West of England

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17 May

Sunrise_originalSunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927)  (Screening format – Blu-Ray/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 Wurlitza.  The Wharf, Tavistock, Devon  Link

18 May

g w pabstlove of jennea neyDie Liebe der Jeanne Ney  (aka The Love of Jeanne Ney or Lusts of the Flesh ) (Dir. G W Pabst, 1927) (Screening format – not known,  100mins)  This film tells the story of a young French woman’s struggle for happiness amid the turbulence of post-WWI Europe. For an act of political betrayal, Jeanne’s father is killed by Andreas (Uno Henning), a young Bolshevik and also Jeanne’s lover. Andreas sends Jeanne (Edith Jehanne) to live with her family in Paris, where he hopes to join her, but he is preceded by the sinister Khalibiev (Fritz Rasp), who pursues Jeanne, proposes marriage to her blind cousin (Brigitte Helm), and murders Jeanne’s uncle, Andreas is accused of the crime and is destined for the guillotine if Jeanne cannot convince Khalibiev to offer testimony in his defense (not realizing the he, in fact, is the Loves of Jeanne Neymurderer). To tell this tangled story of moral chaos and political upheaval, Pabst (Pandora’s Box) utilized a variety of cinematic styles. To appease his producers at UFA studios, he directed much of it in the “American style,” evocative of the Hollywood studio blockbuster.  At other times, Pabst experimented with the avant-garde techniques of Soviet montage, and indulged in the eerie moving camera and shadowy perspectives reminiscent of F.W. Murnau’s classics of German expressionism.   The result is a stunning cinematic experiment that never fails to surprise the viewer as it races towards its exhilarating conclusion.   Find out more at wikipedia.org        South West Silents present an evening looking at the work of G. W. Pabst, introduced by BAFTA Award winning Film Editor Don Fairservice.  The evening includes a screening of one of the great Austrian director’s less celebrated features .  The Lansdown Pub, Bristol    Link

19 May

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) (Screening format – DVD, 45 mins) A film projectionist (Buster Keaton) longs to be a detective, and puts his meager skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing the pocketwatch of his girlfriend (Kathryn McGuire) ‘s father. Although not a popular success on its initial release, the film has come to be recognised as a Keaton classic. Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Seamus Carey.  The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham, Wiltshire  Link

20 May

Sunrise_vintageSunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/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 Wurlitza.  Community Hall, Newton Ferrers, Plymouth   Link