June 2016

Keaton - Sherlock juniorIvor Novello The rat 1925man womanchaplin - modern times

 

 

 

 

 

1 June

ace of hearts 2Ace of Hearts (Dir. Wallace Worsley, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 75mins)   A secret vigilante society’s nine members  meet to decide the fate of a wealthy businessman  known as “The Man Who Has Lived Too Long” and vote to dispatch him with a bomb concealed in a cigar case. Members Forrest (John Bowers) and Farallone (Lon Chaney) are both in love with the sole woman in the group, Lilith (Leatrice Joy) but she is completely devoted to the “Cause”. Lilith deals playing cards, whoever receives the ace of hearts is to carry out the assassination. When Forrest is chosen, Lilith offers to marry him  if it will give him courage. Forrest accepts, to Farallone’s distress. The next morning, Lilith has been transformed by her love. She begs Forrest not to go through with the assassination. He replies that he is honor-bound to go through with it.  Can Lilith prevent Forrest carrying out his mission.  What will Farallone do?…Find out more at  imdb.com    A Kennington Bioscope presentation.  With live musical accompaniment.     Cinema Museum, Lambeth   Link

 

2 June

Das-Cabinet-des-Dr-Caligari-posterThe Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – DCP,  77 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.org    BFI Southbank, London  Link      (NB   Also screening at this venue on 5 & 7 June, with live piano accompaniment)

3 JuneDiary323

Diary of a Lost Girl  (Dir. G W Pabst, 1929) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVDLouise Brooks plays Thymian Henning, an unprepossessing young woman seduced by an unscrupulous and mercenary employee of her father.  After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectation for marriage, the baby is stripped from her care and Thymian is placed in a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of higher learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic fantasies.  A masterpiece of the German silent cinema whose reputation has only increased over time and the final pairing of director Pabst with screen icon Brooks.  Find out more at IMDb   With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza.  Playhouse, Leominster  Herefordshire   Link

4 June

AnnaMayWongPiccadillyCoverPiccadilly (Dir. E A Dupont, 1929)  (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD,  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.  Assembly Rooms, Ludlow  Link

FotorCreatedYorkshire Silents (Dir. Various)   (Screening format – not known)  A selection of short silent films with live piano accompaniment, including some of the earliest examples of hand-drawn animation and special effects, Yorkshire-made shorts by Holmfirth’s Bamforth and Company, and a two-reel comedy starring Marion Byron and Anita Garvin, the female Laurel and Hardy of the 1920s.  Yorkshire Silents presents silent film with live music in Yorkshire and is also producing the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival which takes place this July in Leeds, Sheffield, Holmfirth, Doncaster, Halifax, Scarborough, Saltburn-on-Sea, Leyurn, Helmsley, Hebden Bridge and Hull.  Slung Low,  The Holbeck Underground Ballroom, Holbeck, Leeds.    Link

5 June

Berthold_Bartosch_(1932)_The_Idea_stillThe Idea (Dir. Berthold Bartosch, 1932) (Screening format – not known. 25 mins) + rare silent animation films.  The Idea (L’Idée) is a French animated film by Austro-Hungarian filmmaker Bartosch based on the 1920 wordless novel of the same name by Flemish artist Frans Masereel. The protagonist is a naked woman who represents a thinker’s idea; as she goes out into the world, the frightened authorities unsuccessfully try to cover up her nudity. A man who stands up for her is executed, and violent suppression by big business greets a workers’ revolution she inspires. Bartosch spent two years animating the film, initially in collaboration with Masereel. He used complicated techniques with multiple layers of superimposed animation to create the intricately detailed film. The film features an electronic music score by Swiss composer Arthur Honegger, possibly the earliest in film history.  Find out more at Wikipedia  Today’s presentation features live musical accompaniment by musicians from the Guildhall School’s Electronic Music Studio.  Barbican, London  Link

