November – December

 


 

 

 

 


 

November

1 November

Paris qui dort  (Dir.Rene Clair, Fr, 1924) + Le Voyage imaginaire (Dir. Rene Clair, Fr, 1926) (Screening format – DCP, 72/71 mins) In Paris qui dort  René Clair deploys the full bag of cinematic tricks in this tale of a scientist who invents a ray that freezes the people of Paris – all except a fortunate handful, who take gleeful advantage of their surreal new cityscape. This UK premiere of the restored version returns the film to its original length. Find out more at imdb.comLe Voyage imaginaire sees a shy bank clerk daydream he is being led by a fairy into a subterranean world where people transform into animals and waxworks come to life. Lucie, his office crush, follows him – but a bad fairy is intent on keeping them apart. Find out more at  filmsdefrance.com.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

Looking For Charlie (Dir. Darren Reid & Brett Sanders, UK, 2016) (Screening format – not known) Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous people who ever lived. The way he mixed sublime comedy with pathos and a deep emotional core has turned him into a legend. But behind the bowler hat and moustache there is a myriad of stories that help to define cinema’s most important star, from the terrible poverty of his childhood to the lost and forgotten comedians who inspired him. Looking for Charlie (2016) is a candid look behind the scenes of the silent era which delves into the ways in which the legends we celebrate – Chaplin, Buster Keaton – are built upon much more complex, much more human stories. It is a film about superstardom and obscurity, the highs and lows of Hollywood, and the thin line between genius and despair. Introduced by the film’s directors and followed by a Q & A session.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

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

3 November

The General  (Dir. Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, 1926)  (Screening format – not known, 75mins)  Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made and one of the most revered comedies of the silent era, Buster Keaton’s effortless masterpiece sees hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that highlight Keaton’s boundless, innovative wit and joyful, lighthearted dexterity, to reclaim the train and thereby save the South. Find out more at  busterkeaton.com . With live piano accompaniment from Costas Fotopoulos.  Rusthall Community Cinema, Tunbridge Wells, Kent  Link

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 recorded Laura Rossi score. Hafren, Newtown, Powys  Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see above.  With live performance of the Laura Rossi score by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra  Musical Museum, Brentford, London  Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  Bewdley Community Cinema, Bewdley Link

4 November

The Magician (Dir. Rex Ingram, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 83 mins) The heart blood of a virgin. That’s what deranged medical student Oliver Haddo needs for his malevolent scheme to create life. He finds it in a lovely sculptor he hypnotizes and spirits off to an ancient sorcerer’s tower, preparing to rip her heart from her living body. Director Ingram (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) cast his wife and frequent leading lady Alice Terry and Paul Wegener, who terrified movie audiences in The Golem, in this seminal horror-fantasy film based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Bizarre, nightmarish, enhanced by top production values and elegant European locations, The Magician is a must for aficionados of the horror genre or indeed of imaginative movie-making. Find out more at apocalypselaterfilm.com.  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley  No link as yet

Love’s Crucible (Dir.  Victor Sjöström, Swe, 1922) (Screening format – 35mm, 87mins) A special treat for Halloween is Sjöström’s little-known gem, which supplies sumptuous renaissance settings, martial hatred, creepy monks peddling poison and a great ‘burn the witch’ moment. The reputation of this ‘Catholic noir’ has been based on years of people repeating indifferent contemporary reviews rather than a re-evaluation with an audience – here is your chance to be part of its rehabilitation. Find out more at www.kosmorama.org.  With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London Link

