North of England

 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 and this is the Northern premiere screening.  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 Chetham’s Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Threlfall.  Chethams School of Music, Manchester  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

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.  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.  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.  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

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

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.  Cast, Doncaster, S.Yorks      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

10 July

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

Count_(poster) Chaplin 1916a pair of tights 1929The 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 party, 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 Richmond Road 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

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

17 July

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

19 July

 Shoes 1916Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema  + Shoes (Dir. Lois Weber, 1916) (Screening format – not known) Film 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

20 July

 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

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known) 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

Pandora's_Box_(film)Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 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

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

29 July

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

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


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