March 2016

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.


 

2 March

girlWithTheHatbox-imageThe Girl with the Hat Box (aka Moscow that Weeps and Laughs) (Dir. Boris Barnet, 1927)   (Screening format – 35mm, )   Today, Russian cinema of the 1920s is best remembered for its epic and revolutionary themes, socialist propaganda, and avant-garde experimentation. Boris Barnet’s The Girl with the Hatbox, however, is a charming example of the era’s popular entertainment.  The film is a lighthearted romantic comedy about a naïve country girl (Anna Sten) who marries a student (Ivan Koval-Samborsky), in name only, so that they can circumvent Moscow’s rigid housing laws and share her room. She also fends off the advances of a love-struck railroad clerk, and the suspicions of her busybody landlords. Films like The Girl with the Hatbox may not have advanced the art of Russian cinema, but they made the masses laugh. Although the film was a popular success it was  attacked in the press for its failure to promote revolutionary ideology. Barnet’s subsequent career was marked by periodic run-ins with Soviet authority and a number of his films were banned.  He eventually committed suicide in 1965.   Anna Sten was signed by Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn. Despite  a massive publicity campaign and three starring roles, he failed to turn her into “the new Garbo” .  Instead, “Goldwyn’s Folly,” moved to London  where she acted in several minor pictures before  disappearing from the public eye.   Find out more at  moviessilently.com  .  A  Kennington Bioscope presentation with live musical accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

3 March

shooting-stars-01Shooting Stars (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1927) (Screening format – DCP, 103mins) A handsome cowboy gazes adoringly at his ‘gal’ perched winsomely in a tree. No, it’s not the Wild West, it’s Cricklewood, a British movie studio in the 1920s. This is not the only illusion to be swiftly shattered. A slapstick comedy is being shot on the other stage and spoiled star Mae Feather is more interested in what’s happening on the other set (particularly in its lead) than in her husband and co-star. Acknowledged to be the debut of rising talent Anthony Asquith (Underground, A Cottage on Dartmoor), it weaves together on and off screen stories with energy, flair and considerable bravado, affording rare, behind-the-scene glimpses. Find out more at  IMDb    Accompanied live by a newly commissioned score from John Altman and the Live Film Orchestra.  BFI Southbank, London Link   (NB  This film is also being shown in the BFI Southbank Studio, 4-16 Mar with recorded John Altman score)

WTET.quake.WEB4 March

When the Earth Trembled (aka The Strength of Love) (Dir. Barry O’Neil, 1913) (Screening format – Blu-Ray, 43 mins) Featuring original footage of the devastation caused by the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, When the Earth Trembled tells the story of a mother (Ethel Clayton) and her two children surviving the earthquake and their eventual reunion with their father.  For more information see silentfilm.org  Presented by the Fleapit Cinema Club and being screened 102 years to the day from when this was the first film ever shown in Westerham.  Introduced by Rob Byrne, President of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, who led the film’s restoration project and with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Westerham Hall, Westerham, Kent  Link

5 Marchwritten-in-dust-2014-poster

Written in Dust (Dir. Gareth Rees, 2014) (Screening format – DCP,  82mins) Set in Beijing during the most intense period of urbanisation the world has ever known, Written in Dust tells the story of three young rural migrant friends (Bin Ba, Lilly Guo and Nick Ma) who seek the new life that modern Beijing promises.  But as they strive for money and struggle in an unfulfilled love triangle, their different desires lead to moral corruption, betrayal, theft and ultimately murderous tragedy. Find out more at IMDb   With  live musical accompaniment (Chinese/British fusion) by Ling Peng (on erhu, guzheng and xun) and Andy Middleton (on keyboards and guitar).  St. Mary The Virgin Church, Banham, Norfolk  Link

6 March

Hamlet (Dir. Svend Gard/Heinz Schall, 1920)  (Screening format – 35mm, 73 mins)  Fairly loose adaption of Shakespeare’s play.  Hamlet (Asta Nielson) is a woman forced by her mother to disguise herself as a man.  Danish silent movie-star Nielsen formed her own production company to make this film, inspired by Dr.E P Vining’s 1881 book The Mystery of Hamlet.   Nielson’s performance won praise and further cemented her reputation as an actress transforming movie acting from overt theatricality to a more subtle naturalistic style.  Find out more at   IMDb    Part of the Barbican’s Shakespeare on silent screen season with live musical accompaniment by Robin Harris and Laura Anstee.  Barbican, London   Link

MetropolisMetropolis (Dir. Fritz Lange, 1927) (Screening format –DCP , 153 mins ) 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. 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 with a new recording of the original score. At last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at  silentfilm.org   Cinema City Picture House, Norwich  Link