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

5 November

The Blot (Dir. Lois Weber, US, 1921)+ Suspense (Dir. Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley, US, 1913) (Screening format – not known, 91/10mins ) In a time where women played a central role in creating the American cinema, Lois Weber (1881–1939) was the outstanding woman filmmaker, writer and producer of the silent era. She was also one of the highest paid directors — man or woman — of her time! Weber’s films were critically acclaimed financial successes that created huge controversies around the country. The Blot remains the most popular of the more than 100 films she directed. Weber’s two remarkable young discoveries, Claire Windsor and Louis Calhern, rose to stardom with this film, and remained popular Hollywood actors for years. The scholarly and underpaid Professor Griggs and his family live in genteel poverty in a small college town. To help out the family, beautiful young Amelia Griggs (Claire Windsor) works in the public library. Next-door to the Griggs are the Olsens, a large and lively family of immigrants living high on the hog, thanks to a thriving shoemaking business. Amelia attracts the attentions of Phil West, the son of a college trustee and her father’s laziest and naughtiest student. His rival for Amelia’s affection is Reverend Gates, a gentle, sincere and impecunious minister.  When Amelia falls ill from overwork, her mother tries to nurse her back to health. With the cupboards bare, the very proper Mrs. Griggs is sorely tempted to steal a chicken from her neighbor’s kitchen. The ensuing commotion turns out to be a blessing in disguise…Find out more at  silentfilm.orgThe story of Suspense, a one-reel thriller, is a simple one—a tramp threatens a mother and child, while the father races home to their rescue—but the techniques used to tell it are complex. Weber and Smalley employ a dizzying array of formal devices. The approach of an automobile is shown reflected in another car’s side-view mirror. We catch our first glimpse of the menacing burglar from the same angle as the wife does—from directly over him while he glares straight up. Three simultaneous actions are shown, not sequentially but as a triptych within one frame.  Smalley and Weber began their film careers as a husband-and-wife team acting under the direction of Edwin S. Porter at the Rex Company, one of the many early independent film studios established to combat the power of the Motion Picture Patents Company, a conglomeration of the major producers and distributors in the United States. By the time Porter left Rex, in 1912, Smalley and Weber had graduated to directing and were fully responsible for the small studio’s output. Suspense is one of the very few films made at Rex that survives, and its staggering originality raises a tantalizing question: is it a fascinating anomaly or a representative sample of the studio’s overall production? Find out more at moviessilently.com. Presented by South West Silents as part of the Bath Festival.  With live piano accompaniment from Lillian Henley. Introduced by Ellen Cheshire and Pamela Hutchinson.  Chapel Arts, Bath Link

Blackmail (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 84mins) Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920’s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else and blackmail is threatened. Alfred Hitchcock’s sinister, suspenseful tale of crime and romance is one of the last British silent films to be made. With his traditional cameo appearance in the first reel, to a spectacular moonlit chase through the British Museum in the final reel, Blackmail is a classic thriller from the Master of Suspense.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk  Presented as part of the Leeds International Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment.  Town Hall, Leeds Link

6 November

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead  Link

8 November

Fall Of The House Of Usher  (Dir. Jean Epstein, Fr, 1928) + The Merry Frolics of Satan (Dir. Georges Méliès, Fr, 1906) (Screening format – 35mm, 62/17 mins)  Summoned by a letter, a man arrives at the isolated castle of his old friend Sir Roderick Usher only to find him in the grip of madness, obsessively painting a portrait of his ailing wife as everything around him disintegrates. With its dazzling use of impressionist camera techniques, Epstein’s entrancing Poe adaptation creates an all-consuming atmosphere of morbidity and creeping dread. Find out more at www.rogerebert.com. In  The Merry Frolics of Satan, a Faustian parable, an inventor unwittingly sells his soul to the devil and departs on a fantastical train ride that takes him from the far reaches of outer space to the infernal depths of hell itself. Find out more at silentology.wordpress.com.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

9 November

The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands (Dir. Walter Summers, 1927) (Screening format – Blu-ray, 106 minutes) British Instructional Films made this thrilling recreation of two pivotal battles between the British and German navies during World War One. The epic production was mostly shot at sea using real ships, with stunning results. It focuses on the strength of the men and machines, and covers defeat, sunken vessels, the retaliatory strike and boost to morale. Originally released on Armistice Day to commemorate the fallen, it is now hailed as “one of the greatest British films from the silent era” and “the best British war film you’ve never seen”.  Find out more at  screenonline.org.uk.  Presented by the Classic Cinema Club.  With the recorded score by composer Simon Dobson, performed by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.  Ealing Town Hall, Ealing Broadway, London.  Link

