September – December

 


 

 

 

 


 

September

1 September

SWS Silent Film Open Day  South West Silents and Bristol’s 20th Century Flicks are getting together to screen a day of silent films. Over the course of the day they will screen a wide selection of silent films in both of Flicks’ specially made cinemas. In the Kino Cinema, they will screen a selection of shorts and documentaries while in the newly built Videodrome Cinema, there will be a range of feature films.  Intriguingly they won’t be announcing the titles of the films being screened here, you will just have to turn up sometime on the day and see what is on.  But expect classic names such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and also names you might never have heard of. So you will have plenty to choose from over the course of the day between both cinemas. They are also planning a special ‘Kino Kids’ section in the early part of the day as well.  20th Century Flicks, Bristol Link

3 September

Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 135mins)  Based on two plays by the German author Frank Wedekind, Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895), which Pabst himself had directed for the stage, and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904), the silent drama follows the tumultuous life of the showgirl Lulu whose unselfconscious sexuality brings about the ruin of all those that fall for her and eventually her own.  In a daring move, Pabst chose a little known American actress over the more experienced Marlene Dietrich for the part of Lulu, a decision that made the young Louise Brooks an international star. Her innocent looks paired with her natural erotic allure and sense of movement – Brooks was also a dancer – perfectly matched Pabst’s idea of his heroine as unwitting seductress. Subjected to cuts to eliminate some of its “scandalous” content and unfavourably reviewed by critics at the time, it is now considered one of the boldest and most modern films of the Weimar era highlighting Pabst’s command of camera language and montage.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk With recorded score.  Opera House Arts Centre, Buxton Link

8 September

Silent Film Night with live organ accompaniment from Donald MacKenzie.  Films TBC.  St Mary and St Giles Church, Stoney Stratford. Link

Where The North Begins (Dir. Chester M Franklin, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 60 mins) This was the third film appearance by canine wonder dog Rin Tin Tin but his first in a starring role. Playing ‘The Wolf Dog’, raisd by a pack of wolves, Rin Tin Tin befriends a French trapper (Walter McGrail).  Along the way he takes on the evil Shad Galloway (Pat Hartigan) who is not only out to con the trapper but is also after his girl (Claire Adams).  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

When the Dead Are Living Again (Dir. Erwin Baron, Ger, 1919?) (Screening format – not known, ? mins) No further information.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

The Garden of Resurrection (Dir. Arthur Rooke, UK, 1919) (Screening format – not known, ? mins)
Starring husband and wife team Guy Newall and Ivy Duke this is the story of a mixed race woman, abandoned after a mock marriage and with a still borne baby who falls for the man who comes to her aid.  Guy Newall was feted as this time as one of British cinema’s most acclaimed actors, noted for his understated and realistic acting style.  He was seen most recently at the KenBio’s Silent Train Day as the bumbling lead in the 1927 version of The Ghost Train.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Pearl White; Queen of the SerialsPresented by Glenn Mitchell and Michael Pointon this is a look at the life and movie career of one of the great stars of silent film serials.  White was noted for doing the majority of her own stunts in several film serials, most notably in The Perils of Pauline. Often cast as a plucky onscreen heroine, White’s roles directly contrasted those of the popularized archetypal ingénue.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Her Night of Romance (Dir.  Sidney Franklin, UK, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 70 mins) American Dorothy Adams (Constance Talmadge) is the sole heiress to her father’s scrub brush fortune but she has no intention of being romanced for her money after she arrives in London. An impoverished British Lord (Paul Menford) impersonates a doctor to woo the heiress. The Lord is in love but his business associate (Joe Diamond) is only interested in the money. A funny, charming film with the unforgettable Constance Talmadge, an actor whose comic timing is impeccable but who is now almost completely forgotten.  Find out more at  tcm.com .  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Sparrows (Dir. William Beaudine, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 84 mins).  Molly (Mary Pickford) is the eldest resident of a prison-like orphanage run by the abusive Mr. Grimes (Gustave von Seyffertitz), his neglectful wife (Charlotte Mineau) and their diabolical son, Ambrose (“Spec” O’Donnell). She struggles to lead a group of young children to freedom through the treacherous swamps that surround the orphanage where they have all been enslaved. The film was produced by Pickford herself, who was the most powerful woman in Hollywood at the time.  But Pickford and director Beaudine clashed frequently on the picture.  Eventually he handed over direction to his assistant while Pickford vowed that he would never work for her United Artists studio again (and he never did!).  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link  

