July 2016

StellaDallas.2_originalChaplin_City_Lights_stillLouise Brooks2

 

 

 

  1 July

Peter_Pan_1924_moviePeter Pan (Dir. Herbert Brenon, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 102mins).    This first screen adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic was officially sanctioned by Barrie himself and personally chose the 17-year-old unknown, Betty Bronson, in the role of Peter, over other hopefuls including Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Bronson is perfect as the puckish petulant Pan, whilst Edinburgh-born Ernest Torrence is suitably foppish and villainous as Captain Hook. Look out too for a young Anna May Wong in a cameo appearance as Tiger Lily! Cap it all with charming special effects and camerawork by Oscar winning cinematographer James Wong Howe to make it a magical film experience.  Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival,  with live musical accompaniment by renowned harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry.   Choppards Mission, Holmfirth, West Yorks  Link

Metropolis robotMetropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –not known , 153 mins ) 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. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored so that at last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by organist Darius Battiwalla   Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester  Link

shooting-stars-01Shooting Stars (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 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 .  Find out more at  IMDb.com    The Plaza, Stockport,  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 musical accompaniment by the Berkhamsted Schools Orchestra conducted by Peter Hopkins.  Centenary Theatre, Berkhamsted School, Berkhamsted, Herts  Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by Chetham’s Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Threlfall.  Chethams School of Music, Manchester  Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by the Docklands Sinfonia conducted by Spencer Down.  St Anne’s London E14  Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by the Southend Orchestra 100 conducted by Matthew Andrews   The Forum Big Screen, Elmer Square Southend on Sea  Link 

2 Julylaurel and Hardy

Laurel and Hardy’s Comedy Club (Screeninng format – not known, 60mins) A trio of fabulous Laurel and Hardy comedies for a Saturday morning. Titles to be confirmed.  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley and Jonathan Best.  Hepworth Village Hall, Hepworth, West Yorks    Link

Hindle Wakes (Dir. Maurice Elvey, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 120mins)  In the mill town of Hindle, preparations are being made for the annual summer wakes week holiday. hindle wakesFanny Hawthorn (Brody)  with her friend Mary Hollins (Peggy Carlisle) board the excursion train to Blackpool . Allan Jeffcote (Stuart), son of the owner of the mill in which Fanny works,  travels there by car.In the bustle and throng of Blackpool in peak season, Fanny and Mary meet up with Allan and his friend and enjoy the excitement of the resort as a foursome. Allan and Fanny are attracted to each other, and Allan persuades Fanny to leave Blackpool and instead accompany him for a stay in the more upmarket resort of Llandudno.  When word gets out, Fanny is under pressure to prevent a scandal, but events don’t follow the expected course.    A beautiful, unconventional love story and one of the greatest British silent films ever made, based on the much-loved play by Stanley Houghton and shot on location in Manchester and Blackpool.  Find out more at  imdb.com     Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Hepworth Village Hall, Hepworth, West Yorks     Link

3 July

battle of the somme 3Battle 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 by Bristol Remembering The Real World War One, Bristol Festival of Ideas and Bristol 2014 with live musical accompaniment by distinguished pianist Stephen Horne and percussionist Martin Pyne.  Followed by a panel discussion between David Miller, Professor Of Sociology, University of Bath; Humberto Perez-Blanco, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at UWE and June Hannam, Professor Emeritus of Modern British History, UWE. Chaired by Andrew Kelly, director of Bristol Festival of Ideas and Bristol 2014.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol Link

Vampyr1932Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – not known, 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  With live musical accompaniment by Minima and Stephen Horne.  Cube Cinema, Bristol  Link

Grim_gameThe Grim Game (Dir. Irvin Willat, 1919) (Screening format – 35mm, 71mins)  A gang of men frame  Grim Game.5 ArchiveHarvey Hanford (Harry Houdini) for murder, and also decide to kidnap his fiancée (Ann Forrest). Hanford is quickly apprehended by the police and falsely imprisoned for the crime. Shortly afterward, Hanford escapes and pursues the men who framed him. Will he ever be reunited with his fiancée.  The film unfolds as a series of Houdini’s trademark set-piece stunts and escapes; his tormentors chain him up and imprison him on numerous occasions, only for Hanford to escape. The film concludes with a climactic mid-air collision following an aeroplane pursuit. Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds  Link

Orchids and ermine posterOrchids and Ermine (Dir. Alfred Santell, 1927) (Screening format – 35mm, 69mins)   Pink Watson (Colleen Moore)  dreams of marrying rich. She gets a job as hotel switchboard operator.   An oil millionaire named Tabor (Jack Mulhall) checks in to the hotel and is set upon by gold-diggers. He swaps places with his assistant Hank (Sam Hardy) and poses as a chauffeur. Pink falls for Tabor without knowing of his fortunes  while Hank gets in Orchids and Ermine Coleen Moore and 6 year old Mickey Rooneytrouble under the identity of his employer by charming Pink’s friend Ermintrude (Gwen Lee). Hank quickly learns the downside of the attentions of  gold diggers. Hank advises Tabor on the techniques to seduce a lady, because Tabor has fallen in love with Pink. These tips do not prove to be helpful and she tries to get rid of him in the mass of the New York streets. Will Tabor ever get the girl and will Pink get her millionaire?  Colleen Moore was one of the really great comediennes of the silent era and Orchids and Ermine shows her off at her very best. It was a very young Mickey Rooney’s first feature film (aged six) and also features Hedda Hopper before she went on to become the acid-tongued gossip columnist so beautifully portrayed by Helen Mirren in Trumbo (2016).  Find out more at  silent-volume.blogspot.co.uk    Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds  Link

