October 2016

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1 October

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 orchestral accompaniment  by the  Leicester Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Andrews,  performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.    Leicester Cathedral, Leicester   Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  For details, see above  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live orchestral accompaniment  by the  Ealing Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Gibbons  performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.    St Barnabas Church, London W5   Link

3 October

join-the-army-01Join the Army and See the World’: Campaign Beyond the Western Front  In this selection of films from the Imperial War Museum we see an expanded view of the ‘world’ war, covering the British campaigns in East Africa, Gallipoli and Mesopotamia (Iraq). Filming in these hot, far-flung locations was difficult, but cameramen were compensated by the richness of their subject matter. The military travelogue is a fascinating sub-genre in which ‘exotic locals,’ picturesque modes of transport and beautiful sites of biblical and classical antiquity are as important as the randomly recorded scenes of the fighting. With live piano accompaniment from Costas Fotopoulos.  Introduced by  Dr Toby Haggith, IWM. BFI Southbank, London  View

6 October

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 Swansea International Festival, with live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University, Swansea  Link

7 October

Passion of joan of arc 1The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 82 mins) In 1926 Danish film director Dreyer was invited to make a film in France by the Société Générale des Films and chose to direct a picture about Joan of Arc due to her renewed popularity (having been canonised as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1920 and subsequently adopted as one of the patron saints of France). Apparently discarding a script provided by the Société, Dreyer spent over a year researching Joan of Arc including study of the actual transcripts passion of joan of arc 2of her trial before producing a script of his own.  In the title role, Dreyer cast the little known stage actress Renee Jeanne Falconetti, who had previously acted in just two inconsequential films, both in 1917.  The film focuses on the trial and eventual execution of Joan of Arc after she is captured by the English.  Although not a popular success at the time, the film attracted immediate critical praise.  The New York Times critic wrote “… … as a film work of art this takes precedence over anything that has so far been produced. It makes worthy pictures of the past look like tinsel shams. It fills one with such intense admiration that other pictures appear but trivial in comparison.”  Falconetti’s performance has been widely lauded with critic Pauline Kael writing in 1982 that Falconetti’s portrayal “may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.”  The film was subsequently re-edited against Dreyer’s wishes and his original version was long thought lost.  But in 1981 a near perfect copy was found in the attic of a psychiatric hospital in Oslo.  The Passion of Joan of Arc now regularly appears in ‘Top Ten’ lists not just of best silent films but best films of all time.  Find out more at  rogerebert.com  Supported by Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the film will be accompanied by a new score written by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) and performed by them and an eclectic group of musicians on electric guitars, percussion, horns, harp and synthesizers together with members of the  Monteverdi Choir and led by led by conductor Charles Hazlewood .  Wells Cathedral, Cathedral Green, Wells, Somerset  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 orchestral accompaniment  by the Falkirk Tyrst Orchestra performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.  Falkirk Town Hall   Link

Big_Business_1929Big Business (Dir. James W Horne, 1929) and  Sherlock Jnr (Dir.  Buster Keaton, 1924)  (Screening format – not known, 19/45 mins)       In Big Business, catering to the under-developed market of door-to-door sales of Christmas trees in California, Stan and Ollie encounter a scrooge of a potential customer. As hardened salesmen they refuse to give in, resulting in a melee of destruction, flying pine needles and a slapstick punchline which will literally blow your face off!   Find out more at Wikipedia.org Keaton - Sherlock juniorIn Sherlock Jnr   A film projectionist (Buster Keaton)  longs to be a detective, and puts his meager skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing the pocket-watch of his girlfriend (Kathryn McGuire) ‘s father.  Although not a popular success on its initial release, the film has come to be recognised as a Keaton classic.  Find out more at   Wikipedia  With live piano and organ silent film accompaniment by Vincent Byrne.  Flore Parish Church, Northamptonshire   Link

8 October

The Kid 1921The Kid (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1921) + The Scarecrow (Dir. Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, 1920)  (Screening format – not known, 68/19   mins )  In The Kid, Edna (Edna Purviance) deposits her new baby with a pleading note in a limousine and goes off to commit suicide. The limo is stolen by thieves who dump the baby by a garbage can. The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin)  finds the baby and makes a home for him. Five years later Edna has become an opera star but does charity work for slum youngsters in hope of finding her boy. A doctor called by Edna discovers the note with the truth about the Kid (Jackie Coogan) and reports it to the authorities who come to take him away from Charlie. Before he arrives at the orphan asylum Charlie steals him back and takes him to a flophouse. The proprietor reads of a reward for the Kid and takes him to Edna. Charlie is later awakened by a kind policeman who reunites him with the Kid at Edna’s mansion. This was Chaplin’s first full-length film as a director . It was a huge success and was the second-highest grossing film in 1921, behind The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and is now considered one of the greatest films of the silent era.    Find out more at  wikipedia.org   In The Scarecrow 1920 KeatonScarecrow, Buster plays a farmhand who competes with Joe Roberts to win the love of the farmer’s daughter (Sybil Seely). Running from a dog , Buster falls into a hay thresher and ruins his clothes. Forced to borrow the clothes of a nearby scarecrow, Sybil believes Buster to be proposing as she stumbles upon him tying his shoe. The couple speed off on a motorcycle with Joe and the farmer (played by Buster’s father, Joe) in hot pursuit. Scooping up a minister during the chase, they are married on the speeding motorcycle and splash into a stream at the climax of the ceremony and the film. Find out more at imdb.com. Live organ accompaniment by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie  St Aidan’s Church, Bristol   Link

Metropolis22Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –DVD Jan ’05 version,  118 minutes)  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.  Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.  Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland  Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)    For film details see 7 October above.   Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live orchestral accompaniment  by a   Youth Orchestra   performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.  Cardinal Newman High School, North Lanarkshire, Scotland   Link

