London and South East

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.


220px-Vintage_Potemkin1 January

Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1926)  Eisenstein’s account of the 1905 Black Sea mutiny and the sympathetic response it received from the people of Odessa, is often regarded as the supreme achievement of 1920s Soviet cinema,  Eisenstein makes brilliant use of montage both to provide drama through subtle alterations of space and time and to create striking metaphoric relationships that bolster his political arguments. Find out more at Wikipedia   Close-Up Film Centre, London  Link

2 January

Strike (Dir. Sergei Eisenetein, 1925) Eisenstein’s first film follows the progress of a workers’ strike at a factory in pre-Revolutionary Russia from worker dissatisfaction and organization to a violent denouement. True to his ideological resistance to the reliance on heroic individuals in mainstream cinema, the focus shifts among a number of groups: provocateurs, strike breaking troops, an arrogant ruling class and the workers themselves. Find out more at IMDb    Close-Up Film Centre, London  Link

3 January

October (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1928)  A dramatic chronicle of the events leading up to and during the October Revolution.  Eisenstein attempts a more complex and intellectual film than his previous efforts, including the famous sequence in which a montage of religious images amounts to a critique of religion. He refuses to focus on an individual protagonist. Even Lenin himself is rarely glimpsed among the soldiers, sailors, student agitators and bourgeois counterrevolutionaries who populate the film. Find out more at IMDb  Close-Up Film Centre, London  Link

9 JanuaryMan_with_a_movie_camera

Man With A Movie Camera  (Dir. Dziga Vertov, 1929) 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  Wikipedia   With live musical accompaniment by Graeme Ross (Radioolio)  Portico Gallery, West Norwood, London  Link

12 January

A Cosmonaut’s TripIn parallel with the exhibition ‘Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age’ at the Science Museum, this event investigates cinematic reactions to outer space, including a number of silent film shorts (Eclipse of the Moon Topical Budget 530-1 (1921), Voyage autour d’une étoile (Dir. Gaston Velle,  1906),  A Trip to the Planets (1920),  Les Astronautes, (Dir. Walerian Borowczyk & Chris Marker, 1959)  ICA, London  Link

13 January

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Dir. Lotte Reiniger  1926) Based on stories from “The Arabian Nights”, a wicked sorcerer tricks Prince Achmed into riding a magical flying horse which he uses to fly off to many adventures. While traveling, he falls in love with the beautiful Princess Peri Banu, and must defeat an army of demons to win her heart. The film is animated using the silhouette technique, which employs movable cardboard and metal cutouts posed in front of illuminated sheets of glass. Find out more at Wikipedia    Deptford Cinema, London Link

16 January

Piccadilly (Dir.  E A Dupont, 1929)     A young Chinese woman (Anna May Wong), working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club’s main act which soon leads to a plot of betrayal, forbidden love and murder.  Find out more at Wikipedia.  With live musical accompaniment.   Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

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The Circus (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1928)  On the run from the police, a tramp (Chaplin) unwittingly ducks into a big top, where his bumbling attempts to avoid the pursuing officers earn the laughter and applause of the crowd. Impressed, the ringmaster decides to employ him as an entertainer. Between a whirlwind of gags, getting trapped in a lion’s cage and some show-stopping high wire escapades, he falls for the ringmaster’s beautiful, mistreated daughter, a show rider who unfortunately only has eyes for a daring tightrope acrobat. Find out more at Wikipedia      Barbican, London  Link

20 January

Ivor Novello The rat 1925The Rat (Dir. Graham Cutts, 1925)   Pierre Boucheron (Ivor Novello, “the British Valentino”) aka The Rat, is a Parisian jewel thief, and habitué of the White Coffin club.  His innocent girlfriend Odile (Mae Marsh) is desired by the sinister Monsieur Stetz (Robert Scholtz), while the demi-mondaine Zelie de Chaumet (Isabel Jeans) has designs on the Rat.   A powerful and enjoyable romantic melodrama and one of Novello’s best performances (he also wrote the original play in collaboration with Constance Collier). Find out more  at Wikipedia  A Kennington Bioscope presentation with live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London