9 September

Miss Lulu Bett (Dir. William C De Mille, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 71 mins)
Based on a 1920 Pulitzer Prize winning play and bestselling novel of the same name by Zona Gale and with a screenplay written by Clara Beranger, the film features Lois Wilson, Milton Stills and Theodore Roberts. Apparently presenting an an idealized picture of the small mid-western town, a peaceful place inhabited by happy, sharing, loving “folks.” , in truth the town is revealed to be a place filled with tension, gossip and meanness.  The film, directed by Cecil’s elder brother,  is centered on Miss Lulu, living in a boring Midwestern town, an exploited household drudge for her sister and her overbearing brother-in-law. In the course of the story , Lulu evolves from slavery into an attractive and self-assured woman, prepared to make her own life.  Find out more at moviessilently.com.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

The Silent Enemy (Dir. H P Carver, US, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 84 mins)  A dramatised documentary and early ethnographic film, and featuring genuine native American tribal leaders the film is set in the Canadian Northwest, where the Chippewa tribe struggles to find food before the onset of winter. Chief Chetoga agrees with the hunter Baluk to move north toward the caribou herds, despite the protests of Dagwan, the medicine man.    On the way north they endure great hardship, and the conflict between Baluk and Dagwan deepens. It doesn’t help that both want to marry the chief’s daughter.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Balaclava (Dir. Maurice Elvey/Milton Rosmer, UK, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 72mins) A British officer (Cyril McLaglan) is falsely accused of murder and is dishonorably discharged from the army. He rejoins as an enlisted man and is posted as a cavalryman to the siege of Sebastopol during the Crimean War. He discovers that there is a Russian spy masquerading as a British soldier, and his efforts to unmask the spy results in the famous Charge of the Light Brigade.  The film was re-released in 1930 as a talkie while a very young David Lean worked on the picture as an assistant/second unit director.  Find out more at imdb.com .  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Turksib (Dir Victor A Turin, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 75mins) With bold and exhilarating flair, Turksib charts the monumental efforts to build a railway linking the regions of Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR. Director Turin utilised the signature Soviet montage to craft his portrayal of the battle the builders waged with the desert and the mountains blocking their way. Turksib is a testament to the power of modern engineering strength conquering the natural world and a striking example of 1920’s Soviet filmmaking.  Find out more at filmreference.comPresented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

The Golden Butterfly (Dir. Michael Curtiz, Aust-Ger, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 77 mins)  Based on a story by P. G. Wodehouse, Der golden Schmetterling – released in Britain as The Golden Butterfly – was the final European film made by Michael Curtiz before he moved to find fame and fortune in Hollywood, where he is principally remembered for Casablanca (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945).  In the film, a restaurant cashier (lila Damita), who has a mutual attraction to the restaurateur, has a secret passion for dance. As soon as she finishes work she is off down to the dance studio for a practice. She has a chance meeting with a handsome impresario, who promises to make her into the greatest dancer the world has ever known.  With both impresario and restaurateur competing for her affections she has to choose.  But meanwhile, tragedy looms.  Lili Damita  (last seen at KenBio’s screening of The Road To Happiness (1926), another Curtiz directed film – the two were married at the time) gives a knockout performance as the dancing golden butterfly.  Find out more at britishsilentfilmfestival.files.  Presented as part of the Fourth Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

12 September

Kennington Bioscope.  Film screenings to be confirmed.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

