London & South East

 1 October

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight into the realities of trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It shows scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive including the massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle (the bloodiest single day in Britain’s military history) and depictions of the small gains and massive costs of the attack. The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals Britain’s commitment to the First World War. It is the source of many of that conflict’s most iconic images. It was made by British official cinematographers Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. Though it was not intended as a feature film, once the volume and quality of their footage had been seen in London, the British Topical Committee for War Films decided to compile a feature-length film.  Find out more at Wikipedia    Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.  With live 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

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

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

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

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

22 October

kid_boots_1926-filmposterkid-boots-1922-eddie-cantorKid Boots  (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

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

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

26 October

Lodger_Poster The 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.   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

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

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

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

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  featuring the London premiere of Stephen Horne’s new score, commissioned by the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Barbican, London  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

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