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Man_with_a_movie_camera2 February

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   The Electric, Birmingham   Link

6 February

Phantom Of The Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – DVD, 93 mins) The mysterious phantom (Lon Chaney) is a vengeful composer living in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House, determined to promote the career of  the singer he loves (Mary Philbin).  Famed for the phantom’s shock unmasking, incredible set designs and the masked ball sequence, it still packs a punch. Find out more at Wikipedia.  Live organ accompaniment by Alex Mason.  St Alphege Church, Solihull, Birmingham  Link

13 FebruaryBuster_keaton_one_week_poster

Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, 1923) + One Week (Dir.  Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, 1920)  In Safety Last, Harold Lloyd heads to the big city to make his fortune. Although only a sales clerk he tells his girlfriend (Mildred Davis) he is the store manager.  When she comes to visit, he needs to keep up the pretense, avoid the real store manager and escape the police by climbing up the outside of the building.  A classic Lloyd comedy with hair-raising climax.  Find out more at  IMDb  One Week sees newlyweds Buster Keaton and Sybil Seely trying to build a kit house, hampered by a rejected suitor who has secretly re-numbered all the crates.   Find out more at Wikipedia   A ‘Cinematic Time Machine’ presentation from the Electric Cinema with live organ accompaniment by David Ivory.    Birmingham Cathedral   Link

The_General_poster20 February

The General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, 1926)   Engineer Johnny Gray (Buster Keaton) is turned down when he tries to enlist in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War as his occupation is deemed too important. When his train (The General) is stolen by Union soldiers so that it can be used to attack Confederate forces, only Johnny and his girl Annabelle Lee can save the train and warn the Confederates about an impending attack. Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Ilkley Film Festival.  Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.  King’s Hall, Ilkley   Link