The Measure of the Moon: Leeds Pioneers This illustrated presentation will explore the role Leeds has played in the history of astronomy, photography and film. Researcher Irfan Shah will show how inventors, scientists and adventurers connected to Leeds were instrumental in everything from the creation of the micrometer to calotype photography to the birth of film, and will reveal the long forgotten locations where their work took place. The Measure of the Moon is a part of the Car Parks of the Gods (and other places of great and improbable wonder) project supported by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.  Presented as part of the Leeds International Film Festival.   Town Hall, Leeds Link

Exit Smiling (Dir. Sam Taylor, US, 1926)   (Screening format – 35mm, 80mins)  Violet (Lillie) works for a travelling theatre troupe doing menial tasks, but she dreams of becoming the main lead in the play. The arrival of Jimmy (Mary Pickford’s brother Jack) will give her a chance to fulfil her dream, while saving his life from a false accusation. This screen debut of celebrated stage comedian Beatrice Lillie presents her brilliant comic skills. Find out more at  silent-volume.blogspot.co.uk.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  Tolson Memorial Museum, Huddersfield Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  David Lean Cinema, Croydon Clocktower, Croydon  Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With live performance of the Laura Rossi score by the Bristol Ensemble Redland Hall, Bristol  Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With live performance of the Laura Rossi score by the Skipton Camerata. Skipton Town Hall, Skipton   Link

10 November

Shoulder Arms (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1918) (Screening format – not known, 46mins) Though only 46 minutes in length, this wartime comedy is considered to be Charlie Chaplin’s feature-length directorial debut. Bringing some much-needed levity to weary audiences around the world, this story of a bumbling soldier became, at the time, Chaplin’s most popular movie.  Shoulder Arms was one of the first Hollywood movies set at the front lines during the first world war. It was released some 3 weeks before the Armistice was signed in 1918. Cecil B. DeMille and D. W. Griffith both advised Chaplin to wait to release the movie until after the war was officially over. Chaplin reasoned that as a comedy Shoulder Arms would add to the war effort by boosting morale.  In the film, the little tramp joins up and is in boot camp in the “awkward squad.” Once in France a limburger cheese makes life difficult but does set Charlie in track for some heroics.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  With recorded score.  Cinema Lumiere, London Link

Blackmail (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 84mins) Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920’s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else and blackmail is threatened. Alfred Hitchcock’s sinister, suspenseful tale of crime and romance is one of the last British silent films to be made. With his traditional cameo appearance in the first reel, to a spectacular moonlit chase through the British Museum in the final reel, Blackmail is a classic thriller from the Master of Suspense.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk  Presented as part of the Leeds International Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment. Chapel FM, Leeds  Link

The Circus (Dir. Charles Chaplin, USA, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 72 mins) The Little Tramp is hired by a circus and soon becomes the main attraction when his comedic blunders drive the crowd wild. Having fallen in love with the ringmaster’s daughter, he doesn’t even realize he’s the show’s main feature. In this high-flying comedy, we are quickly caught up in Chaplin’s whirlwind of gags, where even the acrobats and clowns watch his show-stopping stunts from the sidelines.  The production of the film was one of the most difficult experiences in Chaplin’s career. Numerous problems and delays occurred, including a studio fire, the death of Chaplin’s mother, as well as Chaplin’s bitter divorce from his second wife and government claims that Chaplin owed significant back taxes, all of which culminated in filming being stalled for eight months.  In the mean time, release of The Jazz Singer had already sounded the death knell for silent film.  However, Chaplin persisted and  The Circus was the seventh highest grossing silent film in cinema history taking in more than $3.8 million in 1928. It also earned Chaplin a first Academy Award.  Find out more at charliechaplin.com.  With recorded soundtrack.  Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI), London  Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  Porthcawl Museum, Porthcawl   Link

11 November

1918 – At Home, At WarNeil Brand introduces and accompanies this fascinating programme of films, music, stories and readings from the pivotal year of 1918.  Royal Hippodrome Theatre,  Eastbourne Link