9 October

this-is-colour-01This Is Colour – Archive Colour Shorts Programme  (Dir. various)  (Screening format – not known)  Eclectic and enchanting colour shorts from archives worldwide: the rare, the restored and the merely ravishing.  Luxuriate in this programme of archive colour shorts. It’s an eclectic selection that includes vibrant early films, sumptuously scenic travelogues, inventive advertising and abstract experiments: all they have in common is their striking, sometimes dazzling use of colour. Silent films from several archives portray an enchanting world: from Crystal Palace fireworks to the fountains of Versailles, Holland to the South Pacific.  Presented as part of the London Film Festival.  With live music accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.  BFI Southbank, London Link

11 October

minute-bodies-intimate-world-of-f-percy-smith-01Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith  (Dir. Stuart A Staples, 2016) (Screening format – not known, 55mins)  A new collaboration between Tindersticks’ Stuart A Staples and filmmaker David Reeve, this meditative, immersive film is a tribute to the astonishing work and achievements of naturalist, inventor and pioneering filmmaker Frank Percy Smith. Working in the early years of the 20th century, Smith developed various cinematographic and micro-photographic techniques to capture nature in action. Employed in a number of public roles, including the Royal Navy and British Instructional Films, Smith was prolific and driven. He often directed several films simultaneously, determined to capture nature’s hidden terrains. Minute Bodies is an interpretative film that combines Smith’s work with Staples’ contemporary music score to create a hypnotic dreamscape of a world that is both familiar and alien, connecting us to the sense of wonder Smith must have felt as he peered through his lenses to observe these micro-worlds for the very first time.  Presented as part of the London Film Festival.  BFI Southbank, London Link

13 October

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)   For film details see 7 Oct above.   Find out more at Wikipedia     Presented as part of the Halesworth Arts Festival.  Accompanied live by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne performing the original 1916 score.  The Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth, Suffolk  Link

14 October

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 by Donald MacKenzie  St John’s Church, Notting Hill, London   Link

800px-Fairbanks_Robin_Hood_giving_Marian_a_daggerRobin Hood (Dir. Allan Dwan, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 127mins) Amid big-budget medieval pageantry, King Richard (Wallace Beery) goes on the Crusades leaving his brother Prince John (Sam De Grasse)  as regent, who promptly emerges as a cruel, grasping, treacherous tyrant. Apprised of England’s peril by message from his lady-love Marian (Enid Bennett), the dashing Earl of Huntingdon (Douglas Fairbanks) endangers his life and honor by returning to oppose John, but finds himself and his friends outlawed, and Marian apparently dead. Enter Robin Hood, acrobatic champion of the oppressed, laboring to set things right through swashbuckling feats and cliffhanging perils.  One of the films that shaped the world of Hollywood, Robin Hood had a huge budget, large scale sets and was the first film to have a premiere. Pioneering in its ambitiousness, it is now considered one of the most significant films of early cinema, ripe for musical interpretation. Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood masterfully conquers the athletic stunts of the ‘Swashbuckler’ silent films, whilst managing to bring emotional depth to this defining role. Read more at Wikipedia  With a new score, written by Neil Brand, and performed live by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  Barbican, London  Link

informer-the-1929-002-man-firing-gun-00o-iigThe Informer  (Dir. Arthur Robison, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 83 mins) When Irish terrorist Francis McPhilip (Carl Harbord) kills Dublin’s Chief of Police he makes plans to flee the city but first seeks out his former girlfriend Katie (Lya De Putti).  She, however, is now seeing his best friend Gypo Nolan (Lars Hanson) and refuses to leave with him.  Gypo discovers them informer-the-1929-001-man-wanted-poster-00m-v5utogether and informs on Francis to the police.  Francis is killed in the subsequent police chase and when his fellow terrorists discover who the informer is it is now Gypo who is on the run.  Made during the transition from silent to sound films, The Informer was made in both silent and sound version.  This is the silent version, fully restored by the BFI and being shown prior to release on DVD and Blu-Ray.  For more info see  silentlondon.co.uk  Being shown as part of the London Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment with premier of a new score by Irish composer Garth Knox with a six piece ensemble.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

15 October

Buster’s Shorts – An evening of Buster Keaton shorts, featuring Back Stage (Dir. Roscoe Arbuckle, 1919), One Week ( Dir. Eddie Cline & Buster Keaton, 1920) The Goat  (Dir. Buster Keaton & Mal St Clair, 1921) and  The Boat (Dir. Eddie Cline & Buster Keaton, 1921) (Screening one-week-buster-keatonformat – Blu-Ray, 26/19/27/25 mins )   In Back Stage Keaton and Arbuckle, work as stagehands in a vaudeville theatre trying to help and in some cases, stay far away from the eccentric and diva-like performers. When the performers rebel and refuse to do the show, the stagehands, perform in their place goat_1921enabling Keaton ample opportunity to demonstrate his comic skills. 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-numbered the packing crates creating chaos.   In The Goat Buster is already on the run from the cops when he’s mistaken for murderer Dead Shot Dan (portrayed by co-director Mal St. Clair). Will Keaton elude ill-tempered, heavyweight detective (Joe Roberts)?   A delightful, fast-moving film. Finally,  The Boat sees Buster and his family go on a voyage on his homemade boat that proves to be one disaster after another.  For more details see  talkies.org   Presented by Talkies Community Cinema.  With live organ accompaniment by David Hinitt and Adam Dickson.  Christ Church, The Green, Southgate, London N14 View

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 orchestral accompaniment  by the   Studio Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Openshaw, performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.  Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, Northern Ireland  Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For details see above.   The Auditorium, Memo, Newbridge, Gwent, Wales  Link