7 Marchbeggars of life

Beggars of Life (Dir. William A Wellman, 1928)  (Screening format – not known) Louise Brooks (disguised as a boy(!)) and Richard Arlen are on-the-run hoboes trying to reach Canada.  Wallace Beery is the villain (or is he?).  One of Brooks’ few opportunities to demonstrate her acting skills in a Hollywood film.  Great location shooting, terrific stunts and some thrilling action.  Find out more at IMDb  With live musical accompaniment by the Dodge Brothers.  Royal Albert Hall, London  Link

Make More Noise – Suffragettes In Silent Film.  (Dir.various, 2015) (Screening format – not known, 72mins)  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.  MacRobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling   Link

8 March

Arsenal_1928_filmArsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 86mins)  Beautifully framed and shot, this is a visceral anti-war movie. The Great War (World War I) has brought devastation, heartache and hardship to the Ukrainian people. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown Kiev amidst the celebrations of Ukrainian freedom. But Timosh challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. From its devastating opening sequence onwards you are acutely aware of the emotional impact of a completely different style of filmmaking. Find out more at Wikipedia.  Presented as part of the WOW Wales One World and Borderlines Film Festivals.  Live musical accompaniment by Guy Bartell/Bronnt Industries Kapital.  The Courtyard, Hereford  Link

Make More Noise – Suffragettes In Silent Film.  (Dir.various, 2015) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins)  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.  Phoenix Cinema, E Finchley, London  Link

Make More Noise – Suffragettes In Silent Film. (Dir.various, 2015) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins) 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.  David Lean Cinema, Croydon   Link

10 MarchVampyr1932

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – not known, 75mins) (Technically, Dryer’s first sound film but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favorable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at Wikipedia  With live  premier of a new accompanying score by Minima and Stephen Horne. Introduced by Ian Banks, from the Department of Film, Theatre and TV, at the University of Reading  . Reading Film Theater, Reading, Berks  Link

11 March

 Shooting Stars  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1927)  (Screening format – not known)   A handsome cowboy gazes adoringly at his ‘gal’ perched winsomely in a tree. No, it’s not the Wild West, it’s Cricklewood, a British movie studio in the 1920s. This is not the only illusion to be swiftly shattered. A slapstick comedy is being shot on the other stage and spoiled star Mae Feather is more interested in what’s happening on the other set (particularly in its lead) than in her husband and co-star. Acknowledged to be the debut of rising talent Anthony Asquith (Underground, A Cottage on Dartmoor), it weaves together on and off screen stories with energy, flair and considerable bravado, affording rare behind-the-scene glimpses. Find out more at  IMDb   Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival   Accompanied by a newly commissioned recorded score for 12-piece ensemble by composer, conductor, arranger and saxophonist John Altman.  Screen Mobile, Hay on Wye  Link

12 MarchCC_The_Immigrant_1917

The Immigrant (Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1917.  Screening format – not known.  22 mins) On a  steamer crossing the Atlantic, the Tramp (Chaplin)  finds himself in assorted mischief while, among other things, playing cards, eating in a mess hall, and avoiding seasick passengers. He befriends another immigrant (Edna Purviance) who is traveling to America with her ailing mother.  Upon arrival in America, the Tramp and the woman part company. Later, hungry and broke, the tramp finds money on the street.   He enters a restaurant,  orders a meal and is reunited with the woman. But then he discovers the money is gone…  Find out more at IMDb  Presented as part of the Comrie Film Festival  Community Centre, Comrie, Perthshire  Link

Keaton - Sherlock juniorSherlock Jnr (Dir.  Buster Keaton, 1924)   (Screening format – not known, 45 mins)  A film projectionist (Buster Keaton)  longs to be a detective, and puts his meager skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing the pocketwatch of his girlfriend (Kathryn McGuire) ‘s father.  Although not a popular success on its initial release, the film has come to be recognised as a Keaton classic.  Find out more at   Wikipedia   Presented as part of the Bristol Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by members of the Bristol Ensemble.  Bristol Cathedral, Bristol   Link

13 March

Shooting Stars  (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1927)  (Screening format – not known, 103mins)  A handsome cowboy gazes adoringly at his ‘gal’ perched winsomely in a tree. No, it’s not the Wild West, it’s Cricklewood, a British movie studio in the 1920s. This is not the only illusion to be swiftly shattered. A slapstick comedy is being shot on the other stage and spoiled star Mae Feather is more interested in what’s happening on the other set (particularly in its lead) than in her husband and co-star. Acknowledged to be the debut of rising talent Anthony Asquith (Underground, A Cottage on Dartmoor), it weaves together on and off screen stories with energy, flair and considerable bravado, affording rare, behind-the-scene glimpses. Find out more at IMDb. Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival.  Accompanied by a newly commissioned recorded score for 12-piece ensemble by composer, conductor, arranger and saxophonist John Altman. Screen Mobile, Hay on Wye  Link

Arsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 86mins)  Beautifully framed and shot, this is a visceral anti-war movie. The Great War (World War I) has brought devastation, heartache and hardship to the Ukrainian people. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown Kiev amidst the celebrations of Ukrainian freedom. But Timosh challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. From its devastating opening sequence onwards you are acutely aware of the emotional impact of a completely different style of filmmaking. Find out more at Wikipedia.    Presented as part of the WOW Wales One World Film Festival with live musical accompaniment by Guy Bartell/Bronnt Industries Kapital. Chapter, Cardiff   (No Link Yet)

14 March

Arsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 86mins)    Beautifully framed and shot, this is a visceral anti-war movie. The Great War (World War I) has brought devastation, heartache and hardship to the Ukrainian people. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown Kiev amidst the celebrations of Ukrainian freedom. But Timosh challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. From its devastating opening sequence onwards you are acutely aware of the emotional impact of a completely different style of filmmaking. Find out more at Wikipedia.  Presented as part of the Wales One World Film Festival.  Live musical accompaniment by Guy Bartell/Bronnt Industries Kapital.  Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea   Link

15 March

Arsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 86mins)  Beautifully framed and shot, this is a visceral anti-war movie. The Great War (World War I) has brought devastation, heartache and hardship to the Ukrainian people. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown Kiev amidst the celebrations of Ukrainian freedom. But Timosh challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. From its devastating opening sequence onwards you are acutely aware of the emotional impact of a completely different style of filmmaking. Find out more at Wikipedia.   Presented as part of the WOW Wales One World Film Festival with live musical accompaniment by Guy Bartell/Bronnt Industries Kapital.  Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth   Link

15-19 March

Buster keatonBuster Keaton at The Hollywood Canteen (as told by Orson Welles) Its not a silent film but a new play by Mike Carter with silent film connections. It imagines a meeting between two of Hollywood’s most celebrated figures during World War II.  In the silent era, nobody matched Vaudevillian Buster Keaton for the inventiveness and scale of his imagination. Without the sentimentality of Chaplin, Keaton brought us epic train crashes, underwater photography, hurricanes and battle scenes – all delivered fearlessly with his famously stoic, beautifully photogenic stone face. By the 1940s, however, he was washed up, unemployable and a by word for has-been.  Orson Welles, on the other hand, is infamous for his ambition. After an Academy Award win for his first film, Citizen Kane – still often quoted as the best film ever made – his reputation suffered from a string of bad choices. Did he waste his talent? How much talent did he have in the first place?  Orson Welles often told an anecdote about meeting Buster Keaton in the kitchens of The Hollywood Canteen when the star of silent film was down on his luck. This may have been fiction, Welles being famous for his talent of making up good material. But in  this world premiere,  Oddservants Theatre Company imagine the meeting between two stars who gained and lost fame and fortune as they charted Hollywood’s Golden Age.   The Space Arts Centre, London E14  Link

16 March

Arsenal (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 86mins)  Beautifully framed and shot, this is a visceral anti-war movie. The Great War (World War I) has brought devastation, heartache and hardship to the Ukrainian people. Timosh, a recently demobbed soldier, returns to his hometown Kiev amidst the celebrations of Ukrainian freedom. But Timosh challenges the local authorities by calling for the Soviet system to be adopted. From its devastating opening sequence onwards you are acutely aware of the emotional impact of a completely different style of filmmaking. Find out more at Wikipedia.    Presented as part of the WOW Wales One World Film Festival with live musical accompaniment by Guy Bartell/Bronnt Industries Kapital.  Theatre Clwyd, Mold, Flintshire     Link

Earth  (Dir. Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930)  (Screening format – not known)  Commissioned during Stalin’s reign as a propaganda piece about the new policy of collectivisation, Dozhenko’s film proved controversial on its release – by which time the disastrous human cost of the policy had become clear.  But despite the film’s account of the necessity of moving from a reliance on man to machines, it is very much a lyrical hymn to nature and Ukrainian peasant culture.  Dovzhenko’s failure to adequately tow the party line cost him his job, yet today the film  stands as a visually stunning and heroic work.  Find out more at Wikipedia   Showing as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film with live musical accompaniment with a specially commissioned score by Jane Gardner and Hazel Morrison.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland Link

