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Yorkshire 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
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 in a commandeered cart. But will the intimacy between them be threatened by a love rival? Find out more at wikipedia.org . In 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 Purviance) 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.com . In 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
Shooting 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 to 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
Nosferatu (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
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