Wind_(1928)The Wind (Dir Victor Sjostrom, 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 95 mins)  Innocent and naive Letty Mason (Lillian Gish) moves from her Virginia home to Sweet Water on the western prairies to live on the ranch of her cousin Beverly (Edward Earle) , his wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming) and their three children. Letty quickly learns how inhospitable the environment in Sweet Water is, the most obvious feature being the Lilian Gish - The Windincessant wind. But equally inhospitable are the unrefined way the people in Sweet Water live to which she is unaccustomed, and Cora, who believes Letty has come to steal Beverly away from her. As a result, Cora orders Letty out of her and Bev’s house. With no money, Letty is forced to accept one of the marriage proposals she receives, from Lige Hightower (Lars Hanson), a man who she does not love. But greater terrors loom and the incessant wind brings with it the prospect of madness.   Despite being a critical and popular failure on its release, The Wind is now considered a classic, featuring one of Gish’s greatest performances. But it marked the end of an era being the last silent film starring Gish, the last directed by Sjostrom, and the last major silent released by MGM.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org     Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds  Link

UnchienandalouposterUn Chien Andalou (aka The Andalusian Dog) (Dir. Luis Bunuel, 1929) + Vormittagsspuk (aka  Ghosts Before Breakfast)   (Dir. Hans Richter, 1928 ) + L’Etoile De Mer (aka The Sea Star) (Dir. Man Ray, 1928   )  (Screening format – not known,  17 /9  /17    mins )  Fledging director Luis Bunuel and painter Salvadore Dali create in Un Chien Andalou the ultimate surrealist film, which is essentially a barrage of striking and irrational images designed to shock and provoke. During the course of the film, we witness a close-up of a woman’s eye being slashed open with a razor; a man dragging a piano, two bishops, and a pair of rotting asses across a room; ants swarming around a hole in a man’s palm; and sundry severed limbs and gratuitous slayings.  Buñuel made clear throughout his writings that, between Dalí and himself, the only rule for the writing of the script was: “No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted.” He also stated: “Nothing, in the film, symbolises anything. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis.”  Find out more at  wikipedia.org    Ghosts Before Breakfast embraces the ideals of Dadism, as it shows a series of nonsensical images tied together by vorfour 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  L’Etoile De Mer bears more than a passing resemblance to Un chien Andalou.  It was adapted from Robert Desnos’ poem La Place de L Etoile. To Ray the starfish represented the embodiment of a lost love. Both Desnos and Man Ray man ray starfish 1928thought that the starfish inhabited liquid depths as well as heavenly reaches,  a surrealistic thinking that appealed to Man Rays affinity for vague objects. The film stared his wife Kiki and is about a woman and a man who drift apart from one another. One of the film’s most interesting aspects is that almost all of the scenes  are shot either off a mirror  or through diffused and textured glass emphasising the fragile nature of love between the lead characters. L Etoile de Mer expressed Man Rays doubts about being able to hold on to Kiki. In the end his worries proved to be true as he and his wife separated just after the opening of the film in Paris.  Find out more at IMDb.com        Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds  Link 

5 July

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see 1 July above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by the Chetham’s Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Threlfall   Manchester Cathedral, Manchester   Link 

6 July

nosferatuNosferatu  (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922)  (Screening format  – Blu-Ray 2013 Restoration  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 Dmytro Morykit  Wilton’s Music Hall, London  Link

Buster_keaton_one_week_posterAdventurer_(film) chaplinOne Week (Dir. Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, 1920) +  The Boat (Dir. Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, 1921) + The Adventurer (Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1917 ) (Screening format – not known,  19/25/31mins)   One Week  involves two newlyweds, Keaton and Sybil Seely, who receive a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift. The house can be built, supposedly, in “one week”. But a rejected suitor has secretly re-numbers the packing crates creating chaos.  For more information see  imdb.com   In The Boat Buster is married with two children  and has built a large boat  inside his home. When he BOAT_LOBBY_CARD_Buster Keatonfinishes and decides to take the boat out to sea, he discovers it is too large to fit through the door. But that’s just the start of his problems.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org    In The Adventurer, Chaplin’s  little tramp plays an escaped convict on the run from prison guards. He falls into favour with a wealthy family after he saves a young lady (Edna Purviance) from drowning, but her suitor (Eric Campbell) does everything he can to have Chaplin apprehended by the officials.   Find out more at imdb.com   Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Cast, Doncaster, S.Yorks   Link

7 July

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922)  (Screening format  – Blu-Ray 2013 Restoration  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 Dmytro Morykit  Wilton’s Music Hall, London  Link

The_Phantom_of_the_Opera_(1925_film)Phantom Opera - Lon Chaney1Phantom Of The Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 103mins) The mysterious phantom (Lon Chaney) is a vengeful composer living in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House, determined to promote the career of  the singer he loves (Mary Philbin).  Famed for the phantom’s shock unmasking, incredible set designs and the masked ball sequence, it still packs a punch. Find out more at Wikipedia.  Presented as part of the First Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  Cast, Doncaster, S.Yorks   Link