shipman 2Girl From God’s Country  (Dir. Karen Day, 2015)  (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD, c60mins)  The UK Premiere of a documentary about silent film director, star and pioneer Nell Shipman (1892 – 1970)  who was a Canadian actress, author and screenwriter, producer, director, and animal trainer.  She was an early female pioneer in Hollywood,  best known for her work dramatising James Oliver Curwood stories and for portraying strong, adventurous women. In 1919, she and her producer husband, Ernest Shipman, made the most successful silent film in Canadian history, Back to God’s Country.  This documentary includes clips of her work and is being screened as part of the 120 Years Of Women In Film discussion event.  Find out more at  gcgproductions.com    Presented as part of the Worthing World of Words (WOW) Festival 2016.  The Connaught Studio, Worthing, West Sussex Link

Steamnboat_Bill_Jr_posterSteamboat Bill Jnr (Dir. Charles Reisner/Buster Keaton, 1928)  (Screening format – not known, 70mins)  In Steamboat Bill Jnr, a crusty river boat captain hopes that his long departed son’s return will help him compete with a business rival.  Unfortunately, William Canfield Jnr (Buster Keaton) is an effete college boy.  Worse still, he has fallen for the business rival’s daughter (Marion Byron).  Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic.  For more information see IMDb.com  Presented  by Neil Brand as part of  an evening devoted to Buster Keaton with a range of clips, anecdotes and a classic main feature all with live musical accompaniment. Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 Link

8 June

Captain_blood_ver2pampered-youth-1925An Evening of Vitagraph 9.5mm films from Kevin Brownlow’s personal collection (Screening format – 9.5mm)  The Vitagraph output of the 1920s has been completely overlooked because most of the films have been lost. Historian  Andrew Erish is researching Vitagraph. This evening Kevin and the KenBio team are going to show him as many as they can of the 9.5mm Vitagraph releases – invariably termed by Pathescope  ‘A Warner Production’, since WB had taken the company over.  They include a 1924 version of THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, a spectacular version of CAPTAIN BLOOD and Victor McLaglen’s first American film, THE BELOVED BRUTE. Vitagraph was largely run by Englishmen and seems to have been a very pleasant studio to work for. Come and see if their work deserves to be revived!  Ace projectionist Dave Locke will be operating an enhanced projection system for a brighter viewing experience.  They plan to screen as many films as possible so it will be long evening, but it may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some classic silents!  Don’t miss it!!  A Kennington Bioscope presentation.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

9 June

Phantom_of_the_Opera_(1925_film)Phantom of the Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – not known) Beneath the sewers of the Paris Opera House dwells a masked figure. He is the Phantom, a hideously disfigured composer whose dream it to turn chorus singer Christine into a diva. Lon Chaney, the “Man of a Thousand Faces”, dominates this classic adaptation of the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this one of the great classics of American silent film.  Find out more at  Wikipedia  With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Picturehouse Central, London  Link

10 June

Lowland-CinderellaW2A Lowland Cinderella  (aka A Highland Maid)  (Dir.Sidney Morgan, 1921) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD, 59mins) A 1920’s take on the Cinderella fairy tale with Joan Morgan as Hester Sterling who must try and overcome the evil schemes of Dr Torpican to find true love.  An adaptation of S. R. Crockett’s novel by Sidney Morgan, made at his Shoreham Beach Studio in the summer of 1921, the first and only film studio complex in West Sussex. The Shoreham studios operated between 1919 and 1923,  run by Stanley Morgan, at a site near to the Church of the Good Shepherd.  Morgan made seventeen features in the studios for the British film market. Joan Morgan, Sidney’s daughter, became the star of the studio. She died in 2004 aged 99.  Find out more at  sasesearch.brighton.ac.uk    Presented as part of the Worthing World of Words (WOW) Festival 2016. Nissen Hut @ Shoreham Fort, Shoreham-by-Sea West Sussex  Link    

