutes and seductive but deadly temptresses. America’s strict anti-miscegenation laws limited her chances of playing romantic leads against Caucasian actors, while her racy persona both onscreen and off did little to endear her to the Chinese. And yet against these odds, Anna May Wong sustained a career spanning four decades. Presented by the Last Tuesday Society  The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London  E8  Link

28 April

220px-Frau_im_MondFrau im Mond (aka Woman in the Moon) (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 163mins)   Helius (Willy Fritsch) is an entrepreneur with an interest in space travel. He seeks out Professor Mannfeldt (Klaus Pohl), a visionary who has written a treatise on the likelihood of finding gold on the moon, only to be ridiculed by his peers. Helius recognizes the value of Mannfeldt’s work, but a gang of evil businessmen have also taken an interest in Mannfeldt’s theories.  They steal Professor Mannfeldt’s research   then present an ultimatum: either they are included in the project, or they will sabotage it.  Once the rocket expedition reaches the moon tensions mount and violence erupts.  It soon becomes clear that not everyone will make it home…. This was Lang’s final silent film, written in collaboration with his wife at the time, Thea von Harbou.  It is widely regarded as one of the first ‘serious’ science fiction films,  with many details uncannily prescient of contemporary space travel.  Indeed, German rocket scientist Hermann Oberth was credited as an advisor on the film.  Find out more at IMDb.com   With live and unique ‘cine-mix’ musical accompaniment by Techno pioneer Jeff Mills.  Coronet Cinema, Elephant & Castle, London   Link

The somme 1927The Somme (Dir. M.A. Wetherall, 1927) (Screenin g format – not known, 109mins)  Marking this year’s centenary of the battle of the Somme, this 1920s reconstruction of the battle mixes actuality footage and dramatic re-construction. In some scenes veterans re-enact their own experiences for the cameras.  This docu-drama was made at Isleworth Studios by New Era films using a number of  the crew who had masies marriagepreviously worked on a successful series of documentary reconstructions of First World War battles produced by British Instructional Films.   Although M A Wetherell received the directors credit, much of the film was probably directed by writers Boyd Cable and Geoffery Barkas (the latter going on to co-direct with Anthony Asquith the brilliant wartime drama Tell England (1931) about the Gallipoli campaign and in World War II becoming the Director of Camouflage in the Middle East theatre of operations). Find out more at nytimes.com  Presented as part of the British Silent Film Festival Symposium. With live musical accompaniment.  Kings College, London  Link

Maisie’s Marriage (aka Married Love ) (Dir. Alexander Butler/Walter Summers, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 95mins)  A fireman’s fiancée, ejected by her father, becomes a maid and finds small families happier than large ones. This notorious drama of family life was co-written by the inimical campaigner for birth control and author of Married Love, Marie Stopes. The association with Stopes – at that time involved in a highly publicised libel case – caused some headaches for the censor, and the film was advertised in some quarters as ‘For Adults Only’. Additionally, BBFC made the filmmakers change the title from Married Love to remove all association with her campaign.  Find out more at IMDb.com  Presented as part of the British Silent Film Festival Symposium. With live musical accompaniment.  Kings College, London  Link

Knocknagow (aka  The Homes of Tipperary) (Dir. Fred O’Donovan, 1918) (Screening format – not known, 80mins)  The agent of an absentee landlord resorts to underhand means in order to evict tenants from land that knocknagow_still_2could be more profitably used for cattle in post-famine Tipperary. Adapted from the 1879 novel The Homes of Tipperary by Charles J. Kickham  and premiered in Dublin on the second anniversary of the Easter Rising, from its opening intertitle, “Produced by the Film Company of Ireland in Ireland by Irish Men and Women”, Knocknagow became a key patriotic production and  proved inspirational stuff for nationalist Irish audiences during the War of Independence.    Directed by Fred O’Donovan, an actor at the Abbey Theater, Knocknagow was one of the first major films to be produced in Ireland, and is the earliest surviving film made in Ireland – all earlier productions being believed destroyed in the 1916 Rising.  Find out more at screeningthepast.com  Presented as part of the British Silent Film Festival Symposium. With live musical accompaniment.  Kings College, London  Link

29 April

Big_Business_1929Big Business (Dir. James W Horne, 1929) and Liberty (Dir.  Leo McCarey, 1929)   (Screening format – not known, 19/20 mins)       In Big Business, catering to the under-developed market of door-to-door sales of Christmas trees in California, Stan and Ollie encounter a scrooge of a potential customer. As hardened salesmen they refuse to give in, resulting in a melee of destruction, flying pine needles and a slapstick L&H_Liberty_1929punchline which will literally blow your face off!   Find out more at Wikipedia.org  Liberty sees Stan and Ollie as fugitives on the run as prison escapees. In their haste to change into street clothes, they wind up wearing each others pants, and a crab accidentally finds its way into Stan’s trousers, causing him problems with nipping. A cop chases them to a construction site, where they escape by riding an elevator to the top floor of an unfinished building. Atop the girders, 20 stories in the air, they finally switch trousers, contend with a crab, and manage to nearly fall to their death a few dozen times.  Find out more at IMDb.com  Presented as part of the Herne Hill Free Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Herne Hill Railway Station, Herne Hill, London SE24  Link

30 April

800px-Hunchback_of_Notre_DameHunchback of Notre Dame (Dir.Wallace Worsley, 1923) (Screening format – not known)  The story is set in 1482 Paris, Clopin (Ernest Torrence) buys Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) from gypsies. Dancing in the square at the festival, Esmeralda is spotted by Jehan (Brandon Hurst). When he sets Quasimodo (Lon Chaney) out to kidnap Esmeralda, Phoebus (Norman Kerry), Captain of the Guards, rescues her and captures Quasimodo. The courts sentence Quasimodo to be flogged, and the only one who will give him water while he is tied in the square is Esmeralda.  Phoebus is stabbed in the back by Jehan. Esmeralda is accused of stabbing him and sentenced to hang. When Esmeralda again rejects Jehan, he tells her that Phoebus is dead, even though it is not true. Clopin, Phoebus and Quasimodo all try different ways to save Esmeralda. The film elevated Chaney, already a well-known character actor, to full star status in Hollywood, and also helped set a standard for many later horror films.  Find out more at Wikipedia  With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  Derby Cathedral, Derby  Link