West of England

F._W._Murnau-Sunrise-Gaynor_and_O'Brien_on_Farmhara kiri iribePandora's BoxOrchids and Ermine Coleen Moore and 6 year old Mickey Rooney







10 September

High Treason 1929High Treason (Dir. Maurice Elvey, 1924) (Screening format – 35mm, 95 mins) In a future London evil arms dealers plot to blow up the Channel Tunnel and fly planes into tall buildings, driving two super-powers to the brink of war. Can London’s Peace League save the world? The city’s skyline of skyscrapers and bullet-shaped railways may recall Metropolis, but the similarities end there in this very British vision of the future.  It being the future, everyone wears glittering silver lame, dance music is produced by automaton, people communicate by video phone and showers both wash and dry. It’s impressive to see that gender equality is taken for granted and delightful to note that combat gear includes high heels! Based on a play by maverick MP, Noel Pemberton-Billing, the film’s futuristic setting allows for playful debate on the war versus peace issues of the inter-war years.  For more info see  wikipedia.org .  Presented by  Curzon Arts and Cinema and South West Silents with live piano accompaniment by Andy Quin.  With introduction by Lucie Dutton who is currently researching a PhD thesis on Maurice Elvey’s early career.  Curzon Cinema, Clevedon  Link

17 September

hamlet 1921 aHamlet (Dir. Svend Gade/Heinz Schall, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 110 mins) A unique vision of the cursed Dane, this silent take on Shakespeare’s drama stands the test of time thanks to a unique and brilliant twist. Starring the gorgeous Danish siren Asta Nielsen this adaptation supposes that Hamlet’s inner turmoil centred on having being born a girl, but having to pass incognito as the male heir to the throne. Visually stunning and tragically fated, this will be a familiar yet interesting adaptation for young and old fans of the Bard. Find out more at  imdb.com  A presentation by South West Silents, in collaboration with Film London, The BFI, and the Deutsches Filminstitut.  With live piano accompaniment from Lillian Henley.  The Guildhall, Gloucester.   Link

21 September

British Silent Film Night  An evening celebrating British Silents and particularly the work of British Film Studios. Expect a wide range of clips plus a main feature.  Presented by South West Silents.  Introduced by Barbara Gallati.  The Lansdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol  Link

30 September

Sunrise_originalSunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, 1927) (Screening format – Blu-Ray/DVD, 95mins)  A  woman vacationing from the city (Margaret Livingston) lingers in a lakeside town. After dark, she goes to a farmhouse where the Man (George O’Brien) and the Wife (Janet Gaynor) live. She whistles from the fence outside. The Man is torn, but finally departs, leaving his wife with the memories of better times when they were deeply in love. The man and woman kiss passionately. She wants him to sell his farm and join her in the city. Then she suggests that he solve the problem of his wife by drowning her….Considered by some to be the greatest film of the silent era, Sunrise is at very least a combination of artistic triumph and artistic enigma. Perhaps the finest example of the melding of German visual design with American studio production techniques, Sunrise is an oddly disconnected story that still manages to reach its audience with its tremendous emotional undercurrent. Find out more at Wikipedia  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza.  Village Hall, St Dominick, Cornwall  Link

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