Safetylast-1Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, 1923)  (Screening format – not known, 70mins)   In Safety Last, Harold Lloyd heads to the big city to make his fortune. Although only a sales clerk he tells his girlfriend (Mildred Davis) he is the store manager. When she comes to visit, he needs to keep up the pretense, avoid the real store manager and escape the police by climbing up the outside of the building. A classic Lloyd comedy with hair-raising climax. Lloyd will forever be associated with Safety Last because of a single image. Even people who have never safetylast_1923_lc_01_1200_070620090310seen a Lloyd film are familiar with the iconography of a bespectacled man hanging off the hands of a collapsing clock on the side of a skyscraper high above teeming city streets. It is one of the most celebrated images in cinema (and one repeated again and again in homage, eg Jackie Chan in Project A (1983) or Christopher Lloyd in Back To The Future (1985)).  Although Lloyd was a good athlete and regularly did many of his own stunts, there were limits.   His insurance company did not allow him to do the entire sequence; an injury to the star could shut down the entire production and jeopardize the studio. Also, Lloyd had only one complete hand—the result of an accident in 1919 in which he lost his right thumb and forefinger. For parts of the climb, therefore, two stand-ins were used. In the long shots of Lloyd climbing the building it was Bill Strother  (who played Lloyd’s pal ‘Limpy Bill’ in the film) while for the shot in which Lloyd hangs from the building edge as a result of a mouse crawling up the leg of his trousers, it was assistant director Robert A. Golden (who routinely doubled for Lloyd) standing in. Find out more at silentfilm.orgPresented as part of the First Yorkshire Silent Film Festival. Live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best    Cast, Doncaster, SouthYorks      Link

8 July

battle-of-the-somme-01Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – 35mm, 74mins)  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 With recorded Laura Rossi score. Introduction and Q&A by Toby Haggith, Imperial War Museum, and Bryony Dixon, curator BFI National Archive.  BFI Southbank, London    Link

9 July

Blot_lois weber 1921The Blot (Dir. Lois Weber/Phillips Smalley, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 91mins)  Poorly paid college professor Andrew Griggs (Philip Hubbard) has difficulties with three rich, spoiled pupils led by Phil West (Louis Calhern), whose father is the school’s wealthiest trustee. Phil is smitten with  the professor’s daughter, Amelia (Claire Windsor).  She, however, is unimpressed by him and his wealth.  The Griggs’ poverty is contrasted with the prosperity of their next-door neighbors, the Olsens, whose eldest son Peter  is Amelia’s Blot Webersecret admirer.  When Amelia becomes sick, the doctor recommends she get some nourishing food, such as chicken. Mrs. Griggs tries unsuccessfully to buy one on credit.   In desperation, she steals a cooked chicken from Mrs. Olsen’s open window……Lois Weber was a hugely successful director in early Hollywood and her social dramas are some of the greatest works of the silent era. The Blot is a vivid melodrama, shot mostly on location and with a mix of professional and non-professional actors. Find out more at   silentfilm.org    Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Showroom Workstation,  Sheffield, South Yorks   Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see 1 July above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by the Camden Symphony Orchestra conducted by Levon Parikian  Christ Church, Spitalfields London E1  Link 

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see 1 July above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Adamson.  Queens Park High School, Chester  Link 

SeashellandtheClergyman 4The Seashell and the Clergyman (Dir. Germaine Dulac, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 28 mins)  Dulac was an early feminist filmmaker and leading light in the French Avant-Gard movement and this work is considered to be the first Surrealist film, coming out as it did a full year before Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou (1929).  Based upon a  script by playwright Antonin Artaud, who later disowned the film, the plot (such as there is) involves a clergyman (Alex Allin) who lusts after the woman ( Genica seashell and the clergyman 4Athanasiou) of a general ( Lucien Bataille) all the while suffering strange visions of death and lust and struggling against his own eroticism    All this is played out through dreamlike imagery, daring editing techniques and a rich seashell_and_clergyman 2sense of the absurd. The film’s most famous review was issued by the British Board of Film Censors: ‘This film is so cryptic as to be almost meaningless. If there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable.’  Find out more at  sensesofcinema.com  Being screened as part of the Shuffle Festival with live musical accompaniment from Minima and Stephen Horne.  Cemetery Park, Tower hamlets, London.    Link

 Golem_1920_Postergolem 1920 2The Golem: How He Came Into The World (Dir. Paul Wegener/Carl Boese, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 85 mins) Set in the ghetto in 16th Century Prague,  Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck), feels that the Jewish community is in danger so begins to sculpt a golem (Paul Wegener), a man of clay.  When the emperor orders the evacuation of all Jews the Rabbi brings the statue to life and demonstrates its superhuman strength to warn off the emperor.  But  will the golem 1920 3Rabbi be able to keep control over his creation.   Serving as a prequel to Wegener’s earlier film The Golem (1915), of which only fragments remain, this is a carefully crafted and visually impressive work, enhanced by memorably bizarre sets, which has lost little of its power over the decades.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org    Being screened as part of the Shuffle Festival with a recorded soundtrack from Black Francis.  Cemetery Park, Tower hamlets, London.    Link

10 July

battle-of-the-somme-01Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – 35mm, 74mins)  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 With recorded Laura Rossi score.   BFI Southbank, London   Link