11 June

making tracks 2Making Tracks/Consequences (Dir. Various, 2016) (Screening format – DCP, 120mins)  Whirlygig Cinema’s Making Tracks is a groundbreaking event that re-imagines short films with live scores performed making tracks 1by The Cabinet of Living Cinema. By fusing moving image with live music and foley, Making Tracks offers a stimulating platform for emerging film talent and an opportunity to join filmmakers in hearing these new soundtracks for the first time.  This will be followed by the World Premiere of Consequences, a 30-minute film-based cabaret-style event, with a spirit of fun and hand-made creativity. Created by Kingston University Graphic Design and Dance students, with live music by The Cabinet of Living Cinema. Get ready for a playful historic dash from the dawn of film to now, presented as a mixture of film and live performance, highlighting chosen moments in British moving image media, popular culture and dance.  Find out more at whirlygigcinema.com  Presented by the Whirlygig Cinema as part of FRAME:  The London Dance Film Festival.  Rose Theatre, Kingston upon Thames, London   Link

L&H_Liberty_1929Liberty   (Dir. Leo McCarey, 1929)   (Screening format – not known, 20mins)   In one of Stan and Ollie’s finest silent shorts, they are 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 by the Sons of the Desert, the Laurel and Hardy Society as part of the programme at their quarterly meeting.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London SE11  Link

12 June 

Signal_Tower_lobby_cardThe Signal Tower (Dir. Clarence Brown, 1924) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD, 70mins)   Dave  Taylor (Rockliffe Fellowes), tower signalman on a mountain railroad, takes in his relief man, Joe Standish (Wallace Beery) , as a boarder. During a storm, Standish becomes drunk and makes advances to Dave’s wife, Sally (Virginia Valli). Although warned of his wife’s predicament by his son (Frankie Darro), Dave is compelled to stay on the job when a runaway freight endangers a passenger train. Can Dave ditch the runaway to save the express and will Sally escape from Standish’s clutches.  Some great location shooting, a spectacular train crash, Wallace Beery at his sleaziest, a cute dog and a great performance from six year old Frankie Darro.  What more could you want. Director Clarence Brown went on to become one of MGM’s top directors and Garbo’s favourite, directing her in seven features.  Find out more at   IMDb.com    The film is preceded by a silent film music masterclass with Neil Brand and a talk by renowned silent film historian Kevin Brownlow about his work.  Presented as part of the Worthing World of Words (WOW) Festival 2016       The Denton Lounge, Worthing Pier,  Worthing, West  Sussex  Link

15 June

Frank_Borzage_001Frank Borzage Silent Film Night   Co-founder of Bristol Silents Norman Taylor returns with a night celebrating the work of the great silent film director Frank Borzage (1894 – 1962).  Borzage switched from acting to directing in 1916, bringing to the screen a dedication to romanticism that became his trademark. Although undoubtedly sentimental–and criticized by some for it–his films, from “Humoresque” (1920) through “Moonrise” (1948), were not only undeniably popular but, at their best, were also the moving, highly artful and visually enthralling work of an instantly recognizable filmmaker, a genuine auteur. Borzage was a pioneer in the use of techniques, such as soft focus, that have become standards of romantic film-making. Find out more at  imdb.com   Presented by South West Silents  The Lansdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol  Link

