Battle 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 Chester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Adamson. Queens Park High School, Chester Link
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 Morley. St Andrew’s Church, Rugby 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 Chandos Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Lloyd. Number 8, Pershore, Worcs Link
The 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
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