14 September

Diary Of A Lost Girl (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) A masterpiece of the German silent era, Diary of a Lost Girl was the second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst a mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box (1929). Brooks plays Thymian Henning, a beautiful young woman raped by an unscrupulous character employed at her father’s pharmacy (played with gusto by Fritz Rasp, the degenerate villain of such Fritz Lang classics as Metropolis, Spione, and Frau im Mond). After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectations of marriage, the baby is torn from her care, and Thymian enters a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic sexual fantasies. Find out more at rogerebert.com  Presented by South West Silents.  With an audio introduction by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson and live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.  Cube Microplex, Bristol  Link

15 September

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  The Battle of the Ancre is the official record of the British Army’s winter campaign on the Somme in 1916.  It is the sequel to “The Battle of the Somme” (1916), which covered the opening phase of the campaign (Battle of Albert) and the infantry offensive on 1 July 1916, but “The Battle of the Ancre” should not be dismissed as Somme II. Although less well known than Battle of the Somme, which did record business at the box office, Battle of the Ancre also drew big audiences and was a critical success. Many consider “The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks” as the better film cinematically and it contains haunting images of trench warfare, notably of the mud that beset the battlefields, the waves of troops advancing into no man’s land, the use of horses and the first views of the ‘Tank’; the secret weapon which it was hoped would break the military deadlock on the Western Front.. Find out more at  imdb.com .  With live orchestral accompaniment by students and staff of the Waltham Forest Youth Orchestra performing Laura Rossi’s acclaimed score.  Introduced by Laura Rossi and the Imperial War Museum’s Toby Haggith.  St Mary’s Church Walthamstow  Link

16 September

Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 135mins)  Based on two plays by the German author Frank Wedekind, Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895), which Pabst himself had directed for the stage, and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904), the silent drama follows the tumultuous life of the showgirl Lulu whose un-selfconscious sexuality brings about the ruin of all those that fall for her and eventually her own.  In a daring move, Pabst chose a little known American actress over the more experienced Marlene Dietrich for the part of Lulu, a decision that made the young Louise Brooks an international star. Her innocent looks paired with her natural erotic allure and sense of movement – Brooks was also a dancer – perfectly matched Pabst’s idea of his heroine as unwitting seductress. Subjected to cuts to eliminate some of its “scandalous” content and unfavourably reviewed by critics at the time, it is now considered one of the boldest and most modern films of the Weimar era highlighting Pabst’s command of camera language and montage.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk .  Presented by South West Silents.  With recorded score.  Curzon, Clevedon Link

Blighty (Dir. Adrian Brunei, UK, 1927) (Screening format – 35mm, 93mins) A war film with no battle scenes, Blighty traces the course of the war from its beginning to the first Armistice, focusing on the effects – both profound and intimate – on those left behind on the Home Front. One family is transformed by the conflict, while hints of the new social order to come surface in its conclusion.  Find out more at screenonline.org.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Beggars of Life (Dir. William Wellman, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 100 mins) Nancy (Louise Brooks), is a young woman on a farm who kills her foster father when he attempts to rape her. She is assisted in escaping from the farm by Jim (Richard Arlen), a young hobo who has stopped to ask for food. By dressing in rough men’s clothing, Nancy, with the assistance of Jim, eludes the police. They hop a freight train and, when thrown off by the brakeman, they wander into a hobo camp. The  hobo camp is run by Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery), a villain….or maybe not! Beggars of Life is based on the 1924 novelistic memoir of the same name by Jim Tully, a celebrated “hobo author”. Directed by William Wellman the year after he made Wings (the first film to win an Academy Award), the location shooting for Beggars of Life was awash with hair-raising stunts, hard-drinking nights and countless fights, apparently the norm for a William Wellman picture, and nicely detailed in Louise Brooks’ own words in her book ‘Lulu In Hollywood’.   Find out more at silentfilm.org .  With live musical accompaniment from The Dodge Brothers, followed by a Q&A with Mark Kermode (Dodge brother and film Critic), Neil Brand (Dodge Brother and acclaimed silent film accompanist) and Dr Mike Hammond (University of Southampton).  Electric Palace Cinema, Bridport, Dorset  Link