800px-Blind-husbands-1919-movieposterBlind Husbands (aka The Pinnacle)  (Dir Erich von Stroheim, 1919) (Screening format – not known)   American couple Dr. and Mrs. Armstrong (Sam deGrasse and Francelia Billington) arrive at a retreat in the Alps at the same time as Lieutenant Erich von Steuben ( von Stroheim).  The Lieutenant is a reckless and dissolute soul who sets his cap for Mrs. Armstrong. Since her husband is kindly but neglectful, she is easy prey. Their flirtation is watched over carefully by the guide Sepp (Gibson Gowland) who is indebted to the good doctor, and he manages to keep the wife away from the Lieutenant on the night the four of them spend together in a lodge. The next day when von Steuben and Dr. Armstrong climb the summit, a letter from Mrs. Armstrong falls out of von Steuben’s pocket and a fierce battle between the two men takes place…….. This picture introduces themes that von Stroheim carried throughout  his career — the eternal triangle shows up in most of his films in one form or another, and the climatic struggle between the two men would be repeated in the director’s flawed masterpiece, Greed (1924, which starred Gowland as McTeague). The easy decadence and the careful attention to detail would also be constants. Even though this isn’t anywhere close to his best work, Blind Husbands was one of the most impressive directorial debuts of all time.  Find out more at  Wikipedia  Showing as part of an evening focusing on the career of Eric von Stroheim: The Man You Love To Hate. Introduced by writer and broadcaster Michael Pointon and including a wide selection of clips from many of von Stroheims silent and sound films, with live musical accompaniment by pianists Meg Morley and Cyrus GabryschCinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

South West Silents present an evening focusing on the career of Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu (1903 – 1963) and, in particular, delving into his less celebrated work in the late twenties and early thirties. By this point, Ozu was working steadily for Shochiku studios, honing his craft on dozens of silent films in various genres, from romantic melodramas, college comedies, gangster pictures and of course, movies about families.  Introduction by Alex Clayton (Head of Film and Television at University of Bristol)  The Lansdown Pub, Bristol   Link

17 March

mania-la-historia-de-una-empleada-de-una-fabrica-de-tabacoMania:  Die Geschichte einer Zigarettenarbeiterin (Dir. Eugen Illes, 1918) (Screening format – not known, 85mins) Long considered lost, in 2006 Polish Filmoteka Narodowa (National Film Archives) discovered and purchased a nitrate copy of Mania from a Czech collector which was then subjected to a painstaking reconstruction process.  Sub-titled “Story of a Cigarette Factory Worker” , Mania tells the tale of Mania Walkowska (Pola Negri), a vivacious and attractive young woman whose love affair with a fledgling composer (Arthur Schroder) arouses the jealousy of a rich and powerful patron (Werner Hollmann).  Negri lights up her every scene with a wide-eyed allure, adding more depth to our understanding of an actress who would go on to become a Hollywood legend but whose fame and talent would ultimately be eclipsed by her celebrated affairs with Chaplin and Valentino. Find out more at Barbican.org  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film with live ‘ethno-pop rock’ score performed by Polish group Czerwie.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link

 Early Chinese Cinema  To complement the screening of ‘Daybreak’ (1933) [screening 19 March], Dr Xuelei Huang of the University of Edinburgh presents a fascinating introduction to the film industry, important films and film stars of Chinese cinema from the 1920s and 1930s. Take a tour of a bygone world with a specially selected programme of rare footage and film clips from some of the films most popular with Chinese audiences of the day. Dr Huang offers a captivating exploration of the social and cultural world of early Chinese cinema and considers the extent to which this film world differs from Hollywood and other Western cinema cultures.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link

18 March

Your Curator Needs You…Reel Rations  Images of land girls, bombing raids, troop movements, government information films exhorting us to save paper or to learn how to make dumplings out of potato peelings, immediately make us think of the cinema of World War Two. But all these types of film were already being produced in the First World War.  Silent film curator Bryony Dixon introduces a personal selection of rare films from the British Film Institute National Archive, showing how the nascent cinema business threw itself heart and soul into the war effort, raising money, sharing information, commemorating the dead and providing much needed distraction. Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by Mike NolanHippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland Link

Exit_SmilingExit Smiling (Dir. Sam Taylor, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 77mins) + short.  A riotous romantic backstage comedy starring one of the silent era’s great stars – Beatrice Lillie. Hailed by Noël Coward as “the funniest woman of our civilisation”, Lillie had a spectacularly successful international stage career, but only played the lead in this one silent feature. Lillie is Violet, the wardrobe mistress in a terrible touring theatrical company who yearns for her hour in the spotlight. When handsome young Jimmy (Jack Pickford) finds himself on the wrong side of the law and forced to leave town, Violet helps him join the troop until he can clear his name. On seeing the film Chaplin reputedly pronounced Lillie “a female Charlie Chaplin” but her gloriously expressive features and brilliant comic qualities are all her own.  Find out more at TCM.com  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland   Link