16 June

The_Vagabond_(1916)The Vagabond (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1916)  The Immigrant (Dir. Charlie Chaplin,1917)  The Cure (Dir. Charlie Chaplin,1917) (Screening format – Blu-Ray, 24/22/31  mins  ) All three of these films come from Chaplin’s Mutual Film Corporation period.  He signed for Mutual at the end of 1915 for a salary of $10,000 per week and in the next two years he made 12 films for them.  With their careful construction, these films are considered by Chaplin scholars to be among his finest work.  Later in life, Chaplin referred to his Mutual years as the happiest period of his career.   In The Vagabond, after precipitating a bar room brawl, the Tramp (Chaplin)  encounters the beautiful, though bedraggled, Edna (Edna Purviance) and entertains her with his violin. She has been abducted and abused by the gypsies. Charlie comes to her rescue and knocks her tormentors out, before riding off with her CC_The_Immigrant_1917in a commandeered cart. But will the intimacy  between them be threatened by a love rival?  Find out more at wikipedia.orgIn   The Immigrant the little Tramp (Chaplin) is on a  steamer crossing the Atlantic.  He  finds himself in assorted mischief while, among other things, playing cards, eating in a mess hall, and avoiding seasick passengers. He befriends another immigrant (Edna The Cure_1917_PosterPurviance) who is traveling to America with her ailing mother.  Upon arrival in America, the Tramp and the woman part company. Later, hungry and broke, the tramp finds money on the street.   He enters a restaurant,  orders a meal and is reunited with the woman. But then he discovers the money is gone…  Find out more at IMDb.comIn The Cure Chaplin plays a drunkard who checks into a  health spa to dry out, but brings along a big suitcase full of alcohol. He encounters a beautiful young woman (Edna Purviance) who encourages him to stop drinking but his alcohol ends up getting everyone drunk.   Will this jeopardise his chances with the beautiful woman. Find out more at wikipedia.org  Presented by Yorkshire Silents as a taster for the first Yorkshire Silent Silent Film Festival coming in July.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley and Jonathan Best.  Chapel Square, Halifax, West Yorks.  Link

General.WEBThe General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 79mins) Johnnie (Buster Keaton) loves his train (“The General”) and his fiancee Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack) . When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. At the time of its initial release, The General wasn’t well received by critics and audiences alike but the film has gradually been reevaluated, and is now considered one of the greatest films of all times. Find out more at silentfilm.org  No.6 Cinema, Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth   (See – www.no6cinema.co.uk/films/the-general  )   

17 June

shooting-stars-01Shooting Stars (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1927) (Screening format – Blu-Ray, 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 (Annette Benson) is more interested in what’s happening on the other set (particularly in its lead) than in her husband and co-star (Brian Aherne). Acknowledged toshooting-stars-650 be the debut of rising talent Anthony Asquith (Underground (1928), A Cottage on Dartmoor  (1929) ), it weaves together on and off screen stories with energy, flair and considerable bravado, affording rare, behind-the-scene glimpses. With stunning photography and gripping storytelling, this rarely seen masterpiece of British silent film has just been restored to its original 1920s sparkle by a team of experts at the National Film Archive and this is the Northern premiere screening.  Find out more at  IMDb.com    Presented by Yorkshire Silents as a taster for the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival coming in July.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best .  Chapel Square, Halifax, West Yorks.  Link  

Silent film evening.  Titles to be announced.  With live organ accompaniment by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie.  The Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn, Gwynned, Wales    Link

nosferatuNosferatu  (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922)  (Screening format  – not known  95 mins)  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 Brazilian composer and pianist Tony Berchmans.  Hexham Abbey, Hexham  Link

18 June

Nanook_of_the_north posterNanook of the North (Dir. Robert J Flaherty, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 79mins) Nanook of the North is regarded as the first significant nonfiction feature, made in the days before the term “documentary” had even been coined. The film follows the lives of an Inuit, Nanook, and his family as they travel, search for food, and trade in northern Quebec, Canada. Nanook; his wife, Nyla; and their family are introduced as fearless heroes who endure rigors “no other race” could survive.  As the first nonfiction work of its scale, Nanook of the North was ground-breaking cinema. Although many of the events in the film were staged for the camera and the characters fabricated, it did capture many Nanuk_Port_Harrison_1920authentic details of a culture little-known to outsiders, and was filmed in a remote location under very difficult conditions.  Hailed almost unanimously by critics, the film was a box office success in the United States and abroad. For more detail see silent-volume.blogspot.co.uk   With live musical accompaniment by award-winning Inuit vocalist Tanya Tagaq, known for her intense, evocative style based on traditional throat singing, accompanied by percussionist Jean Martin and violinist Jesse Zubot.  The Forge, London NW1  Link

Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – not known) 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 on the Wurlitzer organ by Mark Latimer   Royalty Cinema. Bowness on Windermere   Link

Jazz mad -PosterJazz Mad (aka The Symphony) (Dir.  F Harmon Weight, 1928) (Screening format – 16mm, 70mins)  Elsa Hausmann (Marian Nixon) would like to marry her suitor, Leo Ostberg (George Lewis) , but she hesitates because her father, a European orchestra conductor (Jean Hersholt) , is unable to sell his music. Hoping to free his daughter to marry, Hausmann takes a job in vaudeville directing a “comedy symphony”.  Leo’s father meets Hausmann at a social gathering shortly after seeing his act and insists that Leo break his engagement. Hausmann develops a nervous disorder under the strain of his misfortune, and his physicians decide that a severe shock will restore his mental balance. Will Hausmann find success enabling his daughter to find happiness.  Find out more at  imdb.com   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

The Head of The Family (Dir. Manning Hayes, 1922) + The Jest (Dir. Fred Paul, 1921) + Barcelona (nfi) (Screening Format – 35mm, 60/?/?  mins) .  For those who so enjoyed A Will  And A Way (1922) and The Boatswain’s Mate (1924) at last year’s Kennington Bioscope Silent Weekend, The Head of the Family is another Manning Hayes adaption of a W W Jacobs short story in which a young sailor, by masquerading as her son, saves a widow from ill-treatment by her bullying second husband, and at the same time marries her daughter. Starring Cynthia Murtagh who appeared in five Manning Hayes/W W Jacobs adaptions and eventually went on to marry Hayes.  Also appearing in a supporting role is Moore Marriot, who went on to greater fame as the Jerimiah Harbottle character in many Will Hay films.  Find out more at bfi.org .      In The Jest, a man whose wife has long ago deserted him seeks her return, but for what purpose?  Find out more at  imdb.com      Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

Hara kiri 1928Hara Kiri (Dir. Marie-Louise Iribe/Henri Debain, 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 93mins) The young French wife (Marie Louise -Iribe) of an Asian diplomat (Constant Remy) leaves her husband to embark on an affair with a Japanese prince (Liao Szi-Yen) causing a scandal  in both communities. This rare film denounces social conventions and prejudices while remaining devoid of clichés about Japanese culture and aesthetics. One of only three films directed by French actress/director  Marie-Louise Iribe before he premature death in 1934.  Find out more at imdb.com    Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

Red_Mill_poster The Red Mill (Dir. Roscoe Arbuckle, 1927) (Screening format – 16mm, 74mins)   Tina (Marion Davis) works as a barmaid at the Red Mill Tavern and is at the mercy of volatile and bad tempered owner, Willem (George Siegmann). Dennis ( Owen Moore) is a visitor to the area and Tina soon falls in love with him. Dennis doesn’t share her feeling and leaves only to return later. He becomes interested in Gretchen (Louise red mill 1927 production shotFazenda) , the Burgomaster’s daughter. However, Gretchen, about to enter into an arranged marriage with the Governor (William Orlamond), is in love with Captain Jacop Van Goop (Karl Dane) . Tina and Gretchen enter into an elaborate masquerade in order to be with the men they each love. The film was scripted by eminent screenwriter Frances Marion.  Supposedly Marion Davis convinced William Randolph Hearst (who was producing the film via his Cosmopolitan Productions company) to hire Arbuckle (working under the name William Goodrich) as director out of feelings of guilt for the negative press coverage in Hearst newspapers which ruined Arbuckle’s career despite his eventual acquittal on rape charges.  Find out more at wikipedia.org     Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