20 September

Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film (Dir. Various) (Screening format – DCP)  By the end of the silent era around 300 Shakespeare adaptations had been produced. This celebration from the BFI National Archive draws together a delightful selection of thrilling, iconic and humorous scenes from 24 titles (many unseen for decades), newly digitised and brought to life by the composers and musicians of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  See King Lear battle a raging storm at Stonehenge, The Merchant of Venice in stencil colour, the fairy magic of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and what was probably John Gielgud’s first appearance on film, in Romeo and Juliet (1924).  With recorded score.  Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge Link

21 September

Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 135mins)  Based on two plays by the German author Frank Wedekind, Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895), which Pabst himself had directed for the stage, and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904), the silent drama follows the tumultuous life of the showgirl Lulu whose unselfconscious sexuality brings about the ruin of all those that fall for her and eventually her own.  In a daring move, Pabst chose a little known American actress over the more experienced Marlene Dietrich for the part of Lulu, a decision that made the young Louise Brooks an international star. Her innocent looks paired with her natural erotic allure and sense of movement – Brooks was also a dancer – perfectly matched Pabst’s idea of his heroine as unwitting seductress. Subjected to cuts to eliminate some of its “scandalous” content and unfavourably reviewed by critics at the time, it is now considered one of the boldest and most modern films of the Weimar era highlighting Pabst’s command of camera language and montage.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk .  With live piano accompaniment from Jonny Best. Truck Theatre, Hull.  Link

27 September

Dawson City – Frozen Time (Dir. Bill Morrison, US, 2016) This documentary pieces together the bizarre true story of a collection of some 500 films dating from 1910s – 1920s, which were lost for over 50 years until discovered buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon Territory, in Dawson City, located about 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Using these permafrost protected, rare silent films and newsreels, archival footage, interviews and historical photographs to tell the story, and accompanied by an enigmatic score by Sigur Rós collaborator and composer Alex Somers (Captain Fantastic), Dawson City: Frozen Time depicts a unique history of a Canadian gold rush town by chronicling the life cycle of a singular film collection through its exile, burial, rediscovery, and salvation – and through that collection, how a First Nation hunting camp was transformed and displaced. Find out more at picturepalacepictures.comNo.6 Cinema, Portsmouth Link

28 September

Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 75mins) Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein’s greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein’s theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase; his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment of the mass instead of the individual as the protagonist. The film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising.Their mutiny was short-lived, however, as during their attempts to get the population of Odessa to join the uprising, soldiers arrived and laid waste to the insurgents.  Battleship Potemkin is a work of extraordinary pictorial beauty and great elegance of form. It is symmetrically broken into five movements or acts. In the first of these, “Men and Maggots,” the flagrant mistreatment of the sailors at the hands of their officers is demonstrated, while the second, “Drama on the Quarterdeck,” presents the actual mutiny and the ship’s arrival in Odessa. “Appeal from the Dead” establishes the solidarity of the citizens of Odessa with the mutineers. It is the fourth sequence, “The Odessa Steps,” which depicts the massacre of the citizens, that thrust Eisenstein and his film into the historical eminence that both occupy today. It is unquestionably the most famous sequence of its kind in film history, and Eisenstein displays his legendary ability to convey large-scale action scenes. The shot of the baby carriage tumbling down the long staircase has been re-created in many films. The sequence’s power is such that the film’s conclusion, “Meeting the Squadron,” in which the Potemkin in a show of brotherhood is allowed to pass through the squadron unharmed, is anticlimactic.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com .  Presented in conjunction with South West Silents.  With recorded score.  No.6 Cinema, Portsmouth Link