 Earth (Zemlya)_1930_posterEarth (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930)  (Screening format – DCP, 83 mins)  Dovzhenko is considered the father of Ukrainian cinema with Earth (Zemlya/Zeme) regarded as his masterpiece. Merging lyricism and ideology the film is constructed as a poetic celebration of man’s unity with nature and demonstrates that political progress is an organic part of the natural process. Dealing with the conflict between villagers and kulaks (rich peasants and class enemy), this political struggle is mirrored in the generational misunderstanding between the peasant farmer and his son. Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the AV Festival and as part of Levels of Democracy: Ukraine Film Weekend.  With recorded soundtrack by Ukrainian ethno-chaos band DakhaBrakha.  Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle  Link

19 March

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 starlet 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 by pianist Cyrus Gabrysch.  The Phoenix Artist Club, London WC2  Link

My_Wife's_Relations_(1922)My Wife’s Relations  (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1922)  +  A Pair of Tights  (Dir. Hal Yates, 1929)   (Screening format – not known, 30/25mins) The world premiere of a new restoration of Keaton’s ‘My Wife’s Relations’ featuring a new ending reinstated by Lobster Films. Buster is married by mistake to a fearsome Irish woman and must move in with her burly family. Followed by a little-known gem starring Anita Garvin and Marion Byron – a marvellous pair of comic actresses brought together by producer Hal Roach as the female answer to Laurel and Hardy. In ‘A Pair of Tights‘, two gals are invited on a cheap date by a stingy suitor and stop en route for ice-cream… but somehow each attempt to convey the cones to the car ends in slapstick disaster.  Find out more at  Wikipedia and IMDb  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by Jane Gardner and Hazel Morrison  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link

Variety_(1925_film)Variety  (Dir.  Ewald André Dupont, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 95mins) + short.   A tale of jealousy, passion and betrayal starring Emil Jannings (‘Der Letzte Mann’) as Boss, a middle-aged circus acrobat who abandons his wife and child for an affair with coquettish newcomer Bertha-Marie (Lya de Putti), only to have his new, illicit idyll shattered by the arrival of a debonair trapeze artist (Warwick Ward)  who proposes they form a trio. Presented in a new digital restoration by the Murnau Foundation in Germany this exhilarating drama, with its vertiginous camera work for the aerial sequences and the tawdry glamour of the circus ring, is a flamboyant roller-coaster.  Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment German percussionist Frank Bockius with Stephen Horne on piano. Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland   Link

Li_LiliDaybreak  (Dir. Sun Yu, 1933) (Screening format – not known, 115mins)  An accomplished late silent starring Chinese screen goddess Li Lili, whose vivacious and sporty persona was somewhat at odds with her coexisting sex symbol image and her nickname ‘the Chinese Mae West’. Lili plays Ling Ling, a country girl seeking work in the city who is forced in to prostitution but learns to use her position to help the oppressed poor, ultimately joining the revolutionary cause. The film was made by the United China Film Company as part of their mission to resist the unwelcome dominance of American films with productions that matched their rivals’, both artistically and in terms of distribution models. The result is a nationalistic but stirring tale, featuring ravishingly beautiful flashbacks, assured storytelling and one of China’s most beautiful and fiery screen heroines.  Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney. Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link

The Wrecker (Dir. Géza von Bolváry, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 68mins)  A rare chance to see the original British disaster movie featuring what has been claimed to be the most spectacular rail crash in cinema history (shot on 22 cameras). Based on the play by Arnold Ridley (Godfrey in ‘Dad’s Army’) the story reveals a dastardly plot to manufacture a series of train crashes in order to secure the fortunes of a rival bus company. Writing credits are shared with Angus MacPhail, who worked with Hitchcock and with Cavalcanti on ‘Dead of Night’. The dashing hero is played by Joseph Striker, but the real champion of the hour is feisty heroine Mary (Benita Hume) whose derring-do on the outside of a moving train saves the day!  Find out more at   Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Bo’ness Station, Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, Bo’ness Scotland   Link

Wunder der Schöpfung (Dir. Hanns Walter Kornblum, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 92mins)  This ground-breaking silent documentary is an extraordinary and unique document outlining human knowledge about the world and the universe in the 1920s,  literally translated as ‘Wonder of Creation’. Fifteen special effects experts and nine cameramen were involved in the production of this beautifully tinted and toned film which combines documentary scenes, historical documents, fiction elements, animation scenes and educational impact.  Find out more at  filmmuseum.com    Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live performance from acclaimed jazz duo Herschel 36 of a brand new electronic/acoustic soundscape score commissioned by Hippodrome Festival.  Screening  introduced by John C Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland. Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland   Link

