East of England

 

13 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 Halesworth Arts Festival.  Accompanied live by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne performing the original 1916 score.  The Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth, Suffolk  Link

20 October

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

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

22 October

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

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

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

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

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

28 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 Stephen Horne.  Kings Lynn Community Cinema Club, Kings Lynn    Link

29 October

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)   For film details see 13 Oct above.   Find out more at Wikipedia       With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne   Great War Huts,  Brook Farm Camp, Hawstead, Suffolk      Link


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