29 September

Zeebrugge (Dir.  A V Brambell/H Bruce Woolfe, UK, 1924) (Screening format – Not known, 60mins) April 23rd 1918 saw one of the most daring and heroic raids of the First World War with the British Royal Navy attempting to block the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge, a key U-boat and light shipping base for the Imperial German Navy. Based on the raid, directors Woolfe and Bramble’s much forgotten gem is a film that recreates the famous heroic attack at Zeebrugge with a mixture of drama and authentic First World War film material including captured German film as well as some of the most advance special effects of the time.  Find out more at imdb.com.  Presented in conjunction with South West Silents.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.  No.6 Cinema, Portsmouth Link

Nelson (Dir. Maurice Elvey, UK, 1918) (Screening format – Not known, 128mins) Rarely seen since its original release, Maurice Elvey’s masterpiece on the life and career of Admiral Nelson was a major passion project for Britain’s most prolific film director. Written by Alfred Hitchcock’s scriptwriter Eliot Stannard and made with the support of the Admiralty at a time when the Navy needed to recruit. The film transforms Nelson into an action packed hero for the British audiences of World World One, celebrating his heroic status and recreating famous moments in British Naval history. Elvey’s action packed film is very much an education as well as entertainment with stunning cinematography and razor sharp action sequences mixed with model shots and animation. Part of the film was shot on HMS Victory, making NELSON the only feature film ever made on the Royal Navy’s most famous ship.  Find out more at wikipedia.org. Presented in conjunction with South West Silents.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne. Introduced by Maurice Elvey expert Lucie Dutton.   No.6 Cinema, Portsmouth Link

30 September

L’Hirondelle et la Mésange  (aka The Swallow and the Titmouse) (Dir. Andre Antoine, Fr, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) Shot entirely on location on the waterways of Flanders, the story is set on two canal barges, L’Hirondelle (The Swallow) and La Mesange (The Titmouse). The drama involves the tensions between the barge captain and the pilot whom he has hired to steer the coal-bearing ships to areas in France devastated by the war, but who sullenly lusts after the captain’s wife.  Never released upon its completion on the grounds that it was not ‘commercially viable’, the unedited film lay in the archives of Cinémathèque Française until the early 1980s when the perfectly preserved footage was edited into a completed film using Gustave Grillet’s script and the director’s detailed notes as a guide.  Find out more at silentfilm.orgWith live musical accompaniment on harp and piano from Elizabeth-Jane Baldry and Stephen Horne.  Introduced by the BFI’s silent film curator  Bryony Dixon.  Barbican, London Link

October

3 October

Kennington Bioscope.  Film screenings to be confirmed.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

10 October

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927)(Screening format –DVD, Jan ’05 pre-restored version, 118mins)  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.  Find out more at silentfilm.org With live piano accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.  Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, London  Link

12 October

Phantom Of The Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 103mins)  A title that needs no introduction, The Phantom of the Opera has spawned many remakes, remasters and sequels. This original film version, produced with moments of early Technicolour, sees Lon Chaney, the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ perform one of his most iconic roles. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this title a benchmark in the American silent film era. The film was a critical and commercial success upon release, and still stands as an important film in cinematic history to this day, with press quotes from the time labelling the film an ‘ultra-fantastic melodrama’ (New York Times), ‘produced on a stupendous scale’ (Moving Picture World) and ‘probably the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened’ (Variety).  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.org. With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Minster Church, King’s Lynn  Link

13 October

Silent Film Night with live organ accompaniment from Donald MacKenzie.  Films TBC. St Aiden and St George Church, Bristol Link

19 October

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927)(Screening format –not known, Jan ’05 pre-restored version, 118mins)  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.  Find out more at silentfilm.org With live piano accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit. College of Music, Leeds Link

20 October

Silent Film Night with live organ accompaniment from Donald MacKenzie.  Films TBC. St John’s Notting Hill Link