An Unprecedented Campaign (Dir.  Mikhail Kaufman  1931)  (Screening format – DCP, 71 Mins) This recently rediscovered and restored Soviet silent film masterpiece was a rare directorial outing for Kaufman who was the brother of Dziga Vertov and the cameraman behind Vertov’s exhilarating The Man With a Movie Camera.   An Unprecedented Campaign was created during the rapid industrialisation and collectivisation of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan. Kaufman countered the poverty of the villages with the geometrical rhythm of mechanised factories; militarisation is shown as the next step of the ‘unprecedented campaign’.  Presented as part of the AV Festival and as part of Levels of Democracy: Ukraine Film Weekend, with a world premiere of a newly commissioned live soundtrack by Test Dept.  Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle Link

L&H_Bacon_Grabbers_1929Bacon Grabbers (Dir. Lewis R Foster, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 20mins) Laurel and Hardy are ‘Bacon Grabbers’ (repo men) tasked with recovering a radio on which Collis P Kennedy (Edgar Kennedy) hasn’t paid installments in the previous 8 years.  He refuses to comply and mayhem breaks out as Stan & Ollie try to break in while the owner tries his hardest to keep them out.  One of Laurel and Hardy’s last silent comedies which incorporated music and synchronized sound effects, plus an early appearance by Jean Harlow as Mrs Kennedy.  Find out more at IMDb  Presented as part of a Laurel and Hardy film night.  Rex Cinema, Elland, West Yorks  Link

20 March

Enthusiasm 1931 Vertov film still-150x150Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbas (Dir.  Dziga Vertov, 1930)  (Screening format – DCP,67 Mins)  (Technically a sound film but with no dialogue and a musical (industrial noise!) soundtrack)  Vertov’s first sound film, shot in the coal-rich Donbas area of Eastern Ukraine, was the first time real industrial sounds were used to create an independent musical composition for film. The filmmaker, his wife Elisaveta Svilova and team of kinoks (cinema-eyes) filmed and recorded most of Enthusiasm on location in the Donbas. They aimed to ‘grasp the feverish reality of life in the Donbas, to convey as true to life as possible its atmosphere of the clash of hammers, of train whistles, of the songs of workers at rest.’ The film was dedicated to Stalin’s first Five Year Plan (1928 – 1932), it glorified industrialisation and collectivisation as well as propagandised the fight against illiteracy and religion. Released in April 1931, the film was shortly after removed from distribution and forgotten. It was rediscovered only in the 1960s due to the renewed interest in  the Soviet avant-garde in the West. Enthusiasm was restored by the National Dovzhenko Film Studios on request of the State Film Agency of Ukraine in 2011. Find out more at Electric Sheep.   Presented as part of the AV Festival and as part of Levels of Democracy: Ukraine Film Weekend.   Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle  Link

In Spring (Dir. Mikhail Kaufman, 1929)   (Screening format – DCP, 60 mins)  In this declaration of love for the city of Kiev, Kaufman uses a hidden camera for the first time to show the awakening city after winter, with lyrical views of reviving nature acting as a metaphor for the birth of the young proletarian state, full of potency and energy. Kaufman aimed to shoot a film without subtitles that could be more readily understood by the general public. He devotes the film to the spring, linking it with various life moments, both ordinary and sacred: Easter rituals, sporting events, dances, funerals. Man is shown as the master of nature, and his creative energy is contrasted to that of natural destructive forces. Kaufman did not attempt to deliver an explicitly propagandised plot, desiring instead that the audience draw its own conclusions, however he was unable to avoid agitprop altogether. Through the edit he shows remarkable restraint in delivering the ideological message, contrasting symbols of the new order – shots of sporting events – with those of the old – images of drunkenness. Possessing a more subjective view than his brother, director Dziga ertov, Kaufman was more responsive to what he saw, expressing that responsiveness openly. He was more interested in vitalistic rather than mechanistic imagery and in human emotions. Find out more at IMDb  Presented as part of the AV Festival and as part of Levels of Democracy: Ukraine Film WeekendTyneside Cinema, Newcastle Link

Peter_Pan_1924_moviePeter Pan (Dir. Herbert Brenon, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 102mins) + short.    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  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by renowned harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry . Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland   Link