Pandora's_Box_(film)Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, 1929) (Screening format – 35mm, 152mins)  Lulu (Louise Brooks) is a beautiful young Jewish woman who can seemingly work her charms on all of the men around her. She is currently being kept by the rich financier Dr. Ludwig Schon (Fritz Kortner) . She is just a plaything however and he is engaged to be married to Charlotte, a woman of his own class. He arranges for Lulu to appear in his son Alwa’s (Francis Lederer) musical revue and he too falls for all of her charms. When Dr. Schon and his fiancée go to the theater, Lulu ensures that he is put in a Pandora's Boxcompromising situation and the elder Schon feels he now must marry her, knowing full well it will ruin his reputation. On his wedding day, Dr. Schon reaches his breaking point. His actions cost him his life however and Lulu is convicted of manslaughter. She escapes with the help of her old cronies but together they begin a downward spiral. The unforgettable Louise Brooks in her most famous role – Lulu. A shimmeringly beautiful film, and a tragic psycho-sexual melodrama, this is a classic of the German silent screen.  Find out more at  Link   Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Showroom Workstation,  Sheffield, South Yorks  Link

12 July

womens-volounteer-army-01Britannia’s Daughters: Women Workers of WWI  (Screening format – not known, 90mins)  Women were, of course, already working in all kinds of capacities before the war, but during wartime many more were needed and in different jobs. We’re used to seeing WWII land girls and munitions workers on film but less so from the First World War, making this selection of films from the IWM and BFI all the more unique. In it we look at all aspects of women’s work and the supportive emotional roles they would play.  Introduced by Matthew Lee, Imperial War Museum, and Bryony Dixon, curator BFI.  BFI Southbank, London     Link

Count_(poster) Chaplin 1916The Count (Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1916) + A Pair of Tights (Dir.  Hal Yates, 1929) + some surprises (Screening format – not known, 70 mins)  The tailor’s handyman (Chaplin) burns a count’s trousers while ironing them and is fired. His superior (Eric Campbell) discovers a note explaining the count can’t attend a a pair of tights 1929party, and dresses up like one to take his place. Chaplin also goes to the residence hosting the party, but runs into the tailor. They both then struggle to win the fair maiden, Miss Moneybags (Edna Purviance). Soon, Charlie is distracted by a gypsy girl and the tailor must fend off other suitors. The real Count finally arrives, learns of the imposters and calls the police. Chaplin makes a mad dash through the party and scampers away to safety.  Find out more at  imdb.com    In A Pair of Tights two gals (Anita Garvie and Marion Byron – the female answer to Laurel and Hardy)  are invited on a cheap date by a stingy suitor and stop en route for ice-cream… but somehow each attempt to convey the cones to the car ends in slapstick disaster.  More at  imdb.com    Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  The Old School House, Leyburn,  North Yorks.    Link

13 July

Pawnshop'Leave_em_Laughing_1928The Pawnshop (Dir.Charlie Chaplin, 1916)  + A Pair of Tights (Dir. Hal Yates, 1929)Leave ’em Laughing (Dir. Clyde Bruckman, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 20/20/21mins)    In The Pawnshop, Chaplin plays an assistant in a pawnshop run by Henry Bergman. He engages in a slapstick battle with his fellow pawnshop assistant, deals with eccentric customers, and flirts with the pawnbroker’s daughter (Edna Purviance).  One customer, posing as a jewelry buyer, pulls a gun and tries to rob the place and its up to Charlie to save the day. Find out more at  imdb.com.       In A Pair of Tights two gals (Anita Garvie and Marion Byron – the female answer to Laurel and Hardy)  are invited on a cheap date by a stingy suitor and stop en route for ice-cream… but somehow each attempt to convey the cones to the car ends in slapstick disaster.  More at  imdb.com   Leave ’em Laughing sees Stan and Ollie thrown out of their flat when Stan’s toothache causes him to make too much noise.  Next morning at the dentist it is Ollie that gets a surprise while Stan lets loose the laughing gas, leaving everybody laughing.  For more details see    wikipedia.org   Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Stephen Joseph Theatre, Westborough, Scarborough Link

14 July

Black_pirate_1926_posterThe Black Pirate (Dir. Albert Parker, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 94mins) A nobleman (Douglas Fairbanks) vows to avenge the death of his father at the hands of pirates. To this end he becomes ‘the Black Pirate’ to infiltrate the pirate band.  He is instrumental in the capture of a ship, but things are complicated when he finds that there is a young woman (Billie Dove) on board In love at first sight, the Black Pirate finds a way to temporarily save her  by presenting her as a “princess” and urging the crew to use her as a hostage to black pirateensure a ransom is paid. A rival pirate  secretly has a confederate destroy the ransom ship later that night to ensure it will not return. Then, when the Black Pirate is caught trying to release the woman, the rival exposes him as a traitor and the pirates force him to walk the plank. How will the Black Pirate now save the girl and avenge his father?  Romance, action, comedy and glamour – this film has it all. And it’s filmed in a very early type of technicolor too – so if you were expecting silent films to all be in black and white, prepare to be surprised!   Find out more at   wikipedia.org  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Stephen Joseph Theatre, Westborough, Scarborough   Link