24 October

Another Evening of 9.5mm Films From Kevin Brownlow’s Collection9.5mm films were edited versions of cinema releases aimed at the home market.  Among the films to be screened tonight are two starring German film actress Lil Dagover:  The Maelstrom of Paris (Le Tourbillon de Paris) directed by Julien Duvivier in 1928, and starring Lil Dagover, Léon Bary and Gaston Jacquet. Based on the novel La Sarrazine by Germaine Acrement, adapted by Duvivier, this is the story of the troubled marriage between Lord Meredith (Jacquet) and his wife, Amiscia Negeste (Dagover), a famous opera singer, and; The Chronicles of the Gray House (Zur Chronik von Grieshuus) (1925), directed by Arthur von Gerlach, produced by Erich Pommer and starring Arthur Kraußneck, Paul Hartmann, Rudolf Forster and Lil Dagover. It is also known as At the Grey House. Set in the 17th century it follows the intrigues of the son of a feudal landowner who falls in love with the daughter of one of the serfs, causing his younger brother to see an opportunity for himself. The screenplay by Thea von Harbou is based on Theodor Storm’s novella A Chapter in the History of Grieshuus. Kevin says that this was a great influence on his own film Winstanley (1975).  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

28 October

St Wenceslas (Dir. Jan S Kolar, Cz, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 116mins) Recalling the work of Griffith and Fritz Lang, Jan S. Kolar’s vast, ambitious production tells the tenth century legend of Vaclav Duke of Bohemia (St Wenceslas), who successfully defeated his enemies but was murdered by his own brother. Vaclav became the patron saint of Czechoslovakia, his statue standing at the head of the square bearing his name in Prague. A landmark in Czech cinema, this historical epic is the only film to attempt to reveal the life of the country’s patron saint. It was the most expensive Czech film to date, with the largest set constructed in Europe to accommodate an all-star cast of over ahundred, together with 1,000 extras for the lavish battle scenes.  Its team of cinematographers included Jan Stallich (Ecstasy) and Otto Heller, who later worked with Max Ophuls and Laurence Olivier, as well as Michael Caine on The Ipcress File and Alfie.  Find out (lots) more at vlada.cz (all 109 pages!)  With live accompaniment by vocal artists and musicians from Capella Mariana.  Barbican, London Link

31 October

Phantom Of The Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 103mins)  A title that needs no introduction, The Phantom of the Opera has spawned many remakes, remasters and sequels. This original film version, produced with moments of early Technicolour, sees Lon Chaney, the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ perform one of his most iconic roles. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this title a benchmark in the American silent film era. The film was a critical and commercial success upon release, and still stands as an important film in cinematic history to this day, with press quotes from the time labeling the film an ‘ultra-fantastic melodrama’ (New York Times), ‘produced on a stupendous scale’ (Moving Picture World) and ‘probably the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened’ (Variety).  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.orgWith live organ accompaniment from Donald MacKenzie.  City Hall, Hull  Link

November

1 November

J’Accuse (Dir. Abel Gance, Fr, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 166 mins) Two men who love the same woman – one her husband, one her lover – meet in the trenches of World War One.  Their story becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war, in this silent film classic. Abel Gance’s epic war film J’Accuse turns 99 this year. Released in 1919, the film includes real battlefields of the first world war on screen, and depicts the very real tragedy and horror of war. The ‘return of the dead’ sequence at the end of the film was shot in the south of France, using 2,000 soldiers who had come back on leave. Gance himself recalled: “The conditions in which we filmed were profoundly moving… These men had come straight from the Front – from Verdun – and they were due back eight days later. They played the dead knowing that in all probability they’d be dead themselves before long. Within a few weeks of their return, eighty per cent had been killed.”  Find out more at tcm.com.  With live organ accompaniment by celebrated organist and composer, Dr David Bednall.  Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Link