man who laughs poster 2The Man Who Laughs (Dir.  Paul Leni, 1928) (Screening format – 16mm, 110mins) Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt) is the son of an English nobleman.  As punishment for offending King James II, the monarch has  Gwynplaine’s father executed and Gwynplaine disfigured by having a permanent grin cut into his face.  The now homeless Gwynplaine  discovers an abandoned blind baby girl, Dea. The two children are eventually taken in by a traveling showman (Ceasar Gravina).  Years pass and Gwynplaine falls in love man who laughs photowith Dea (Mary Philbin), but refuses to marry her because of his hideous face.  Their travels bring them before the deceased King’s successor, Queen Anne, whose Jester, Barkilphedro (Brandon Hurst) , discovers records which reveal Gwynplaine’s lineage and his rightful inheritance.  Will Gwynplaine ever gain his rightful inheritence and will it cost him the love of Dea.  Adapted from the Victor Hugo novel, The Man Who Laughs was intended by Universal to build on earlier  successes with Gothic adaptions such as The Hunchback of Notre dame (1923) and Phantom of the Opera (1925).  Find out more at  silentfilm.org       Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

19 Junefighting smile 1925

The Fighting Smile (Dir. Jay Marchant, 1925) (Screening format – 35mm, 55mins)  Bill Brandt (Bill Cody), the son  of a rancher returns home after many years to find that his father’s ranch is being plagued by rustlers.  It seems that his old pal Shorty (George Magrill), although working for Bill’s father is in league with the rustlers.  Can Bill gain enough information to bring the rustlers to justice and what will he do about his old friend.  The romantic interest is provided by Gladys Greene, who would go on to achieve super-stardom after changing her name to Jean Arthur.  For more details see  www.imdb   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

Paradise (Dir. Denison Clift, 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 72mins)     A clergyman’s daughter (Betty Balfour) wins £500, and decides to take a holiday on the French Riviera. There she becomes ensared by a foreign fortune hunter (Alexander D’Arcy), but her true love (Joseph Striker) comes and rescues her.   Balfour was the most popular actress in Britain in the 1920s, often known as the British mary Pickford, and in 1927 she was named by the Daily Mirror as the country’s favourite world star. Find out more at bfi.org       Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

sentimental bloke 5sentimental bloke 2The Sentimental Bloke (Dir. Raymond Longford, 1919) (Screening format – DVD, 104mins)  This is an Australian silent based upon a 1915 poem ‘Songs of a Sentimental Bloke’ by C J Dennis in which Arthur Tauchert plays Bill, a larrikin (layabout), who vows to abandon his life of gambling and drinking after a spell in gaol following a police raid. He falls in love with Doreen (Lottie Lyell), who works in a pickle factory, but faces competition from a more sophisticated rival, Stor’ at Coot (Harry Young).  Can Bill resist the call of his old life and make a go of it with Doreen.  The Sentimental Bloke uses inter-titles taken from the original poem written in Australian slang and was a hit when it opened in Australia, breaking all existing box office records . It was also popular in Britain and New Zealand, but did not succeed in the U.S., where test audiences failed to understand the language (and it can provide a sentimental bloke 4challenge for British audiences).  Director Longford and star Lyell were a creative partnership from the earliest days of Australian cinema and their films were both hugely popular and critically praised with The Sentimental Bloke widely considered to be Australia’s finest silent film.  Sadly, few of their films have survived.  Lyell was already suffering from tuberculosis while making The Sentimental Bloke, from which she died in 1925 and Longford never really got over her death, directing only one further film.  Find out more at  gildasattic.com   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

