West of England

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.


20 January

Rediscovered and Restored (Dir. Various)  Serge Bromberg, one of Europe’s finest silent film champions, presents his latest collection of newly discovered and restored silent comedy shorts including newly restored versions of classic and rare films from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, James Finlayson and Charley Bowers.   Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Watershed, Bristol  Link

21 JanuaryMovie_Poster_-_Bed_&_Sofa

Bed and Sofa (Tretya Meshchanskaya)  (Dir.  Abram Room, 1927)  A married couple (Nikolai Batalov and Lyudmila Semyonova)  in a small apartment invite an old friend (Vladimir Fogel) to stay with them. This leads to interesting consequences for all three. Banned in both the Soviet Union (due to its focus on human relationships and disregard of state and party) and in the United States and Europe (due to its realistic portrayal of sexual relationships) this is now considered a landmark film due to its humour, naturalism and sympathetic portrayal of the female character. Find out more at  Wikipedia   Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Watershed, Bristol.  Link

Silent Comedy Westerns (Dir. Various)  Oscar winning director and film historian Kevin Brownlow shares some of his favourite and lesser known Western comedy shorts. With impersonations of famous Western stars, and gags that mock the best cliché’s of the genre, this should be a fascinating and hilarious journey through the history of early silent comedy Westerns. Including Mack Sennett’s A Movie Star (1916). Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Watershed, Bristol  Link

Chicago (Dir. Frank Urson, 1927) Based on a true crime story- a wild jazz-loving boozy wife Roxie Hart (Phyllis Haver) kills her boyfriend in cold blood after he leaves her. Entangling her ever-loving husband (Victor Varconi) in the process the film tells how and to what lengths she is willing to go to escape conviction. Find out more at IMDbPart of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Live musical accompaniment by European Silent Screen Virtuosi featuring Guenter A .Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Romano Todesco plus guests.  Arnolfini, Bristol  Link

22 January

Chaplin_The_Kid_editThe Kid  (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1921)  Cops (Dir. Edward F Cline, 1922) and Mighty Like A Moose (Dir H M Walker, 1926)  In The Kid, a tramp (Chaplin) befriends and raises an abandoned waif (Jackie Coogan).  Cops sees Buster Keaton being chased by what looks like the entire Los Angeles Police Department.  Mighty Like A Moose finds Charley Chase confused when he and his wife both have plastic surgery without telling each other.  Find out more at Wikipedia  or IMDb    Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival   Live musical accompaniment by the Bristol Ensemble conducted by Timothy Brock.  Colston Hall, Bristol   Link

Home James  (Dir. William Beaudine, 1928)    Hilarious story of a love affair across multiple mistaken identities. The girl (Laura Le Plante) trying to conceal the fact that she’s a lowly shop assistant, enlists the help of the boy (Charles Delaney), who is busy trying to conceal from her the fact that he’s not really a lowly chauffeur.  Find out more at IMDb   Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Watershed, Bristol  Link

Mack Sennett: King Of Comedy.    Former Goody Graeme Garden  celebrates the mastermind of early slapstick comedy, the actor and producer Mack Sennett. Graeme will reveal a selection of his best comedy shorts from the 1910s and 1920s featuring performers from the Keystone stable including Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Roscoe Arbuckle and perhaps even a glimpse of Sennett’s ‘Bathing Beauties’ and the renowned, often imitated Keystone Cops.   Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Watershed, Bristol   Link

Anita Loos: Hollywood Pioneer.  Lucy Porter talks about one of early Hollywood’s most talented and prolific screenwriters. Her friends and collaborators included DW Griffith, the Talmadge sisters, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. With two early examples of her work, The New York Hat (Dir: D.W. Griffith 1912)  featuring Mary Pickford and The Mystery of the Leaping Fish  (Dir: Christy Cabanne and John Emerson 1916) featuring Douglas Fairbanks and Bessie Love.  Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Watershed, Bristol    Link

Wild and Woolly  (Dir. John Emerson, 1917)  The son (Douglas Fairbanks) of an Eastern rail mogul, who has always wanted to live in “the Wild_and_WoollyWild West”,  is sent to a Western town to assess its potential as a route for a new railroad.  Unknown to him, the town’s “wild” days are long gone, and it is an orderly, civilized place now. The townsmen, keen to secure the rail link, contrive to make over the town to suit the young man’s fantasy.  The film plays out some of the best stunts and funniest moments on film. Find out more at  Wikipedia    Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Introduced by Lobster Film’s co-founder Serge Bromberg and accompanied live on piano by John Sweeney. Watershed, Bristol  Link

Chaplin’s The Kid: The Inside Story  Chaplin authority David Robinson offers fresh insights on Chaplin’s The Kid.   One of the world’s great comedies, at the same time achieving a pitch of emotion rarely paralleled in cinema, The Kid derives from Chaplin’s own life experience, and proves his fundamental conviction that comedy and tragedy are separated only by the thinnest line. Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Watershed, Bristol  Link

23 January

Keaton_Go_West_1925The Paleface (Dir. Buster Keaton & Edward F Cline 1922) + Go West  (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1925)  Rick Wakeman and Ian Lavender introduce the work of Buster Keaton, followed by a superb double bill.   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 Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  With live score performed by The European Silent Screen Virtuosi featuring Guenter A. Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Romano Todesco with special guest performer Adrian Utley (Portishead).  St George’s Concert Hall, Bristol   Link

24 January

Now Or Never + I Do  (Dir. Harold Lloyd, 1921) + Shorts   Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor discuss the work of Harold Lloyd,  followed by a classic double bill.  In Now or Never, Harold needs to look after the child, get the girl and avoid the train conductor while I Do sees Lloyd  and wife (Mildred Davis) suffering the travails of childcare.  Notable for the cartoon wedding in the first scene.   Find out more at Wikipedia and  IMDb   Part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.   St George’s, Bristol   Link

27 January

South West Silents present an evening of rarely seen animated silent films with a smörgåsbord of styles, techniques, agendas as well as nationalities (No details yet of film titles).  Presentations introduced by Tom Vincent (Aardman Animations) and Mark Fuller (South West Silents). The Landsdown Pub, Bristol   Link

31 January

Make 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 live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley and an exclusive Q & A involving the BFI’s Silent Film curator Bryony Dixon, composer Lillian Henley and film critic Tara Judah.. Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon   Link