Neil BrandDramatic Notes – Tea Time Talk with Neil Brand    Neil Brand is well known as a broadcaster, composer, writers and silent film pianist. Yorkshire Silents are thrilled to welcome him to Scarborough to play for two films: The Black Pirate and Hindle’s Wake.  In between these two screenings, Neil will be in conversation with the Producer of the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, Jonathan Best. They’ll be letting us in on the secrets of the silent film pianist, discussing how an improvising silent film pianist goes about playing for a film, and answering questions from the audience. It promises to be a fascinating afternoon!  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.    Stephen Joseph Theatre, Westborough, Scarborough   Link  

Hindle Wakes (Dir. Maurice Elvey, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 120mins)  In the mill town of Hindle, preparations are being made for the annual summer wakes week holiday. hindle wakesFanny Hawthorn (Brody)  with her friend Mary Hollins (Peggy Carlisle) board the excursion train to Blackpool . Allan Jeffcote (Stuart), son of the owner of the mill in which Fanny works,  travels there by car. In the bustle and throng of Blackpool in peak season, Fanny and Mary meet up with Allan and his friend and enjoy the excitement of the resort as a foursome. Allan and Fanny are attracted to each other, and Allan persuades Fanny to leave Blackpool and instead accompany him for a stay in the more upmarket resort of Llandudno.  When word gets out, Fanny is under pressure to prevent a scandal, but events don’t follow the expected course.    A beautiful, unconventional love story and one of the greatest British silent films ever made, based on the much-loved play by Stanley Houghton and shot on location in Manchester and Blackpool.  Find out more at  imdb.com     Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Stephen Joseph Theatre, Westborough, Scarborough   Link

15 July

sunrise-1Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – 35mm) 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. At times surreal and dreamlike in its imagery, Sunrise is both thought provoking and lyrical in its portrayal of the human condition and plays with both the light and dark shades of love and life. Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of Phoenix Cinema’s first Silent Film Festival.  Introduced by Pamela Hutchinson with live musical accompaniment  by Stephen Horne. Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, London  Link

16 July

Metropolis robotMetropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –not known , 153 mins ) 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. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored so that at last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Truck Theatre, Hull, East Yorks. Link

steamboat billSteamboat Bill Jr   ( (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1928)  (Screening format – 35mm, 71mins)     This special family show with musician and broadcaster Neil Brand celebrates the comic genius of Buster Keaton with clips of his most famous gags and stunts followed by a full screening of Keaton’s magnificent 1928 feature Steamboat Bill Jr . As well as accompanying the films on piano Neil talks about how the music is working and gets the children involved in what music is needed. The best possible introduction to silent cinema from a master of the craft.   In Steamboat Bill Jr 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.    Find out more at Wikipedia        Presented as part of Phoenix Cinema’s first Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment  by Neil Brand. Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, London    Link

why be good 2Why Be Good  (Dir. William A. Seiter, 1929) (Screening format – 35mm, 84 mins) Starring the delightful Coleen Moore as Pert Kelly, this film tells the tale of a vibrant shop assistant who enjoys wild parties and dancing. She falls in love with a dashing well-to-do man who, unbeknownst to her, is in fact the son of the Why be goodowner of the department store in which she works. Comedy ensues as Pert is put to the test in order to prove herself worthy of the wealthy shop owner’s son.  Considered for a long time to be lost, Why Be Good was rediscovered in the 1990’s at which time it was restored and placed alongside its original Vitaphone soundtrack. It is one of few films therefore, that provides a bridge between silent cinema and the talkies. A showcase for the fun and excess associated with the flapper era, Why Be Good is a fast paced morality ride ripe with mischief and energy. Find out more  at   wikipedia.org    Presented as part of Phoenix Cinema’s first Silent Film Festival.   Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, London   Link

Sherlock-Jr.Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 45 mins) A kindly movie projectionist (Buster Keaton) longs to be a detective. When his fiancée (Kathryn McGuire) is robbed by a local thief (Ward Crane), the poor projectionist is framed for the crime. Using his amateur detective skills, the projectionist follows the thief to the train station – only to find himself locked in a train car.  Disheartened, he returns to his movie theatre, where he falls asleep and dreams that he is the great Sherlock Holmes.   Although not a popular success on its initial release, the film has come to be recognised as a Keaton classic with its special effects and elaborate stunts making it a landmark in motion picture history.  Find out more at silentfilm.org   Presented as part of a season of film events put together by Flatpack: Assemble as part of Rugby Festival of Culture.  With live piano accompaniment by Meg MorleySt Andrew’s Church, Rugby    Link

17 July

London on filmLondon on Film   Film historian Ian Christie presents a selection of archive films that reflect the diverse history of North London and the area surrounding the Phoenix.  Presented as part of Phoenix Cinema’s first Silent Film Festival.  With musical accompaniment from John Sweeney.  Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, London Link

East_is_East'East is East (Dir. Henry Edwards, 1916) (Screening format – 35mm, 80 mins) You can take the girl out of Stepney but, as this film posits, you can’t take Stepney out of the girl. Faced with unexpected rags to riches and forced to live a life in which you’re taught “not to drop your h’s but to drop your friends…” East-end girl Victoria (Florence Turner) struggles to come to terms with east is east 2West-end boys and their weak ways. East is East is a thoroughly entertaining film and very British in its refusal to take itself too seriously. Laugh out loud moments aside it carries a sincere message routed in class struggle that still resonates today. Find out more at   wikipedia.org    Presented as part of Phoenix Cinema’s first Silent Film Festival.  Master of Ceremonies will be Gerry Turvey. With piano accompaniment by Lillian HenleyPhoenix Cinema, East Finchley, London    Link