23 January

A Trip to The Moon, Kingdom of The Fairies and Courtship Of The Sun And Moon (Dir. George Méliès. 1902, 1903 and 1907)   In A Trip To The Moon, a team of astronauts journey to the moon in a space capsule fired from a giant cannon.  They encounter alien inhabitants, fight them off and return to earth ( IMDb )    Kingdom of the Fairies is freely adapted from Biche au Bois, a popular stage pantomime that had originated at the  Theatre de la Porte Saint Martin (Wikipedia).   In the Courtship Of The Sun And Moon a professor of astronomy gives a lecture on an impending solar eclipse. The Moon and the Sun lick their lips in anticipation as the eclipse arrives, culminating in a romantic encounter between the two celestial bodies. Various heavenly bodies, including planets and moons, hang in the night sky; a meteor shower is depicted using the ghostly figures of girls (Wikipedia). Live musical accompaniment by Stems.  Electric Palace, Hastings  Link

24 JanuaryKeaton_Go_West_1925

The Paleface (Dir. Buster Keaton & Edward F Cline 1922) + Go West  (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1925)  In The Paleface , butterfly hunter Keaton saves an Indian tribe from greedy oil barons.  In Go West, Keaton plays ‘Friendless’, a drifter seeking his fortune out West who has to choose between the girl (Kathleen Myers) and ‘Brown Eyes’ the cow.  Find out more at  IMDb and  Wikipedia     With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Barbican, London    Link

Make more noiseMake More Noise – Suffragettes In Silent Film.  Make More Noise! combines documentary footage of the suffragettes’ public activities with comedy films of the period, which joyously pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable behaviour. These gloriously anarchic pre-war comedies are full of bright sparks like the Tilly girls (starring Alma Taylor and Chrissie White) who gleefully disobey society’s strictures. Women are seen acting like men, dressing in men’s trousers and even leaving the men at home minding the babies. The films reveal how girls and women were already acting differently, had higher aspirations and expected more freedom than their grandmothers could have imagined, going against conventional wisdom that female emancipation was a result of war-time changes. With recorded musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley. Electric Palace, Hastings Link

Le_Voyage_dans_la_luneThe Kid (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1921) +  A Trip To The Moon  (Dir. Georges Melies, 1902)    In The Kid, a tramp (Chaplin) befriends and raises an abandoned waif (Jackie Coogan).  This was Chaplin’s first full-length film as a director. It was a huge success, and was the second-highest grossing film in 1921, widely admired for its combination of comedic and dramatic elements. Find out more at  Wikipedia   In A Trip To The Moon, a team of astronauts journey to the moon in a space capsule fired from a giant cannon.  They encounter alien inhabitants, fight them off and return to earth.  Making early use of a wide range of cinematic techniques (superimposition, dissolves, rapid editing) Melies creates a milestone in world cinema history, the first true science fiction film, both entertaining and groundbreaking. Read more at IMDb.  With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  The Musical Museum, Brentford  Link

 25 January

Show People (Dir. King Vidor, 1928)  A lighthearted look at Hollywood at the end of the silent era charting the progress of Peggy Pepper (Marion Davies) from wannabe to slapstick star to pouting, pretentious silent-film diva.  Supposedly inspired by the career of Gloria Swanson, the film features cameo appearances by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and William S Hart.  Find out more at IMDb   With recorded Carl Davis score and introduction by Kevin Brownlow.   BFI Southbank, London  Link

29 JanuaryThe_Passion_of_Joan_of_Arc_(1928)_English_Poster

La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)    Joan of Arc (Maria Falconetti)’s inquisition, trial and execution, based on actual historical transcripts.  Extensive use of close-ups produces an intense experience. When the film was released in 1928, it caused a minor scandal. Condemned unseen in France, vilified by Catholic authorities and even banned in England for its depiction of English soldiers, it is now recognised as a cinematic masterpiece, startlingly ahead of its time.  Find out more at IMDb    Live musical accompaniment by vocal ensemble The Orlando Consort.  LSO St Lukes, London Link

 

Show_People_(movie_poster)Show People  (Dir. King Vidor, 1928)  A lighthearted look at Hollywood at the end of the silent era charting the progress of Peggy Pepper (Marion Davies) from wannabe to slapstick star to pouting, pretentious silent-film diva.  Supposedly inspired by the career of Gloria Swanson, the film features cameo appearances by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and William S Hart.  Find out more at IMDb   With live musical accompaniment.   BFI Southbank, London  Link

31 January

The Strong Man (Frank Capra, 1926)  Capra’s feature length directorial debut.  Harry Langdon plays a mild mannered Belgian World War One veteran arriving in New York to find his blind pen-pal girlfriend  Mary Brown (Priscilla Bonner) whom he has never seen before.  Find out more at IMDb      Sands Films, Rotherhithe   Link