16 October

A Woman_of_the_World_Swedish_posterA Woman of the World (Dir. Malcolm St. Clair, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 70mins) Based on the novel The Tattooed Countess by Carl Van Vechten, this is a sophisticated and well-made comedy-drama,  one of Pola Negri’s best vehicles for Paramount.  When her love affair goes bad, Italian Countess Elnora Natatorini (Pola Negri) travels from Europe to visit a cousin Sam Poore (Chester Conklin) in small town America. But folk of Maple Valley have Woman of the World..2never seen anyone like the Countess before and her continental attitudes (and her tattoo)clash with the morals of the locals. Country boy Gareth Johns (Charles Emmett Mack) falls hopelessly in love with the the Countess but her eyes are on another in the shape of the local attorney Richard Granger ( Holmes Herbert). But despite romance in the air the sparks (and the bullwhip) are going to fly.  Pola Negri, one of the great silent screen divas, shows off her skills as a comic in this light-as-a-feather comedy.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org   Presented as part of the London Film Festival. With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  BFI Southbank, London Link

18 October

Lodger_1927_PosterThe Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) (Screening format – not known ) A serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Minima.   Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin, Herts    Link

19 October

shipman 2Back to God’s Country (Dir. David Hartford, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 73mins)  In 1919,  Nell Shipman and her producer husband Ernest made the most successful silent film in Canadian history, Back to God’s Country, an adventure set in in the frozen north of Canada in which Nell Shipman stars as Dolores LeBeau, a woman seeking revenge for the murder of her father.    Also being shown is the documentary A Girl From God’s Country  (Dir. Karen Day, 2015)   about the life of Nell Shipman (1892 – 1970)  who was a Canadian actress, author and screenwriter, producer, director, and animal trainer.  She was an early female pioneer in Hollywood,  best known for her work dramatising James Oliver Curwood stories and for portraying strong, adventurous women. Find out more at  gcgproductions.com    A Kennington Bioscope  presentation with live piano accompaniment.   Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

othello-1922-emil-janningsGerman ShakespeareAn analysis of  what the power house that was German cinema was doing when it came to adapting the great Bard’s works. In particular a look at one of the first major adaptations of one of his most treasured of works in which also starred one of the true legends of the silent era, Emil Jannings. (Ed.  Although not stated, it is assumed that this is Othello (Dir. Dimitri Buchowetzki, 1922) ) Presented by South West Silents with introduction by James Harrison, BBC Bristol.  The Lansdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol  Link

mitchell_kenyon2The Moving Pictures of Mitchell and Kenyon (Dir. Sagar Mitchell/James Kenyon, 1900-06) Screening format – DCP, 71mins) Like those of the Lumière brothers, the actuality films made by Mitchell and Kenyon revel in movement: of people, animals, various vehicles; the movement of life itself. ‘See yourselves as others see you,’ exhorted the showman, instigating the curious behaviour of individuals in the presence of the camera. In this lightly interactive presentation, the screen will act as a one-way mirror to the past.  Introduced by Bryony Dixon, National Film Archive silent curator.  With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London   Link

20 October

lodger-1927-alfred-hitchcock-movie-poster The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 92mins ) A serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Minima.   Electric Picture House, Wotton, Gloucestershire  Link

man_with_a_movie_camera-original-posterMan With A Movie Camera  (Dir. Dziga Vertov, 1929)  (Screening format – not known, 68mins) Experimental documentary pioneer Dziga Vertov’s best known work, Man with a Movie Camera is one of the most influential films in cinema history. A poetic vision of urban life in 1920s Russia, Vertov’s extraordinary montage presents a bustling city at work and at play – a high-octane metropolis invigorated by an increasingly industrialised economy. Narrative-free and stripped of many of the conventions of silent cinema, the film exhibits a technical confidence that belies the fact that it was the director’s first feature. Find out more at  WikipediaArts Picture House, Cambridge  Link

21 October

dr_jekyll_and_mr_hyde_1920_posterDr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – (Dir.John S Robertson, 1920) (Screening format – not known) Not the first but the best known silent version of R L Stevenson’s famous story in which Dr. Henry Jekyll (John Barrymore) experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.  For more info see  wikipedia.org   Presented by the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust with live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  Town Hall Ballroom, Stockport   Link

haxan-posterHaxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (Dir. Benjamin Christensen, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 77 mins) Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. Part history lesson followed by re-enactments with actors, this film takes depicts the history of witchcraft haxan-bannerfrom its earliest days through to the (then) present day. The result is a documentary-like film that must be among the first to use re-enactments as a visual and narrative tool. Find out more at  silentfilm.org .  With an original running time of just over two hours, a 77 minute edited version of the film was re-released in 1968 with an eclectic jazz score and a narration by beat-writer William S Burroughs.  This is the version apparently being screened here.   Phoenix Cinema, Leicester  Link