L&H_Liberty_1929 From Soup to Nuts  (Dir. E Livingstone-Kennedy, 1928) +  We Faw Down (Dir. Leo McCarey,1928)  +  Liberty   (Dir. Leo McCarey, 1929)   (Screening format not known, 18/20 /20mins)   A  Laurel & Hardy triple bill with the inevitable cornucopia of hi-jinks and mayhem from the world’s best-loved comedy team. Beginning with ‘From Soup to Nuts’ in which the boys are way out of their league when drafted in as waiters for a fancy dinner party given by Anita Garvin’s society hostess. Next is ‘We Faw Down’ which finds the duo straining at the marital leash and trying to sneak off for a clandestine poker game. Finally ‘Liberty’  one of Stan and Ollie’s finest shorts, which finds them on the run from the law and atop an unfinished skyscraper.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney on piano and Frank Bockius on percussion.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link

StellaDallas.2_originalStella Dallas  (Dir.  Henry King, 1925 )   (Screening format – not known, 110mins)  The definitive tearjerker, unjustly eclipsed by the more famous Barbara Stanwyck version, starring Belle Bennett as a young woman who tries to better herself by marrying a rich man but ultimately sacrifices everything to ensure the happiness of her daughter. Frances Marion, one of the most renowned and respected screenwriters of the 20th century adapted this tale of ultimate mother-love from the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty (author of ‘Now Voyager’) and the resulting drama of broken families, class divisions and a women’s place in society are as universally captivating now as ever.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the Hippodrome’s Festival of Silent Film, with world premier of a new score composed and performed by Stephen Horne accompanied by harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link
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 23 Marchprimrose path clara bow 1925

The Primrose Path (Dir. Harry O Hoyt, 1925) + Devil’s Island (Dir. Frank O’Connor,1926)   (Screening format – not known, 60mins?/70mins? )  In The Primrose Path,  alcoholic playboy Bruce Armstrong (Wallace MacDonald) would like to sober up and become more responsible, after a drinking accident causes him to cripple little brother  Jimmy Armstrong (Pat Moore). Still, the lure of liquor makes him sneak drinks at home and go out partying with carefree showgirl  Marilyn Merrill (Clara Bow ) even though he’s promised her he’ll quit drinking and gambling. Further complicating Armstrong’s life are the bad debts he’s been accumulating. Criminal nasties  Tom Canfield (Stuart Holmes) and Big Joe Snead (Tom Santschi) force Armstrong to join their diamond smuggling racket, in lieu of payment.  The screenplay brings tender 220px-Pauline_Frederick_1918emotions to the fore  giving a softer than usual role for Bow, although still evidently very much a woman of the world in a film routinely directed by Harry O. Hoyt, and with acting laurels going to the talented MacDonald, whose face accurately mirrors his emotional struggles.  Find out more at tcm.com   In Devil’s Island, Jean Valyon (Richard Tucker) is sent to prison on the island to serve a life sentence. After several years, he is allowed to marry his sweetheart, Jeanette Picto (Pauline Frederick). They have a son, Leon, who studies to be a surgeon. The couple hopes that Leon (played as an adult by George Lewis) will be able to escape to France, but Valyon dies before the young man finishes his studies. Leon falls in love with fellow prisoner Rose Marie (Marion Nixon), and because he successfully performs a brain operation on a deranged convict, he wins a pardon for both himself and his mother. But he is unable to see Rose Marie before he leaves……… Melodramatic and contrived in the extreme this may be but Devil’s Island is believed to be one of only 10 surviving silents (out of 58) made by Pauline Frederick, leaving this great tragedienne almost forgotten. Find out more at Wikipedia  Coincidentally, both films are from the pen of Leah Baird who, although primarily an actress (appearing in films until the 1950s) was also a screenwriter and producer of silent films.  See tcm.com for her full filmography  A Kennington Bioscope presentation with live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

26 March

Safetylast-1Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, 1923)  (Screening format – DCP, 70mins) + short.   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. Lloyd will forever be associated with Safety Last because of a single image. Even people who have never safetylast_1923_lc_01_1200_070620090310seen a Lloyd film are familiar with the iconography of a bespectacled man hanging off the hands of a collapsing clock on the side of a skyscraper high above teeming city streets. It is one of the most celebrated images in cinema (and one repeated again and again in homage, eg Jackie Chan in Project A (1983) or Christopher Lloyd in Back To The Future (1985)).  Although Lloyd was a good athlete and regularly did many of his own stunts, there were limits.   His insurance company did not allow him to do the entire sequence; an injury to the star could shut down the entire production and jeopardize the studio. Also, Lloyd had only one complete hand—the result of an accident in 1919 in which he lost his right thumb and forefinger. For parts of the climb, therefore, two stand-ins were used. In the long shots of Lloyd climbing the building it was Bill Strother  (who played Lloyd’s pal ‘Limpy Bill’ in the film) while for the shot in which Lloyd hangs from the building edge as a result of a mouse crawling up the leg of his trousers, it was assistant director Robert A. Golden (who routinely doubled for Lloyd) standing in. Find out more at silentfilm.orgPresented as part of an ongoing programme to finance full restoration of the 1920’s Abbeydale Picture House to its former glory.   With live piano accompaniment by Darius Battiwalla .  Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield.  Link