helen-of-four-gates-03Helen of Four Gates (Dir. Cecil Hepworth, 1920) (Screening format – 35mm, 77mins)   Helen of Four Gates was a popular novel by a working class Lancashire Mill girl, Ethel Carnie, writing under her married name of Holdsworth. A feminist, socialist writer of poetry and journalism based on her experiences of factory life, she wrote several novels of which this was the most popular.  This is a film adaption full of stunning landscapes and big emotions, a tale of treachery, madness and thwarted love filmed around Heptonstall, West Yorkshire.  Helen (Alma Taylor) marries a young man who has poisoned her mind against her other suitor Abel Mason (James Carew) by convincing her that there is hereditary madness in the Mason family. Within two years Helen’s husband is dead and she is dying. She entrusts her helen-of-four-gates-09baby daughter to Abel to bring up, as she has no family to call on. Abel agrees to take the baby, but Helen does not realise that it is out of desire to gain revenge on her for rejecting him rather than through any altruistic motive. The baby (also called Helen) grows up believing Abel to be her father, and subject to his bullying and cruelty. As a young woman will Helen ever escape from Abel’s revenge and find happiness.   The film was long thought lost until a copy was found in Canada in 2007 by local film maker Nick Wilding and re-shown in Hebden Bridge in 2010.  Find out more at  theguardian.com      Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  The film will be introduced by Nick Wilding with live musical accompaniment by celebrated silent film harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry performing the world premiere of a new score especially written for this screening.  Hebden Bridge Picture House, Hebden Bridge, West Yorks  Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see 1 July above.  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live musical accompaniment by the Chandos Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Lloyd.  Number 8, Pershore, Worcs Link 

19 July

 Shoes 1916Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema  + Shoes (Dir. Lois Weber, 1916) (Screening format – not knownFilm writer and researcher Ellen Cheshire, who contributed to the recently published book Silent Women – Pioneers of Cinema, will talk about the women who worked in silent film and then we’ll screen one of the finest films directed by Lois Weber,  the most successful female director in early Hollywood, directing over sixty films in a long career.  In Shoes, Eva Meyer (Mary MacLaren) works in a dime store for a few dollars a week, but must solely support her family of two parents and three sisters because her father (Harry Griffith) prefers to lie in bed reading rather than looking for work. Eva desperately needs a new pair of shoes – her old ones are falling to pieces and she is reduced to cutting out and fitting cardboard soles every evening. Finally, with no other alternative, Eva sleeps with “Cabaret” Charlie (William V. Mong), a singer, in exchange for money. She buys new shoes, after which she learns that her father has found work.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org    Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hyde Park Picture House,  Leeds Link

feeding-a-nation-01Food Fight (Screening format – not known, 90mins) Food is central to morale in times of war. Filmmakers became obsessed by Britain’s food supply, as we witness in this fascinating compilation of films from the IWM and BFI. Observe how the soldiers ate, how we fought blockades at sea, made dumplings from potato peelings, foraged for blackberries, persuaded the posh to cut their consumption like everyone else, and how women, children and grandfathers took up the burden as the land was stripped of men and horses.  Introduced by Jane Fish, Imperial War Museum, and Bryony Dixon, BFI.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

20 July

maurice-elvey 2Maurice Elvey: Silent Film Night.Maurice Elvey (1887 – 1967) was the most prolific director of the British film industry with a career spanning over 40 years, nearly 200 films to his credit and a reputation for helping shape early British cinema. So it comes a shock to us that we have never dedicated one of our Club Screening night’s to him… more info coming soon. Find out more at wikipedia.org       A South West Silents club screening.  Introduced by Mark Fuller.   The Landsdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol    Link

Grim_gameThe Grim Game (Dir. Irvin Willat, 1919) (Screening format – 35mm, 71mins)  A gang of men frame  Grim Game.5 ArchiveHarvey Hanford (Harry Houdini) for murder, and also decide to kidnap his fiancée (Ann Forrest). Hanford is quickly apprehended by the police and falsely imprisoned for the crime. Shortly afterward, Hanford escapes and pursues the men who framed him. Will he ever be reunited with his fiancée.  The film unfolds as a series of Houdini’s trademark set-piece stunts and escapes; his tormentors chain him up and imprison him on numerous occasions, only for Hanford to escape. The film concludes with a climactic mid-air collision following an aeroplane pursuit. Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Showroom Workstation, Sheffield  Link

21 July

around-china-with-a-movie-camera-01Around China With A Movie Camera: A Journey From Beijing To Shanghai  (Screening format – not known, 68mins) Take a trip back to China in the first half of the 20th century with this programme of extraordinary, rare and beautiful travelogues, newsreels and home movies, screened with a brand new live score by composer Ruth Chan. These films, all from the BFI’s National Archive, were made by a wealth of British and French filmmakers – from professionals to intrepid tourists, colonial-era expatriates and Christian missionaries. Exploring 50 years of Chinese history across a diverse range of footage, the collection includes what might be the oldest surviving film to be shot in China, unseen for over 115 years.  With live musical accompaniment by Ruth Chan.  BFI Southbank, London   Link

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) 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 Minima.  Truck Theater, Hull   Link