Destiny    (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 98mins) Fritz Lang’s first real masterpiece is a ballad-like tale of Death and the Maiden, inspired by German Romanticism. A young woman, suddenly widowed, pleads with Death (the memorably sinister Bernhard Goetzke) to return her husband. She is led into a vast hall of flickering flames, each of which represents a human life. Three of these are close to extinction, but if she can succeed in saving just one of them, Death will grant her wish. Destiny is justly renowned for its spooky gothic imagery, its magical special effects, and the witty, exotic creations of Germany’s foremost set designers (responsible for Caligari and, later, Faust). Now, thanks to the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, who have restored the film’s original tints and tones, the film is presented as Lang intended. Find out more at silentfilm.org   Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Arts Picture House, Cambridge Link

safetylast-1Safety Last (Dir . Fred C Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, 1923) and A Trip To The Moon (Dir. Georges Melies, 1902 )  (Screening format – not known, 73/16 mins)  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.  Find out more at  IMDb  )   In A Trip To The Moon, a team of astronauts journey to the moon in a space capsule fired from a giant cannon.  They encounter alien inhabitants, fight them off and return to earth. This fantastical film which famously shot a rocket into the eye of the man in the moon was made just seven years after the invention of cinema.  Find out more at  IMDb .    With live piano accompaniment by  Will Pickvance Festival Theatre, Edinburgh Link

lost-worldThe Lost World  (Dir. Harry Hoyt, 1925) (Screening format – not known) Explorer Professor Challenger (Wallace Beery) is taking quite a beating in the London press thanks to his claim that living dinosaurs exist in the far reaches of the Amazon. Newspaper reporter Edward Malone (Lloyd Hughes) learns that this claim originates from a diary given to him by fellow explorer Maple White’s daughter, Paula (Bessie Love). Malone’s paper funds an expedition to rescue Maple White, who has been marooned at the top of a high plateau. Joined by renowned hunter John Roxton (Lewis Stone), and others, the group sets off for South America.    This first adaptation of Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World” remains one of the most influential silent films, due to Willis O’Brien’s pioneer work in the field of special effects.  It showcases the first time that stop motion animation was used to create creatures on a feature length film which was of huge importance for this and future films, and earned Willis O’Brien and his dinosaurs an iconic place in film history, only surpassed by another of O’Brien’s creations: King Kong.  Find out more at Wikipedia     Presented by Holmfirth Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  Hepworth Village Hall, W.Yorks  Link

22 October

kid_boots_1926-filmposterkid-boots-1922-eddie-cantorKid Boots  (Dir. Frank Tuttle, 1926)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins) A salesman (Eddie Cantor)  is helped out of a jam with an angry customer by a wealthy playboy (Lawrence Grey). In return, he agrees to help the playboy get a divorce from his wife, only to find himself falling for the girlfriend (Clara Bow) of the customer who got him in trouble in the first place. Great American entertainer Eddie Cantor made his screen debut in this adaptation of his 1923 Broadway musical. ‘IT’ girl Clara Bow is wonderfully perky as his love interest. the result is a sparky romantic comedy featuring two American jazz age icons for the price of one!   Find out more at  afi.com   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment and using a  newly restored version of the film.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

max-lindercharles-princeEarly European Comedy StarsBefore Chaplin and Keystone, when Hollywood was still just a sun-kissed patch of orange groves, the world centre of film-making was in Europe. Legendary film historian David Robinson introduces the first film comedy stars – Max Linder (deemed ‘the professor’ by Chaplin), Charles Prince and more. The prints being shown today are on the archaic 28mm gauge, and are very nearly as  old as the films themselves.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

Laurel and Hardy: And Still They ComeIt’s hard to believe, but unseen Laurel and Hardy footage is still monsieur-dont-care-1924turning up almost 70 years after their last on-camera appearance. This screening  includes a host of UK premieres of long lost footage. Among them are ‘new versions’ of classic silent shorts from Robert Youngson’s personal collection, featuring scenes not seen since their original maids_and_muslin__lobby_card_release. Also showing will be two of L & H’s solo films, recently restored by the Cinemateca Nazionale: Stan Laurel’s Pythonesque Rudolph Valentino parody Monsieur Don’t Care (Dir. Scott Pembroke & Joe Rock, 1924) and the Oliver Hardy solo film Maids and Muslin (Dir. Noel M Smith, 1920).   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

home-james-1928Home, James (Dir. William Beaudine, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 70mins) Laura Elliot (Laura La Plante), a department store clerk, meets James Lacey (James Delaney), son of the store-owner. Mistaking him for a chauffeur, she hires Lacey to help impress her visiting relatives. Lacey, amused by the situation, takes Laura and her relatives to his father’s mansion and pretends that she is mistress of the household and he the servant. What could go wrong, especially when Lacey’s father arrives home-james-1928-2home unexpectedly!   Laura La Plante, starred in several hit comedies and is probably best remembered  for Universal’s The Cat and the Canary (Dir. Paul Leni, 1927) but this film is a laugh out loud comedy in which she and all the cast excel.   Find out more at   imdb.com   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.  Introduced by legendary film historian Kevin Brownlow, from whose collection this print comes.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

lupino-lane-counting-relativesLupino Lane – A Local Hero – British comedian Lupino Lane  was something of a local hero to this part of town, being the originator of the ‘Lambeth Walk’ dance craze in his hit musical Me And My Girl . Long before that, he made a string of wonderful silent comedy shorts, featuring finely honed slapstick and acrobatic skills to surpass even Buster half-pint-heroKeaton! Matthew Ross, editor of The Lost Laugh magazine and blog, revisits his career with the aid of film clips and extracts from Lane’s book How To Become A Comedian. Includes a full showing of the two reel comedy A Half Pint Hero (Dir. Charles Lamont, 1927). Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

lambeth_walk_1939The Lambeth Walk (aka Me And My Girl) (Dir. Albert de Courville, 1939)(Screening format – not known, 84mins) Did someone mention Lambeth? We sneak into the sound era to show this exuberant, long-lost film version of Me And My Girl. Starring Lupino Lane, it enables him to show off several of his favourite silent comedy routines. Bill Snibson (Lane), a chancer from Lambeth Walk, is informed that he has been discovered to be the long-lost heir to a title lambeth-walk-1939and castle which he can claim provided he is able to convince his new relations that he has enough aristocratic bearing. Things soon begin to go awry however, particularly when Sally (Sally Grey), Bill’s girlfriend, turns up. Find out more at imdb.com.   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth 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 orchestral accompaniment  by the King Edward Musical Society Macclesfield conducted by Anthony Houghton,  performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.      New Mills Art Theatre, High Peak  Derbyshire     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 orchestral accompaniment  by  Chetham’s Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Threlfall,  performing the specially commissioned and highly acclaimed Laura Rossi score.      Jersey Opera House, Jersey    Link