27 Marchmanxman

Manxman (Dir.   Alfred Hitchcock,1929) (Screening format – DCP, 84mins)  Despite their differing backgrounds, fisherman Pete (Carl Brisson) and lawyer Philip (Malcolm Keen) have been life long friends on the Isle of Man. Pete wants to marry Kate (Anny Ondra) , the landlord’s daughter at the local inn, however Kate’s father (Randle Ayrton)  doesn’t think he is good enough. Pete leaves the island to seek his fortune abroad and entrusts Kate to Philip, but they start to be attracted to each other.  This was the last silent film directed by Hitchcock. Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live world premier of a new musical score  by harpist Elizabeth Jane Baldry.   Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon, North Somerset  Link

Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, 1923)  +  The General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton, 1926) (Screening format – DCP, 67/79mins)  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 .   In The General,  Johnnie (Buster Keaton) loves his train (“The General”) and his fiancee Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack) . When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. At the time of its initial release, The General wasn’t well received by critics and audiences alike but the film has gradually been re-evaluated, and is now considered one of the greatest films of all times. Find out more at  silentfilm.orgRegent Street Cinema, London   Link

28 MarchGeneral.WEB

Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, 1923)  +  The General (Dir. Clyde Bruckman/Buster Keaton, 1926) (Screening format – DCP, 67/79mins)  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 .   In The General,  Johnnie (Buster Keaton) loves his train (“The General”) and his fiancee Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack) . When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. At the time of its initial release, The General wasn’t well received by critics and audiences alike but the film has gradually been re-evaluated, and is now considered one of the greatest films of all times. Find out more at  silentfilm.orgRegent Street Cinema, London   Link

29 March

L'argentfilmL’Argent (Dir. Marcel L’Herbier, 1928) (Screening format – not known)  Adapted from Émile Zola’s novel of the same name, Marcel L’Herbier’s L’Argent [Money] is an opulent classic of late-silent era cinema. Filmed in part on location at the Paris stock exchange, it reveals a world of intrigue, greed, decadence, and ultimately corruption and scandal when business dealings and amorous deceit combine. Business tycoons Saccard  (Pierre Alcover) and Gunderman (Alfred Abel) lock horns when the former attempts to raise capital for his faltering bank. To inflate the price of his stock, Saccard concocts a duplicitous publicity stunt involving the unwitting aviator Hamelin (Henry Victor) and a flight across the Atlantic to drill for oil, much to the dismay of his wife Line (Mary Glory) . While Hamelin is away, the lascivious Saccard attempts to seduce Line, whose own temptation by the allure of money puts herself and her husband in danger pawns in a high-stakes chess game played out by unscrupulous speculators. With an all-star cast (Brigitte Helm and Alfred Abel, fresh from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, alongside Pierre Alcover, Yvette Guilbert, and luminary of the French avant-garde Antonin Artaud) and a mammoth budget, L’Argent is comparable in period and scale with other celebrated epics of the silent era, such as Abel Gance’s Napoléon. With its use of portable cameras that literally descend into the Bourse and revolve around its lavish contours, L’Argent represents a type of cinematic Impressionism distinctive to the silent art a poetry that would change forever with the coming of sound. Find out more at silentfilm.org     The Arts House, Bristol   Link

31 March

King_John_1899Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film (Dir. Various) (Screening format – DCP, 90mins) Adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays pro       ved popular with early film-makers and audiences alike, from King John in 1899.  By the end of the silent era around 300 such films had been produced.  This feature-length celebration from the BFI National Archive draws together a delightful selection of thrilling, dramatic, iconic and humorous scenes from two dozen different titles, many of which have been unseen for decades, newly restored and digitised.  See Hamlet addressing Yorick’s skull, King Lear battling a raging storm at Stonehenge, the Merchant of Venice in vibrant stencil colour, the fairy magic of A Midsummernight’s Dream and what was probably John Gielgud’s first appearance on film in the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.  With live musical accompaniment by the composers and musicians of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (Sarah Homer, Steve Bentley-Klein, Jon Banks,  Dario Rossetti-Bonell, Harry Napier and  Rob Millett.   BFI Southbank, London  Link 

Note:  2 For 1 Offer on seats.  Use Code shakespeare241 when booking