London and South East

1 November

Kennington Bioscope Special – Silent To Sound     Using clips from British, French and German films, historian Geoff Brown investigates the turbulent European scene in the period of transition to sound, 1929/1930. Studios struggled to shift from silent prix_de_beaute_miss_europe_film_posterfeature production to films that talked, sang, and made noises. Britain briefly won the technological advantage, but lost out to others who used it more imaginatively.  The feature in the second half will be the UK premier of the original restored silent version of Prix de Beauté (Dir. Augusto Genina, 1930), prixdebeaute-originalfeaturing Louise Brooks as Lucienne, typist and gorgeous bathing beauty, who decides to enter the ‘Miss Europe’ pageant sponsored by the French newspaper she works for. She finds her jealous lover Andre violently disapproves of such events and tries to withdraw, but it’s too late…..Find out more at silentfilm.org     Presented by the Kennington Bioscope in conjunction with the AHRC-funded project ‘British Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound’.   With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link        [NB  Note date change.  Previously scheduled for 2 Nov]   

2 November

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     With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne. Westgate Hall, Canterbury   Link

5 November

Erotikon 1929Erotikon (Dir.Gustav Machatý, 1929) (Screening format – 35mm, 108mins)   Czech director Gustav Machatý pushed the boundaries of accepted taste and fashion, resulting in some of the most scandalous European films of the era. Erotikon explores the moral consequences of a night of unbridled passion between a Prague playboy and a provincial station-master’s daughter. Abandoned by the philanderer, she marries another man, but still dreams of the passion she experienced. Recently restored by the Czech National Film Archive, Erotikon is a landmark in European silent film and features Ita Rina, Oleg Fjord and Luiji Serventi. In partnership with Czech Centre, London and  National Film Archive Prague.  For more information see  silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment.  Barbican, London  Link

6 November

napoleon 3Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – not known332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797.  The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages projected simultaneously on three screens.   Napoleon_1927_4piece

This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who spent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954. Brownlow and his colleagues at Photoplay, initially the late David Gill, and then Patrick Stanbury, worked with the BFI National Archive on a series of restorations. The film version has been screened only 4 times in the UK since the year 2000.  Find out more at  BFI and  Wikipedia  With full orchestral music accompaniment composed and conducted by Carl Davis.  Royal Festival Hall, London  Link

7 November

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.    Accompanied by a live performance from  the Thames Youth Orchestra conducted by Simon Ferris.  Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London Link

8 November

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For film details see 7 Nov above.   Find out more at Wikipedia  With live accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Duke of Yorks Picture House, Brighton Link

10 November

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.    Accompanied by a live performance from  Chichester University Orchestra.  Chapel of the Ascension, Bishop Otter Campus University of Chichester, West Sussex.  Link

11 November

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.    Accompanied by a live performance from the Sutton Youth Symphony Orchestra    St Andrew’s Church, Cheam Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)   For film details see above.   Find out more at Wikipedia   Presented by the Fleapit Cinema Club.   Accompanied live by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne performing the original 1916 score. The screening will be introduced by Dr Toby Haggith of the Imperial War Museum.  Westerham Hall, Westerham, Kent  Link

12 November

wings-poster-2WINGS, classic DVD

NB    THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED     Link

Wings – (Dir. William A Wellman, 1927) (Screening format – Not Known) Two young men (Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers and Richard Arlen) fall in love with the same same girl (Clara Bow). After the US enters WWI, both join the Air Corps and become aces. They remain friends, but their rivalry for the girl threatens their comradeship.  Based upon a simple plot premise, Wings was acclaimed for its technical prowess and realism upon release, with the film becoming the yardstick against which future aviation films were measured, mainly because of its realistic air-combat sequences. It went on to win the first Academy Award for best picture, the only silent film ever to do so.  Director Wellman was hired in part because he was the only director in Hollywood at the wings-6time who had World War I combat pilot experience.  Hundreds of extras were brought in to shoot the picture, and some 300 pilots were involved in the filming.  As well as ariel combat, some 3500 troops were brought in for the ground combat scenes.  According to Hollywood legend, when Paramount saw the shooting overrun and budget spiral they sent an executive to complain to Wellman who swiftly told him that he had two options, “a trip home or a trip to the hospital” .  To find out more see silentfilm.org .  With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  Odeon, Leicester Square, London   Link

13 November

napoleon 3napoleon-portraitNapoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797.  The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages.  This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who napoleon-panoramaspent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954.  Find out more at  BFI and  Wikipedia With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   Screening at Picturehouse Cinemas in London (Central, Crouch End, Greenwich, Hackney, East Dulwich, Brixton and Clapham)  Link

napoleon-panoramaNapoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) For film details, see above.  With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   BFI Southbank, London  Link

napoleon-panoramaNapoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) For film details, see above.  With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   Barbican, London  (No link yet – please check with venue)

Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) For film details, see above.  With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.  Curzon Bloomsbury, London  Link

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.    Accompanied by a live performance from the Worthing Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Gibbons. Worthing Assembly Hall, Worthing     Link