busterkeatonblacksmithKeaton For Kids (Dir. Various) Acclaimed musician, broadcaster (BBC4’s The Sound of Cinema and The Sound of Song, and BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme) and Family Film Festival favourite Neil Brand presents a special show celebrating the magic of deadpan comic genius Buster Keaton. Suitable for all – whether you’re accompanying a child or not – and if you’ve never seen Buster live before then this is the perfect way to do it!  Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival. Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge  Link

arsenal_1928_filmArsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 86mins) (Screening format – not known, 1928) One of the early giants of Soviet cinema, Dovzhenko is renowned for his radical, strikingly poetic style of film-making. His anti-war masterpiece Arsenal, set in his native Ukraine, follows events leading to the Bolshevik uprising of January 1918. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown of Kyiv and challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. With its stark symbolic imagery, stylized acting and expressionistic lighting, Arsenal viscerally evokes the chaos and horror of war. Find out more at   Wikipedia .  Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival  with the support of the National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre and the State Film Agency of Ukraine. With live music accompaniment by Bronnt Industries Kapital.  Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge Link

buster-keaton-and-cameraThe Cameraman (Dir. Edward Sedgwick/Buster Keaton, 1928) and   The High Sign (Dir. Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, 1921)   (Screening format – not known, 67/21 mins) Two classic Buster Keaton silent comedies. In The Cameraman photographer Buster falls in love with Sally, a secretary for the M-G-M Newsreel, and pawns his still camera and buys an antiquated movie camera in order to be nearer to her. At Sally’s urging, Buster photographs news events that may be of interest to M-G-M, but all of his attempts turn out badly. Will he ever get the girl?  Find out more at busterkeaton.com . In The High Sign, Buster plays a drifter who cons his way into working at an amusement park shooting gallery. Believing Buster is an expert marksman, both the murderous gang the Blinking Buzzards and the man they want to kill end up hiring him. Find out more at busterkeaton.com  .   Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival.  Parkside Swimming Pool, CambridgeLink

silent_wondersWunder der Schöpfung (akaWonder of Creation) (Dir. Hanns Walter Kornblum, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 92mins)  This ground-breaking silent documentary is an extraordinary and unique document outlining human knowledge about the world and the universe in the 1920s. Fifteen special effects experts and nine cameramen were involved in the production of this beautifully tinted and toned film which combines documentary scenes, historical documents, fiction elements, animation scenes and educational impact.  Hailed as ‘the nearest we have to a silent forerunner of 2001: A Space Odyssey’ (Bryony Dixon, BFI)  Find out more at  filmmuseum.com  Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival. With live performance by acclaimed electronic/acoustic/jazz duo Herschel 36  (Stu Brown and Paul Harrison) of a HippFest commissioned score.  Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge  Link

23 October

picture1Silent SurprisesA screening with a few surprises! Among them, there will be a very rare Harold Lloyd short, and a few more familiar faces…Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

hold-your-breath-1924Slapstick in Skirts –  While silent comedy was dominated by males, it was by no means an exclusive field; there were some terrifically talented female comedy stars out there, too. Michelle Facey showcases two overlooked ladies.  Firstly, Dorothy Devore rivals Harold Lloyd’s high-rise antics in  Hold Your Breath (Dir. pass_the_gravyScott Sidney, 1924).  When her newspaper reporter brother is taken ill, she takes over his job. Before she knows it, she’s involved up to her neck in a plot involving stolen jewelry and a very agile monkey. Find out more at imdb.com.  Secondly, Martha Sleeper shines in the Max Davidson classic Pass The Gravy  (Dir. Fred Guiol and Leo McCarey, 1928) the story of warring neighbours, a prize winning rooster and a chicken for dinner. Find out more at  wikipedia.org .   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

mack-sennett_with_camera1Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory – Mack Sennett was the silent era’s first ‘King of Comedy’, responsible for starting the film careers of Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Roscoe Arbuckle and many others. David Glass explains what made his studio so great, assisted by Brent Walker (author of the definitive Sennett book). This presentation includes clips and films restored by David himself. Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

tramp_tramp_tramp-600x468-posterTramp Tramp Tramp ( Dir. Harry Edwards and Frank Capra, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 62mins) Threatened with his father’s eviction  Harry (Harry Langdon)  needs to  raise enough money to pay their back rent within three months. He takes a job carrying luggage for Kargas, a star runner.  .But the bumbling, naïve Harry has a crush on a model who appears in billboards advertising shoes.  When Betty (Joan Crawford), who is Harry’s beloved “billboard girl,” meets him she  convinces him to sign up for her father’s $25,000 tramp-tramp-tramp-1926running race. But is this just the start of Harry’s problems….?  Eternal baby Harry Langdon was at one point considered to be Chaplin’s successor. Today, his idiosyncratic talent is sadly neglected, but he made some wonderfully individual films, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp is one of his greatest and funniest.  Matthew Ross introduces the film, and the context in which Langdon’s unique talent developed. Find out more at imdb.comPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    Introduced by Matthew Ross, with live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

walter-forde-2Wait And See (Dir.  Walter Forde, 1927)(Screening format – not known)  Walter Forde, Britain’s best silent comedian, and later an eminent director, in his first (and perhaps funniest) feature film. A warehouse walter-fordeworkman (Forde), tricked into thinking he is the heir to millions, locates an American financier to win his boss’s daughter. A great chance to see classic silent comedy played out against vintage English backdrops. Find out more at wikipedia.orgPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.   Introduced by Geoff Brown, author of the only book on Walter Forde.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

