North of England

 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   Presented by the Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust with live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  Town Hall Ballroom, Stockport   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

27 October

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

28 October

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

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

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

   29 October

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    With live musical accompaniment on the Wurlitzer organ by Mark Latimer   Royalty Cinema. Bowness on Windermere   Link

30 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  With live musical accompaniment by Paul Robinson’s six piece HarmonieBand (featuring piano, clarinet, accordion, saxophone, percussion and cello).  Home Cinema, Manchester  Link

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