NapoleonNapoleon (Dir. Able Gance, 1929) (Screening format – 9.5mm, 60mins) Renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow talks about and screens a 60 minute version of Gance’s legendary film, released in 9.5mm Pathescope version in 1929 for the British home market.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

cyrano 3Cyrano de Bergerac (Dir. Augusto Ginina, 1923) (Screening format – DVD, 113mins)  Cyrano de Bergerac was an Italian and French collaboration produced by  Unione Cinematographica Italia and released by the French-based Pathe studio. It was the first film version of French dramatist Edmond Rostand’s timeless tragedy of the beautiful Roxanne (Linda Moglia) and the man who loves her anonymously – an expert swordsman more famous for his ugliness, which is accented by an enormous nose.   The film is set during the reign of Louis XIII in 1640 Paris and features the great Romantic hero, Cyrano de Bergerac (Pierre Magnier),as a valiant, brilliant and much admired Gascon guard who’s as well cyrano 1923 1known for his skillful swordplay as for his rapier wit. Cyrano de Bergerac was believed to have been lost until its fortunate rediscovery and restoration in 1996. The film’s re-release was greeted enthusiastically by the film community, largely because of the innovative visual look of the film. Shot in one of the first hand-painted color processes, Pathecolor, Cyrano is one of the few surviving examples of this visually stunning, lyrical technique which required three years of meticulous work applying tinting, toning, stencil coloring and hand-painting to each individual frame.  Find out more at imdb.com    P resented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

three-bad-men-movie-poster-1926-1020206667three bad men 1Three Bad Men (Dir. John Ford, 1926) (Screening format – 35mm, 92mins) Set during a gold rush in Dakota, in the lands previously belonging to the Sioux, the film charts the attempts of the three titular bandits (Tom Santschi, J Farrell MacDonald and Frank Campeau) to escort the daughter (Olive Borden) of the recently deceased mayor across the plains and away from the scheming mind of the local Sheriff (Lou Tellegen). Throughout his career, Ford displayed a preference for setting his dramas against historical backdrops, and the Three Bad Men yet again shows his unmatchable skill in balancing an intimate story with a grand tale. Ford also three-bad-menuses these films to put his own spin on history. In this case it is a vision of the West in which the motivation of the pioneers is fully noble, and misdeeds are usually committed by isolated individuals. And while some of the greed is shown, Ford repeatedly stresses that the true “gold” of the rush was in the richness of the land. Hilarious, eloquent, tragic, grand and moving all at once, Three Bad Men is a fitting farewell to silent westerns for Ford and one that embodies both the innocence of silent cinema and the splendour of Ford’s brand of film-making. Find out more at   imdb.com    P resented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

General.WEBThe General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton, 1926) (Screening format – DCP, 79mins) Johnnie (Buster Keaton) loves his train (“The General”) and his fiancee Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack) . When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. At the time of its initial release, The General wasn’t well received by critics and audiences alike but the film has gradually been reevaluated, and is now considered one of the greatest films of all times. Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link     (NB  Also screening at the same venue on 20 & 21 June)

22 June

AnnaMayWongPiccadillyCoverPiccadilly (Dir. E A Dupont, 1929)  (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD,  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.    Pilton Palais Cinema, Glastonbury Festival, Somerset      Link

23 June

Diary323Diary of a Lost Girl  (Dir. G W Pabst, 1929) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVDLouise Brooks plays Thymian Henning, an unprepossessing young woman seduced by an unscrupulous and mercenary employee of her father.  After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectation for marriage, the baby is stripped from her care and Thymian is placed in a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of higher learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic fantasies.  A masterpiece of the German silent cinema whose reputation has only increased over time and the final pairing of director Pabst with screen icon Brooks.  Find out more at IMDb   With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza.  Pilton Palais Cinema, Glastonbury Festival, Somerset      Link