better-ole-posterThe Better ‘Ole  (Dir.  Charles Reisner, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 97mins) Warner Brothers’ first comedy feature to have a Vitaphone soundtrack, this features Charlie Chaplin’s brother Syd in an adaptation of the wartime comic strip by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather detailing the adventures of Old Bill and his friends Bert and Alf in better-ole-2the trenches of the first World War.     The sterling cast also includes Edgar Kennedy and Harold Goodwin. Find out more at  wikipedia.org  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend.    Introduced by Barbara Witemeyer, daughter of chief Vitaphone sound engineer Jack Watkins.   Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

salome-1922Salome    (Dir. Charles Bryant, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 72mins)  Salomé is a provocative silent film adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play that was considered so risqué it was banned on the English stage in 1892. Starring (and largely directed by) the Russian salome-1922-2star Alla Nazimova, this film portrays the famously fatal consequences of the young Salomé’s violent love for John the Baptist, held captive by her father, Herod. Wilde made Salomé’s ‘dance of the seven veils’ infamous and in her adaptation, Nazimova gives the dance a playful 1920s update. With its androgynous costumes inspired by the art nouveau designs of Aubrey Beardsley, this is a startlingly modern work that challenged received wisdoms about gender and sexuality at the time of its release. Salomé revels in the homoerotic subtexts of Wilde’s play, and, fuelled by the rumour that Nazimova employed an entirely gay or bisexual cast, it has long been considered a LGBT cult classic. Find out more at www.allmovie.com   Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival.  With live music accompaniment by The Hermes Experiment. Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge    Link

deux-timides-poster-3-webLes Deux Timides (aka Two Timid Souls) (Dir. Rene Claire, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 87mins) A diffident young lawyer suffers professional and amorous frustrations as a result of his shyness, but he eventually secures the object of his affections and even succeeds in producing some firmness of purpose in his future father-in-law, an equally timid soul.  “Two Timid Souls harks back to an earlier age of film comedy, reworking the styles of Max Linder, Charlie Chaplin and Mack Sennett into something new and elegant. At the same time, the restoration of this sublime farce reveals it as a silent classic in its own right.” Sight & Sound  Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge Link

24 October

within-our-gates-hi-resWithin Our Gates (Dir. Oscar Micheaux, 1920) (Screening format – DCP, 79mins) Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer of ‘race movies,’ the early wave of black American independent cinema in a time of segregation, and this compelling film is the earliest surviving feature by a black American director. Evelyn Preer, known within the within-our-gates-01black community as ‘The First Lady of the Screen,’ plays a woman who travels north in an effort to raise money for a school for poor black children in the Deep South. Her romance with a black doctor ultimately leads to painful revelations about her family’s past and her own mixed-race ancestry.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .   Introduced by Trailblazers season programmer Ashley Clark.  With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London Link

around-chinaAround China With A Movie Camera  (Dir. Various, 1900-1948) (Screening format – not known, 68mins) A compendium of rare travelogues, newsreels and home movies from the collections of the BFI National Archive offering a fascinating insight into the lost world of pre-revolutionary China. Scenes include the bustling street life of cosmopolitan Shanghai in 1900.  Mid-1920s Hangzhou is exquisitely rendered in shimmering Pathé stencil colour, while colonial Hong Kong (1927) is markedly different from the city we know today.  Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival.  With a soundtrack  inspired by a wide range of Chinese music blended with western classical influences, electronica and jazz composed by Ruth Chan who also introduces the film.  Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge Link

germaine_dulac_1882-1942Harmonious Rhythms: Dance and Silent Film  (Dir.  various) (Screening format – not known, 90mins) Attempting to articulate her vision for the cinema in an essay of 1927, the French director Germaine Dulac  (image, right) wrote: ‘I conjure up a dancer! A woman? No. A leaping line of harmonious rhythms.’ In different but interconnected ways, the two female directors showcased in this screening use the idea of dance to make films driven by movement and rhythm. Dulac’s three abstract short films ( Thèmes et Variations, France 1929, 11 mins; Une Étude Cinégraphique sur une Arabesque,  France 1929, 8 mins;  and Disque 957, France 1929, 6 mins)  construct a visual music based on the compositions of Chopin and Debussy, creating a beautiful choreography of machines, bodies, and nature. Similarly, in her Ritual in Transfigured Time ( USA 1946.14 mins) Maya Deren stages a transfixing encounter between camera and performer by tracing the fluid movements and gestures of the human body in space. The New York Times critic John Martin co  ined the term “choreocinema” to describe this kind of filmmaking, which delights in the musicality of silent images.  Presented as part of the Cambridge Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge Link

 25 October

nosferatuposterNosferatu (F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 93mins) Based upon Bram Stoker’s Dracula, one of the most evocative texts in popular culture, FW Murnau’s 1922 film adaptation relocates the story from Transylvania to nineteenth-century Bremen. Max Schreck stars as the terrifying Count Orlock, who thirsts for the body and soul of a young clerk and his beautiful wife. Regarded as the first vampire film, Nosferatu is one of the most artistically original and masterfully ghoulish of the genre.  Find out more at modernism.research.yale.edu  With live musical accompaniment by Paul Robinson’s six piece HarmonieBand (featuring piano, clarinet, accordion, saxophone, percussion and cello).  Quad Cinema, Derby   Link

