London and South East

underground 2Sunrise_originalFlesh_and_the_Devil_with_John_Gilbert


4 December

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).  Barbican, London Link

5 December

body-and-soul-1925Body and Soul  (Dir. Oscar Micheaux, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 102mins) In his screen debut, Robeson delivers an electrifying performance as an escaped convict trying to pass as a local preacher in the Deep South. Body and Soul, which firmly established the ‘Micheaux style,’ is a seminal film in the history and advancement of black cinema. The original version of Body and Soul was apparently a nine-reel production. When the filmmaker applied for an exhibition license from the Motion Picture Commission of the State of New York, it was denied approval on the grounds it would “tend to incite to crime” and was “immoral” and “sacrilegious”. Micheaux was forced to re-edit the film twice before the commission approved the film, which was reduced from nine to five reels.  Find out more at  allmovie.com  .  With world premier of new live score by London-based jazz composer and musician Peter Edwards and the Nu Civilisation Orchestra Ensemble.  BFI Southbank, London   Link

7 December

skinners_dress_suit_posterSkinner’s Dress Suit (Dir. William J Seiter, 1926)(Screening format – 16mm, 70mins) A surprisingly contemporary piece about status-seeking. Skinner (Reginald Denny) is an office worker whose wife (Laura La Plante) hectors him into asking for a raise. Not only does Skinner not get the extra dough, but he’s asked to take a cut in salary. Nonetheless, he tells his wife that he’s gotten the increase, whereupon she delightedly makes plans to spend the extra cash.  Find out more at imdb.com   Presented by the Kennington Bioscope  with live piano accompaniment.  Introduced by renowned silent film historian Kevin Brownlow.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

21 December

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.   BFI Southbank, London    Link

27 December

Peter_Pan_1924_moviePeter Pan (Dir. Herbert Brenon, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 102mins)    This first screen adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic was . officially sanctioned by Barrie himself and personally chose the 17-year-old unknown, Betty Bronson, in the role of Peter, over other hopefuls including Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Bronson is perfect as the puckish petulant Pan, whilst Edinburgh-born Ernest Torrence is suitably foppish and villainous as Captain Hook. Look out too for a young Anna May Wong in a cameo appearance as Tiger Lily! Cap it all with charming special effects and camerawork by Oscar winning cinematographer James Wong Howe to make it a magical film experience.  Find out more at Wikipedia  With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  Regent Street Cinema, London Link

28 December

napoleon-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.   BFI Southbank, London    Link

29 December

Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP332 mins) For details see Dec 28 above.   With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment.   BFI Southbank, London    Link

peter-pan-2Peter Pan (Dir. Herbert Brenon, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 102mins) .    This first screen adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic was . officially sanctioned by Barrie himself and personally chose the 17-year-old unknown, Betty Bronson, in the role of Peter, over other hopefuls including Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Bronson is perfect as the puckish petulant Pan, whilst Edinburgh-born Ernest Torrence is suitably foppish and villainous as Captain Hook. Look out too for a young Anna May Wong in a cameo appearance as Tiger Lily! Cap it all with charming special effects and camerawork by Oscar winning cinematographer James Wong Howe to make it a magical film experience.  Find out more at Wikipedia  With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  Regent Street Cinema, London Link


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