Midlands

 

 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

7 October

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

21 October

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

22 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 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

 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

   29 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.  Live organ accompaniment by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie.  Chester Cathedral  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