26 October

Lodger_Poster The Lodger: A Story of the Lond on Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) (Screening format – not known ) A serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Minima.   Prince Charles Cinema, London    Link

battleship-potemkin-2Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins) Eisenstein’s documentary-style recreation of events leading to the failed 1905 mutiny of the crew of the titular imperial battleship against their officers is remembered primarily for the horrific carnage perpetrated on the Odessa Steps. battleshippotemkin1Brilliantly shot and edited, the sequence depicts the Tsarist troops’ relentless movement against civilians as monstrous and mechanical: virtually an icon of unfeeling political oppression.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com .  Introduced by Helen de Witt, BFI Head of Cinemas.  With recorded Edmund Meisei score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

27 October

navigator_the_02-posterThe Navigator (Dir. Donald Crisp/Buster Keaton, 1924) and The Goat (Dir. Malcolm St Claire/Buster Keaton, 1921) (Screening format – Blu-Ray, 59/27mins)   In The Navigator,  rich socialite Rollo goat_1921Treadway (Buster Keaton) and his girlfriend (Kathryn McGuire) manage to find themselves adrift on an empty ocean liner.  At first their only problem is a lack of servants and an awkward deckchair but soon Rollo is in a diving suit battling  swordfish and octopus while his girlfriend is captured by hungry cannibals.     Find out more at allmovie.com .    The Goat sees a drifter (Buster Keaton) already on the run from the cops when he’s mistaken for murderer Dead Shot Dan ( Mal St. Clair). Keaton has eluded the previous group of policeman, but he’s no match for the ill-tempered, heavyweight detective (Joe Roberts) who’s now hot on his trail…or is he?  Find out more at busterkeaton.com  Two Keaton classics, with a top-notch quota of thrills and laughs.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonathan Best.  The Old Ship Public House, Hammersmith, London  Link

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.   Presented as part of the Bram Stoker Film Festival.  Live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit  Spa Pavilion, Whitby, N Yorks.     Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see 1 Oct above.    Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live orchestral accompaniment  by  the Cambridge Concert Orchestra conducted by Suzanne Dexter-Mills.  Chelmsford Cathedral, Chelmsford, Essex Link

28 October

vampyr1932Vampyr  (Dir. Carl Th Dreyer, 1932) (Screening format – not known, 73mins) (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 piano accompanyment by Jonathan Best.  National Centre for Early Music, York   Link

Halloween Silent film evening    Film titles to be confirmed. Live organ accompaniment by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie.  Brentford Musical Museum, Kew, London   Link

Phantom_of_the_Opera_(1925_film)Phantom of the Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – not known) Beneath the sewers of the Paris Opera House dwells a masked figure. He is the Phantom, a hideously disfigured composer whose dream it to turn chorus singer Christine into a diva. Lon Chaney, the “Man of a Thousand Faces”, dominates this classic adaptation of the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this one of the great classics of American silent film.  Find out more at  Wikipedia  With live piano accompaniment by Darius Battiwalla.  Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield   Link

lime-kiln-webLime Kiln Club Field Day (Dir.   Edwin Middleton/ T Hayes Hunter, 1913) (Screening format – 35mm, 65mins)  The first documented film with an all-black principal cast was this unfinished, independently produced romantic comedy discovered by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and reassembled for a premiere in 2014. It stars legendary vaudeville performer Bert Williams as a dandy fighting off two other suitors for the love of a woman. Williams – wearing blackface in a concession to entertainment standards of the day – proves to be a leading man of some depth, blending impressive slapstick with emotional range.  Find out more at silentfilm.org   Introduced by Trailblazers season programmer Ashley Clark.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

museums-of-the-new-age_new-940x460Museums of the New Age  (Dir. Various) (Screening format – not known, 30mins) Travel back in time to an era where image was everything and the sound of silence prevailed.  Museums of the New Age presents footage last seen in 1928 and goes behind the scenes at four of Europe’s most prestigious science museums in London, Paris, Munich and Vienna. Highlights  include exhibition building 1920s style, a sneak peek into staff offices and a time lapsed construction sequence of London’s Science Museum.  Presented as part of the Manchester Science Festival.  Introductory presentation by Dr Tim Boon, historian and curator.  With musical accompaniment of a specially created score by acclaimed French composer Jean-Philippe Calvin  performed live by seven talented musicians from across Europe.  Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester    Link

lodger_1927_posterThe Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) (Screening format – not known ) A serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Kings Lynn Community Cinema Club, Kings Lynn    Link

   29 October

nosferatu-vvNosferatu  (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922)  (Screening format  – Not Known,  95 mins)  Unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Max Schreck plays the sinister vampire, Count Orlok, traveling across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Nosferatu is the earliest surviving screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel and has had a long and dangerous life of its own.  Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaptation and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. However, a few prints survived and the film came to be regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema and film has outlasted many others of the silent era. Find out more at Wikipedia.    With live musical accompaniment by Martyn Niele.  Stephens House & Gardens, Finchley, London Link

battleship-potemkin-2Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins) Eisenstein’s documentary-style recreation of events leading to the failed 1905 mutiny of battleshippotemkin1the crew of the titular imperial battleship against their officers is remembered primarily for the horrific carnage perpetrated on the Odessa Steps. Brilliantly shot and edited, the sequence depicts the Tsarist troops’ relentless movement against civilians as monstrous and mechanical: virtually an icon of unfeeling political oppression.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com.    With recorded Edmund Meisei score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