amleto 1917

Amleto (aka Hamlet) (Dir. , 1917) (Screening format – 35mm, 80mins)   The 1917 silent film Amleto (the Italian name for Hamlet) is regarded as one of the best Shakespeare films in existence and yet, it has hardly been screened since its original run nearly 100 years ago.  In contrast to earlier silent film adaptations of Hamlet, which were often in thrall to the theatrical tradition, Italian director Rodolfi’s  adaptation applies an altogether more cinematic approach. No mere stage play performed before the cameras, it’s distinguished by its consistent sense of the visual – the camera constantly engaged and alert to the nuances of the action. The film also represents an incredibly rare record of one of the most important stage actors of the late 19th and early 20th Century – the Italian born Ruggero Ruggeri – classed amongst the most important actors to play Shakespeare’s Prince of Denmark and one of the pioneering figures in early Italian film and theatre. And although the acting is redolent of the theatre, there is a real sense of place and time – the royal court scenes in particular in which the interrelationships integral to the drama emerge naturally and convincingly – was an incredible feat for a Shakespearean film made at the time.  Don’t miss this very rare screening of one of the cinema’s most celebrated adaptations of one of Shakespeare’s most vital plays.Find out more at  wikipedia.org      Introduced by noted film historian Luke McKernan followed by a Q&A session.  With live piano accompaniment  by Neil Brand.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol Link

 Vormittagsspuk1928-01Vormittagsspuk (aka Ghosts Before Midnight) (Dir. Hans Richter, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 6mins) This film embraces the ideals of Dadism, as it shows a series of nonsensical images tied together by four floating bowler hats, which often transform into something else, and a clock ticking down the time. Some of the images include a man’s bow-tie with a life of its own, a shooting range whose target continually changes from its standard concentric rings to a man’s revolving head, a geometric pattern of guns, a group of men seemingly looking for something, a spool of a water hose, opening and closing windows, a group of people effectively hiding behind a narrow pole, a budding branch, the changing views of men’s faces and the back of women’s heads, human male legs in various movements, men fighting, and rotting smiles. All of this happens before men sit down for breakfast, when the bowlers find their final resting places. Find out more at Archive.org  Presented as part of LonDADA, the world’s first dedicated Dada festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dadaism.   With a live score composed and performed by Vinzenz Stergin.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

24 June

Sunrise_vintageSunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD) 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.  Pilton Palais Cinema, Glastonbury Festival, Somerset      Link

25 JuneHe Who Gets Slapped

He Who Gets Slapped (Dir.  Victor Sjöström (aka Victor Seastrom) , 1924)  (Screening format – not known).   He Who Gets Slapped is the story of a scientist (Lon Chaney) whose happiness is destroyed by a friend (Marc McDermott) who steals not only his wife but also the results of his life’s research. The scientist turns bitter and, in desperation, joins a circus as a clown whose popular act is based on being repeatedly slapped. The clown, now known only as “He” (even his identity has been taken), is slapped whenever he attempts to speak and, with each slap, relives his personal and professional humiliation. Eventually, the clown finds redemption when he falls in love with another circus performer, a pretty young bareback rider named Consuelo (Norma Shearer). The first film to commence production by the He-Who-Gets-Slapped-300x225newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer company (and the first to feature the Leo the Lion MGM logo) , He Who Gets Slapped was a major critical and popular success, propelling forward the careers of Chaney, Shearer and  co-star John Gilbert as well as director Sjöström.  Claims that Bela Lugosi had an uncredited part as a clown in the film have never been substantiated.  Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Brazilian composer and pianist Tony BerchmansThe Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

 

26 June

Silent Film Evening    Film titles to be announced.  Live organ accompaniment by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie  Brentford Musical Museum, Kew,  London   Link

28 June

hamlet-movie-poster-1921-1020683934hamlet 10Hamlet (Dir. Svend Gard/Heinz Schall, 1920)  (Screening format – not known, 73 mins)  Fairly loose but very good adaption of Shakespeare’s play.  Hamlet (Asta Nielson) is a woman forced by her mother to disguise herself as a man.  Danish silent movie-star Nielsen formed her own production company to make this film, inspired by Dr.E P Vining’s 1881 book The Mystery of Hamlet.   Nielson’s performance won praise and further cemented her reputation as an actress transforming movie acting from overt theatricality to a more subtle naturalistic style.  Find out more at   IMDb    The Arts House, Bristol  Link

30 June

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.   Imperial War Museum, London  Link

 


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