22 July

Cure_1917_PosterOne_A.M._posterThe Cure (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1917) + One A.M. (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1916  ) (Screening format – not known, 31/34  mins  ) Both 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 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 In One A.M. a wealthy young man (Chaplin) arrives at his house in a taxi after a night of heavy drinking. He  thinks that he has forgotten the key and has to enter through the window. Inside the house, the furniture and other inanimate objects become almost insurmountable obstacles for the drunk.  He becomes increasingly creative with his attempts to climb the stairs.  When he finally reaches his bedroom, he struggles to open his bed and ends up wrecking it.  Will he ever find somewhere to sleep…..Find out more at IMDb.com  Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment.    Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley, York Link

23 July

Easy_Street_1917Easy Street (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1917) + Cops (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1922) + A Pair of Tights (Dir. Hal Yates, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 19 /18/21  mins) In Easy Street, when Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric’s Cops_1922 Keatonhead in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper’s needle) conquers all. Find out more at   wikipedia.org.   Cops sees Buster Keaton, through a series of mistaken identities,wind up with a load of furniture in the middle of parade of policemen. An anarchist’s bomb lands in his carriage. After lighting his cigarette with it, he tosses it into the ranks of police. When it explodes the police chase him all over  town. Find out more at wikipedia.org   In A Pair of Tights two gals (Anita Garvie and Marion Byron – the female answer to Laurel and Hardy)  are invited on a cheap date by a stingy suitor and stop en route for ice-cream… but somehow each attempt to convey the cones to the car ends in slapstick disaster.  More at  imdb.com Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hebden Bridge Picture House , Hebden Bridge, West Yorks  Link

General.WEBThe General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton, 1926) (Screening format – not known) 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 musical accompaniment on the Wurlitzer organ by Paul Gregson   Royalty Cinema. Bowness on Windermere   Link

24 July

lodger 1lodger 5The Lodger: A Story Of The London Fog   (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 91 mins) Whilst a serial killer known as ‘The Avenger’ is murdering blonde women in the foggy streets of night-time London,  a mysterious man arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent…  The Lodger is generally acknowledged to be the film where Hitchcock properly found his “voice”: that distinctive combination of death and fetishism, trick shots and music-hall humour, intense menace and elegant camerawork that assured his place among cinema’s giants.  The material, drawn from a novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes (sister of Hilaire), is rather obviously inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders; they were still within living memory.  This is a story of betrayal, obsession and persecution, all triggered by the arrival of the extraordinary figure of Ivor Novello at an anonymous boarding house in some London backstreet.  Find out more at  www.silentfilm.org   With live organ accompaniment.  Regent Street Cinema, London  Link

Pandora's_Box_(film)Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, 1929) (Screening format – 35mm, 152mins)  Lulu (Louise Brooks) is a beautiful young Jewish woman who can seemingly work her charms on all of the men around her. She is currently being kept by the rich financier Dr. Ludwig Schon (Fritz Kortner) . She is just a plaything however and he is engaged to be married to Charlotte, a woman of his own class. He arranges for Lulu to appear in his son Alwa’s (Francis Lederer) musical revue and he too falls for all of her charms. When Dr. Schon and his fiancée go to the theater, Lulu ensures that he is put in a Pandora's Boxcompromising situation and the elder Schon feels he now must marry her, knowing full well it will ruin his reputation. On his wedding day, Dr. Schon reaches his breaking point. His actions cost him his life however and Lulu is convicted of manslaughter. She escapes with the help of her old cronies but together they begin a downward spiral. The unforgettable Louise Brooks in her most famous role – Lulu. A shimmeringly beautiful film, and a tragic psycho-sexual melodrama, this is a classic of the German silent screen.  Find out more at  Link   Presented as part of the first Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hyde Park Picture House Leeds   Link

25 July

metropolis-01Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –DCP , 153 mins ) 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. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored with a new recording of the original score. At last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at  silentfilm.org Featuring Gottfried Huppertz recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

26 July

frightfulness and fair playFrightfulness Versus Fair-Play: British Animation in World War One.  (Screening format – not known, 90mins) You can do anything with a cartoon. Wartime propaganda was always at its most virulent in animated cartoons, but it was also good for military instruction on everything from flight, to gas masks, to how to drive a lorry around horse-drawn carriages! Through a selection of rarely screened films this presentation will show the boost war gave to a fledgling industry, as animation developed from a gimmick to an art form.  Introduced by Tony Haggith, Imperial War Museum, and Jez Stewart, curator BFI.  BFI Southbank, London Link

27 July

EnthusiasismEnthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbas (Dir. Dziga Vertov, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 67mins) Vertov’s first sound film, shot in the coal-rich Donbas area of Eastern Ukraine, was the first time real industrial sounds were used to create an independent musical composition for film. The filmmaker, his wife Elisaveta Svilova and team of kinoks (cinema-eyes) filmed and recorded most of Enthusiasm on location in the Donbas. They aimed to ‘grasp the feverish reality of life in the Donbas, to convey as true to life as possible its atmosphere of the clash of hammers, of train whistles, of the songs of workers at rest.’  Rhythm is revealed as having a dual power: as a mobilising, disciplinary force, as the inspiration for revolutionary enthusiasm, and as the regulator of new economies of movement.   The film was dedicated to Stalin’s first Five Year Plan (1928 – 1932), it glorified industrialisation and collectivisation as well as propagandised the fight against illiteracy and religion. The film was released in cinemas on April 2, 1931, but shortly after was removed from distribution and forgotten. It was rediscovered only in the 1960s due to the renewed interest to the Soviet avant-garde in the West. Enthusiasm was restored by the National Dovzhenko Film Studios on request of the State Film Agency of Ukraine in 2011.  Find out more at   electricsheepmagazine.co.uk  Presented as part of the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by That Fucking Tank.  Showroom WorkstationSheffield, South Yorks   Link