4 November

The Big Parade (Dir. King Vidor, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 151mins)  One of the earliest films produced by a newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Big Parade was a huge box office smash (MGM’s highest grossing silent feature) and cemented King Vidor as a prestige filmmaker. The story of idle American James Apperson (John Gilbert), who is deployed to Europe when the USA join WWI, its plot points were heavily borrowed from 1924 Broadway play What Price Glory?. Centred around his romance with a French local (Renée Adorée), it is full of strange, wonderful moments and impressive scenes of battle.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com. Presented by South West Silents.  With recorded orchestral score by Carl Davies. Curzon, Clevedon Link

14 November

Kennington Bioscope.  Film screenings to be confirmed.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

15 November

The City Without Jews (aka Die Stadt ohne Juden) (Dir. Hans Karl Breslauer, Aus, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) A dystopian prophecy of intolerance, Die Stadt ohne Juden is ominous, portentous, and completely unforgettable. H K Breslauer’s satirical dystopia shows the cultural and economic impoverishment of a city that expels its Jewish population, and is disturbingly prophetic in its depiction of the murderous anti-semitism in Vienna in the wake of the First World War.  And the story of the film is almost as remarkable as its content. Lost during the Second World War, this version was only rediscovered in a Paris flea market in 2015. The political message is more sharply articulated in this newly restored version, with a hitherto lost ending and other sequences. For anyone interested in 20th-century history, this Austrian expressionist film is essential viewing.Find out more at theguardian.com.  With new score composed by Olga Neuwirth and performed by the PHACE Ensemble conducted by Nacho de Paz.  Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican, London  Link

18 November

Fantomas: Episode2 – Juve Versus Fantomas (Dir. Louis Feuillade, Fr, 1913-14) (Screening format – not known, 61mins) Fantomas was a fictional criminal created by writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre which was transferred to the screen in a loosely connected film series by director Louis Feuillade and achieved huge popularity.  Fantomas, the master criminal (Rene Navarre), is pursued by his arch-nemesis Inspector Juve Edmund Breon) and each episode ends with a cliff-hanger to maintain the suspense.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.  With live musical accompaniment by Icelandic neo-classical quartet Amiina.  Barbican, London Link

21 November

Cinema On The Front Line November 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of The Great War. As part of South West Silents’ mini WW1 and Silent Film Season they conclude with a very eye opening Club Screening discussing the way in which films were exhibited on the Western Front.  Making his SWS Club Screening debut and taking on this rather unique trail is Chris Grosvenor, a PhD student based at the University of Exeter. Chris’ thesis ‘Cinema on the Front Line’ examines the role of the cinema as it intersected with the lives of those who served for Britain during the First World War, shining a light on a largely unacknowledged history within the discipline of film studies and military history. Chris is particularly interested in the history of cinematic exhibition for military audiences on the front lines themselves, often in very close proximity to the dangers of the battlefield.  More broadly, Chris’ research interests include silent cinema, British film history, exhibition studies and the work of silent comedian Charlie Chaplin.  Presented by South West Silents.  Lansdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol.  Link

25 November

The Cohens And The Kellys (Dir. Henry A Pollard, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 108mins) This lively comedy of feuding Irish and Jewish families in 1920s New York is filled with stock characters played with great comic flair – the hard-working Jewish storekeeper (George Sidney), his anxious wife (Vera Gordon), the pugnacious Irish cop (Charlie Murray), and his feisty but warm-hearted wife (Cork-born Kate Price). Living side by side in the poorer quarters of New York, tensions between them reach a peak when the daughter of the Jewish family falls in love with the Irish family’s son. This was the first of a series of eight comedies featuring the Cohens and Kellys  – two quarrelling families that can’t get away from each other.  Find out more at catalog.afi.com. With live musical accompaniment by multi-award-winning Irish accordionist Dermot Dunne and saxophonist Nick Roth, Artistic Director of the Yurodny Ensemble, who lead a quartet to accompany the film with a score drawing lavishly on Irish and Jewish folk music traditions.  Barbican, London Link

December

5 December

Kennington Bioscope.  Film screenings to be confirmed.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

 

 

 


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