11 February

Girl Shy  (Dir Fred C Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 80mins)    Harold Lloyd is a speech-impaired,  tailor’s assistant who secretly writes a book, The Secrets of Making Love and decides to  get it published in the big city. On his way by train, he falls for a girl (Jobyna Ralston) after helping her smuggle her dog past the conductor. When Harold’s manuscript gets rejected  he’s devastated and abandons the girl. But after the publisher changes his mind and gives Harry a big advance he finds the girl is about to marry another……a man who already has a wife.  Suddenly the chase is on to stop this marriage.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.   With live piano accompaniment from Darius Battiwalla.   Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford  Link

19 February

One A.M.+ Easy Street + The Rink. (Dir.  Charles Chaplin, 1916/1917    ) (Screening format – not known, 34/19/24 mins)  Three of Chaplin’s classic Mutual comodies in which Charlie plays a rich but drunk young man trying to break into his own house in One A M, a reluctant member of the police force trying to clean up the roughest neighbourhood in Easy Street and a not so good waiter who uses his lunch break to go skating in The Rink.  With live musical accompaniment by Unsilent Movies.  Phoenix Cinema, Leicester   Link

21 February

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1926) (Screening format – DCP, 150mins) Fritz Lang claimed to have been inspired to make Metropolis by his first glimpse of the New York skyline. The result is the grandest science fiction film of the silent era (and for many years to come), a seminal prediction of a megacity where the masses work as slaves for the good of a ruling elite.Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria (Brigitte Helm), a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichmarks, making it the most expensive film ever released up to that point. It is regarded as a pioneering work of science fiction and is among the most influential films of all time. The DNA of huge swathes of sci-fi cinema is traceable to Lang’s production, from the mad-scientist creation of the robot Maria, which would feed into Hollywood’s Frankenstein (1931), to the imposing Art Deco cityscapes (ingeniously created using miniatures by Eugen Schüfftan), which became the model for later depictions of dystopian cities, from Blade Runner (1982) to Brazil (1985). Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage was found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored so that at last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at silentfilm.org .  With recorded soundtrack.  Electric Cinema, Birmingham. Link