28 July

EnthusiasismEnthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbas (Dir. Dziga Vertov, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 67mins) Vertov’s first sound film, shot in the coal-rich Donbas area of Eastern Ukraine, was the first time real industrial sounds were used to create an independent musical composition for film. The filmmaker, his wife Elisaveta Svilova and team of kinoks (cinema-eyes) filmed and recorded most of Enthusiasm on location in the Donbas. They aimed to ‘grasp the feverish reality of life in the Donbas, to convey as true to life as possible its atmosphere of the clash of hammers, of train whistles, of the songs of workers at rest.’  Rhythm is revealed as having a dual power: as a mobilising, disciplinary force, as the inspiration for revolutionary enthusiasm, and as the regulator of new economies of movement.   The film was dedicated to Stalin’s first Five Year Plan (1928 – 1932), it glorified industrialisation and collectivisation as well as propagandised the fight against illiteracy and religion. The film was released in cinemas on April 2, 1931, but shortly after was removed from distribution and forgotten. It was rediscovered only in the 1960s due to the renewed interest to the Soviet avant-garde in the West. Enthusiasm was restored by the National Dovzhenko Film Studios on request of the State Film Agency of Ukraine in 2011.  Find out more at   electricsheepmagazine.co.uk  Presented as part of the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by That Fucking Tank.  Left Bank Cinema, Leeds  Link

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.  Port Eliot Festival, St Germans, Cornwall  No link yet

29 July

Il Cinema ritrovatoIl Cinema Ritrovato – In Search Of Colour   (Dir. Various, 1908-17) (Screening format – DCP)  A historic programme of striking short films curated by II Cinema Ritrovato festival and restored by L’Immagine Ritrovata labs. This collection showcases Kinemacolor and the Pochoir colour technique, which employed elaborate stencils to add precise colour detail to two-tone Kinemacolor prints.  Patented in England, this short-lived commercial film format produced a series of absolutely spectacular films, a strikingly colourful chapter from the mostly black and white days of early cinema.  Films being screened include;  Coiffures et types de Hollande (France, 1910, 3mins, Pathé);  Rapsodia Satanica (Dir Nino Oxilia, Italy, 1915-17, 45mins);  The Harvest (UK, 1908, 6mins)L’inaugurazione del campanile di San Marco (Italy, 1912, 12mins);  Plotoni nuotatori della IIl divisione cavalleria comandata da S.A.R. il conte di torino (Dir. Luca Comerio, Italy, 1912, 9mins); and Fording The River (UK, 1910 3mins).  Presented as part of the Cinema Rediscovered Season.  Introduced by Cinema Ritrovato festival director and film expert Gian Luca Farinelli.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol  Link

General.WEBThe General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton, 1926) (Screening format – not known) 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 music accompaniment from pianist Paul Shallcross  Brownhills Community Centre, Brownhills, West Midlands  Link

Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, 1923)  (Screening format – not known, 70mins)   In Safety Last, Harold Lloyd heads to the big city to make his fortune. Although only a sales clerk he tells his girlfriend (Mildred Davis) he is the store manager. When she comes to visit, he needs to keep up the pretense, avoid the real store manager and escape the police by climbing up the outside of the building. A classic Lloyd comedy with hair-raising climax. Lloyd will forever be associated with Safety Last because of a single image. Even people who have never safetylast_1923_lc_01_1200_070620090310seen a Lloyd film are familiar with the iconography of a bespectacled man hanging off the hands of a collapsing clock on the side of a skyscraper high above teeming city streets. It is one of the most celebrated images in cinema (and one repeated again and again in homage, eg Jackie Chan in Project A (1983) or Christopher Lloyd in Back To The Future (1985)).  Although Lloyd was a good athlete and regularly did many of his own stunts, there were limits.   His insurance company did not allow him to do the entire sequence; an injury to the star could shut down the entire production and jeopardize the studio. Also, Lloyd had only one complete hand—the result of an accident in 1919 in which he lost his right thumb and forefinger. For parts of the climb, therefore, two stand-ins were used. In the long shots of Lloyd climbing the building it was Bill Strother  (who played Lloyd’s pal ‘Limpy Bill’ in the film) while for the shot in which Lloyd hangs from the building edge as a result of a mouse crawling up the leg of his trousers, it was assistant director Robert A. Golden (who routinely doubled for Lloyd) standing in. Find out more at silentfilm.orgPresented as part of the First Yorkshire Silent Film Festival. Live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best    The Old School House, Leyburn, Yorks  Link

30 July

220px-MetropolisposterMetropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –DCP , 153 mins ) 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. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored with a new recording of the original score. At last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at  silentfilm.org Featuring Gottfried Huppertz recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –not known , 153 mins ) 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 Metropolis22approximately 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. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored so that at last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the First Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hebden Bridge Picture House, Hebden Bridge,Yorks  Link

31 July

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –DCP , 153 mins ) Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set Metropolis robotin 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. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored with a new recording of the original score. At last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at  silentfilm.org Featuring Gottfried Huppertz recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

 


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