unknown lon chaneyThe Unknown (Dir. Tod Browning, 1927) (Screening format – not known) Alonzo (Lon Chaney) is an armless knife thrower and gun shooter for a circus—or so he appears. He is actually a burglar with his arms intact. He and his accomplice, Cojo (John George, a little person), are hiding from the police, and Alonzo views his disguise as perfect, especially since it keeps from view an unusual deformity of his left hand that would immediately give him away as the burglar. Nanon (Joan Crawford), the daughter of the circus owner, is the target in his act. Although Alonzo is in love with her, Nanon’s father despises him. Nanon is attracted to Malabar (Norman Kerry), the circus strong man, but she is also repulsed by his uninhibited sexual advances and desire to touch and hold her. Apparently her phobia extends to the touch of any man. Alonzo feeds her fears in the hopes that Nanon will fall in love with him since he is “armless.” Because Zanzi (Nick de Ruiz)  discovers Alonzo really has arms, Alonzo kills him, but Nanon witnesses the killing without seeing Alonzo’s face; however, she does see the telltale deformity of his left hand. … Find out more asilentfilm.org    With live musical accompaniment on the Wurlitzer organ by Mark Latimer   Royalty Cinema. Bowness on Windermere   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.  Live organ accompaniment by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie.  Chester Cathedral  Link

man who laughs poster 2The Man Who Laughs (Dir.  Paul Leni, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 110mins) Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt) is the son of an English nobleman.  As punishment for offending King James II, the monarch has  Gwynplaine’s father executed and Gwynplaine disfigured by having a permanent grin cut into his face.  The now homeless Gwynplaine  discovers an abandoned blind baby girl, Dea. The two children are eventually taken in by a traveling showman (Ceasar Gravina).  Years pass and Gwynplaine falls in love man who laughs photowith Dea (Mary Philbin), but refuses to marry her because of his hideous face.  Their travels bring them before the deceased King’s successor, Queen Anne, whose Jester, Barkilphedro (Brandon Hurst) , discovers records which reveal Gwynplaine’s lineage and his rightful inheritance.  Will Gwynplaine ever gain his rightful inheritence and will it cost him the love of Dea.  Adapted from the Victor Hugo novel, The Man Who Laughs was intended by Universal to build on earlier  successes with Gothic adaptions such as The Hunchback of Notre dame (1923) and Phantom of the Opera (1925).  Find out more at  silentfilm.org      With live musical accompaniment and sound effects.  Britannia Panopticon Music Hall,  Glasgow     Link

nosferatuNosferatu  (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922)  (Screening format  – not known  95 mins)  Unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Max Schreck plays the sinister vampire, Count Orlok, traveling across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at Wikipedia.   Live musical accompaniment by Darius Battiwalla.  Shire Hall, Stafford   Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)   For film details see 7 Oct above.   Find out more at Wikipedia       With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne   Great War Huts,  Brook Farm Camp, Hawstead, Suffolk      Link

30 October

stella dallasStella Dallas (Dir. Henry King, 1925)  (Screening format – 35mm, 110mins)  Henry King’s exquisite melodrama tells the story of an ambitious young woman who marries above her station, but later sacrifices everything for her daughter. Seen as vulgar by her husband’s friends, she is looked down StellaDallas.2_originalupon for her ostentatious clothes, manners and style. Respected Hollywood screenwriter Frances Marion adapted this tale of ultimate mother-daughter devotion and the resulting drama of broken families, class divisions and a women’s place in society has universal resonance. With Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Belle Bennett in a heart-wrenching performance as Stella. Find out more at silentfilm.org    With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne  and Elizabeth Jane Baldry featuring the London premiere of Stephen Horne’s new score, commissioned by the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Barbican, London  Link

King_John_1899Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film (Dir. Various) (Screening format – DCP, 90mins) Adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays proved popular with early film-makers and audiences alike, from King John in 1899.  By the end of the silent era around 300 such films had been shakespeareproduced.  This feature-length celebration from the BFI National Archive draws together a delightful selection of thrilling, dramatic, iconic and humorous scenes from two dozen different titles, many of which have been unseen for decades, newly restored and digitised.  See Hamlet addressing Yorick’s skull, King Lear battling a raging storm at Stonehenge, the Merchant of Venice in vibrant stencil colour, the fairy magic of A Midsummernight’s Dream and what was probably John Gielgud’s first appearance on film in the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.   Presented by South West Silents.  Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, N Somerset  View

battleship-potemkin-1Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins) Eisenstein’s documentary-style recreation of events leading to the failed 1905 mutiny of battleshippotemkin1the crew of the titular imperial battleship against their officers is remembered primarily for the horrific carnage perpetrated on the Odessa Steps. Brilliantly shot and edited, the sequence depicts the Tsarist troops’ relentless movement against civilians as monstrous and mechanical: virtually an icon of unfeeling political oppression.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com.    With recorded Edmund Meisei score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

nosferatuposterNosferatu (F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 93mins) Based upon Bram Stoker’s Dracula, one of the most evocative texts in popular culture, FW Murnau’s 1922 film adaptation relocates the story from Transylvania to nineteenth-century Bremen. Max Schreck stars as the terrifying Count Orlock, who thirsts for the body and soul of a young clerk and his beautiful wife. Regarded as the first vampire film, Nosferatu is one of the most artistically original and masterfully ghoulish of the genre.  Find out more at modernism.research.yale.edu  With live musical accompaniment by Paul Robinson’s six piece HarmonieBand (featuring piano, clarinet, accordion, saxophone, percussion and cello).  Home Cinema, Manchester  Link

31 October

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.  The Firestation, Windsor, Berks  Link

battleship-potemkin-1Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins) Eisenstein’s documentary-style recreation of events leading to the failed 1905 mutiny of battleshippotemkin1the crew of the titular imperial battleship against their officers is remembered primarily for the horrific carnage perpetrated on the Odessa Steps. Brilliantly shot and edited, the sequence depicts the Tsarist troops’ relentless movement against civilians as monstrous and mechanical: virtually an icon of unfeeling political oppression.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com.    With recorded Edmund Meisei score.  BFI Southbank, London Link