12 November

Chaplin Hour An hour of classic Charlie Chaplin Using concise time-frames to hilarious effect, these two shorts feature Chaplin playing the comedy drunk, a role he’d perfected on the stages of the English music hall. In One A.M., Chaplin’s solo performance is a tour-de-force of comic ingenuity, as he battles a series of household obstacles on returning home from a night of debauchery. In Pay Day, Chaplin’s last two-reel comedy before he moved full-time to features, he plays a construction worker determined to enjoy his wages (whilst evading the watchful eye of his wife). Presented as part of the Leeds International Film Festival. With live organ accompaniment by Jonathan Hope.  Town Hall, Leeds Link

14 November

The Docks of New York (Dir. Josef von Sternberg, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 76mins)  Josef Von Sternberg’s silent masterpiece is a vivid and sensual melodrama set in the New York docklands in the years before prohibition. George Bancroft plays roughneck coal stoker Bill Roberts who gets into trouble during a brief shore leave when he falls for a wise and weary dance-hall girl, Mae, played by Betty Compson.  Despite the conventions of melodrama, the intense love story is brought to life with naturalistic flair that puts it well ahead of its time and the expressionist cinematography prefigures the film noir of the 40s. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  Presented as part of the Leeds International Film Festival.  With live accompaniment by pianist Jonathan Best.  Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds Link

The Ancient Law (aka Das Alte Gesetz) (Dir. E A Dupont, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 135 mins) In the mid 1800s in Galicia, Baruch Mayer (Ernst Deutsch), yearns to become an actor. Despite the expectation to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an orthodox rabbi, he breaks from tradition and leaves the shtetl in pursuit of his dream. Whilst performing in a traveling theatre troupe he meets the Austrian archduchess, Elisabeth Theresia (Henny Porten), who falls in love with the young man. With her support he joins the renowned Vienna’s Burg Theatre company where he soon rises to fame.  “With its complex portrayal of orthodoxy and emancipation, E. A. Dupont’s period film marks a highpoint of Jewish filmmaking in Germany. This new restoration marks the first time that a version corresponding to the lost 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colourisation digitally restored.” – Berlinale 68.   Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented as part of the Jewish Film Festival.  JW3, Finchley, London  Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  Forest Arts Centre, New Milton, Hants   Link

The Whispering Chorus (Dir. Cecil B. DeMille, USA 1918) (Screening format – not known, 86 mins)  Hatton (John Tremble), cashier in a contracting concern, succumbs to temptation and steals $1000 from his employer. He runs away and hides, when he begins to fear detection, to an isolated island, where he becomes a bit of human driftwood.  The Whispering Chorus is an intense film that really packs a wallop. The gorgeous, moody lighting, the dark, uncompromising view of humanity and the distinctly unsympathetic protagonist make this a sort of proto-proto-noir. Find out more at moviessilently.com  Presented by Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

15 November

1918 – At Home, At WarNeil Brand introduces and accompanies this fascinating programme of films, music, stories and readings from the pivotal year of 1918. New Walk Museum, Leicester. Link

The City Without Jews (aka Die Stadt ohne Juden) (Dir. Hans Karl Breslauer, Aus, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) (2 Screenings)  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

 

16 November

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.  With live, improvised organ accompaniment by Nicholas Miller.  St John’s Church, Hyde Park, London  Link

Fragment of an Empire (Dir. Fridrikh Ermler, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 109mins) Arriving home after 10 years, an amnesiac soldier gives out an agonized cry, “Where is Petersburg?”, as he stands lost in the new cityscape of Soviet Leningrad. Fridrikh Ermler’s Fragment of an Empire has been referred to as the most important film in Soviet Cinema. It’s a bold claim, but justified by the synthesis of a powerful personal story and the critique it allows of the revolution as seen by a soldier stuck in a Tsarist past. The film opens in the chaos of a bloody battle in 1914 and follows with an extraordinary evocation of the main protagonist’s returning memory. As played by regular Ermler lead Fiodor Nikitin, his response to the social changes he sees is both moving and politically astute. Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Cube Cinema, Bristol Link