14 November

The Restoration of NapoleonWhen film historian Kevin Brownlow first saw Napoleon as a boy, a mere 20 minute section was all he could get his hands on.  Sixty years and several restorations later, we can now screen a version which lasts five and a half hours.  The BFI is delighted to host Kevin Brownlow and film restorer and historian Patrick Stanbury as they share an account of the somewhat troubled past of this monumental film, and celebrate this singular achievement in film restoration.  BFI Southbank, London  (No link yet available – check with venue)

16 November

maciste-2Maciste in Love (aka Maciste Innamorato) (Dir. Luigi Romano Borgnetto, 1919) +  The Slave of Phidias (aka L’ Esclave de Phidias) (Dir. Léonce Perret, 1917)  (Screening format – 35mm)  Maciste in Love is one of a series of films starring Bartolomeo Pagano as Maciste, the slave with superhuman strength, first seen in the 1914 film Cabiria. 26 sequels followed, with Maciste becoming a character who could appear in any time and place, acting as a propaganda figure in films made during the period of the First World war, and later as a fantasy figure. A further series of sound films appeared between 1960 and 1965, featuring a number of American bodybuilders in the title role.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org  .    In The Slave of Phidias, while the sculpter Phidias attempts to chisel a statue of the goddess of love that remains offscreen and unfinished throughout the film, his slave-girl creates in him a real, passionate love stirred by the beauty of her flesh and, most importantly, of her lyre-playing.    A Kennington Bioscope presentation.  With live piano accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

18 November

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.    Accompanied by a live performance from the   BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Gibbons.   Royal Festival Hall, London   Link

19 November

blackmail-specialBlackmail (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1929)    (Screening format – not known, 84mins)   Set at the height of roaring 1920’s London, Blackmail tells the story of Alice White (Anna Ondra), the daughter of a Chelsea shopkeeper. After dinner ends in a quarrel with her boyfriend, Scotland Yard detective Frank Webber (John Longden), Alice finds herself at the centre of her very own crime scene. But with her boyfriend on the case, will Alice’s secret stay hidden and does anyone blackmail_1929_posterelse know about the events of that fateful night..?  Blackmail marked a landmark in British cinema when released in June 1929, hailed as ‘the first British all-talkie film’.  Director Alfred Hitchcock took full advantage of the new technical opportunities which sound offered. But the film was also released in a silent version, and to this day some critics consider this version a superior film. Presented in its original silent form with live musical accompaniment, Blackmail is a wonderful study of all things Hitchcockian: a blonde heroine in jeopardy, a surprise killing, some brilliantly manipulated suspense, and a last-reel chase around a familiar public landmark (in this case, the British Museum).  Find out more at silentfilm.org With live music by Camberwell Community Choir and an 8-piece jazz band. St Giles’ Church, Camberwell, London SE5   Link

napoleon1Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797.  The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages.  This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who napoleon-panoramaspent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954.  Find out more at  BFI and  Wikipedia With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   BFI Southbank, London  Link

Buster Keaton shorts (titles to be confirmed) with live organ accompaniment by Andy Quin.  Wurlitzer Hall, The Leisure Centre, WokingLink 

24 November

Irish Film Institute 1916 Centenary Ciné-Concert  (Dir. Various) Marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish Film Institute presents a programme of short silent films tracing the history of Anglo-Irish historical and cultural dialogue during the revolutionary period and beyond.  Presented as part of the London Irish Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Cormac de Barra, Colm Ó Snodaigh and Rossa Ó Snodaigh.  Barbican, London  Link

26November

napoleon1Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797.  The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages.  This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who napoleon-panoramaspent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954.  Find out more at  BFI and  Wikipedia With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   BFI Southbank, London  Link

27 November

napoleon1Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797.  The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages.  This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who napoleon-panoramaspent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954.  Find out more at  BFI and  Wikipedia With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   BFI Southbank, London  Link

napoleon-panoramaNapoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins)  .  With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   Regent Street Cinema, London   Link

Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins)  . For film details see above. With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   Cine Lumiere, Institut Francais,  London Link

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  Presented as part of the Cinecity Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Minima and Stephen Horne.   Duke of York’s Picture House, Brighton  Link

28 November

kid-poster kid-chaplinThe Kid   (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1921)  + The Scarecrow  (Dir. Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, 1920) (Screening format – DVD, 53/19 mins)  The Kid is Chaplin’s first feature length film and a masterful blending of comic genius and sentimentality.   In the film,  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. Charlie the Tramp 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. Will Edna find the child and will the little tramp get the girl?  As Chaplin says,  “A comedy with a smile–and perhaps a tear” .  Find out more at imdb.com .    In The Scarecrow,  Buster plays a farmhand who competes with Joe Roberts to win scarecrow_1920the love of the farmer’s daughter  (Sybil Seely).    Running from a dog,  Buster falls into a hay thresher and scarecrow-newruins 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. Stand by for one of the funniest marriage ceremonies in cinema history.  Find out more at   busterkeaton.com    With live organ accompaniment  by renowned organist Donald MacKenzie.  Alexandra Palace, London N22  Link

30 November

Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins)  . For film details see 27 November above. With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   Cine Lumiere, Institut Francais,  London Link

 


NB. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these listings is accurate, silentfilmcalendar.com can take no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies. You are strongly advised to confirm with the venue that the event remains as detailed, particularly if traveling any distance to attend.