The Ancient Law (aka Das Alte Gesetz) (Dir. E A Dupont, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 135 mins) In the mid 1800s in Galicia, Baruch Mayer (Ernst Deutsch), yearns to become an actor. Despite the expectation to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an orthodox rabbi, he breaks from tradition and leaves the shtetl in pursuit of his dream. Whilst performing in a traveling theatre troupe he meets the Austrian archduchess, Elisabeth Theresia (Henny Porten), who falls in love with the young man. With her support he joins the renowned Vienna’s Burg Theatre company where he soon rises to fame.  “With its complex portrayal of orthodoxy and emancipation, E. A. Dupont’s period film marks a highpoint of Jewish filmmaking in Germany. This new restoration marks the first time that a version corresponding to the lost 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colourisation digitally restored.” – Berlinale 68.   Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented as part of the Jewish Film Festival.  JW3, Finchley, London  Link

17 November

Neil Brand presents Buster Keaton The life and funniest moments from the films of the great comedian including screening of the complete Keaton silent feature Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – not known,  71  mins)  In Steamboat Bill Jr a crusty river boat captain hopes that his long departed son’s return will help him compete with a business rival.  Unfortunately, William Canfield Jnr (Buster Keaton) is an effete college boy.  Worse still, he has fallen for the business rival’s daughter (Marion Byron).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.org With live piano accompaniment from Neil Brand. Parbold Douglas Music, Parbold, Wigan Link

  Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With recorded Laura Rossi score.  York Army Museum, York  Link

Comradeship (Dir. Maurice Elvey, UK, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 92mins) (Screening TBC) Maurice Elvey’s Comradeship (1919) was his first film for Stoll and also the British studio’s first feature-length production, made towards the end of the war. It featured the stage actress Lily Elsie – in one of her rare film appearances – as a Red Cross matron. Elvey took the opportunity to incorporate authentic footage of victory celebrations in London in 1918. Find out more at wikipedia.org Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Films of World War I’ day.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

When Fleet Meets Fleet (aka Wrath of the Sea (Die Versnkene Flotte) (Dir. Graham Hewett and Manfred Noa, Ger 1926). (Screening TBC) This German film portrays the Imperial German Navy during the First World War, particularly the Battle of Jutland. The iconography of the World War is dominated by pictures of  battles on land. Only a few feature films address maritime aspects, When Fleet Meets Fleet was the first.  Based on a novel by former naval officer Helmut Lorenz, who also helped the film as an historical advisor, as with many other feature films of the 1920s, different versions were produced for different countries. Only a copy for the British market is preserved, which varies in some aspects from the original novel in view of the assumed expectations of the local audience. A complex narrative about the possibilities of friendship among officers of the German and British navies, about the loyalty of soldiers’ wives and about shipmates as rivals gives the film a melodramatic framework. The fates of the characters are inevitably interwoven with the twists and turns of naval warfare, among which the Battle of Jutland stands out.  Find out more at wikipedia.org  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Films of World War I’ day.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

America at War A collection of films highlighting America’s involvement in WWI.  (Screening TBC) The programme will include: extracts from the Pearl White serial Pearl of the Army (USA 1916-17), directed by Edward José;How Charlie Captured the Kaiser (USA 1918), directed by Pat Sullivan, an animated short featuring a caricatured Charlie Chaplin; Who Done It? (USA 1917), directed by William Beaudine, a rare 1917 comedy with wartime aspects starring Gale Henry; and, Lilac Time (USA 1928), a wartime aviation drama starring Colleen Moore and Gary Cooper and produced in 1928. with screening of an abridged revival (with music and narration). Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Films of World War I’ day.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Q Ships (Dir.  Geoffrey Barkas and Michael Barringer, UK 1928) (Screening format – not known, 60mins) (Screening TBC) Q-Ships, one of the most closely guarded secrets of the war, were heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weapons. Their purpose was to lure German U-Boats to make surface attacks, thereby giving the Q-ship a chance to open fire and sink the surprised U-Boat.This film is a dramatised account of real events, and features the war of nerves between a German U-Boat commander and the captain of one of the Q Ships. The Q-ships crew were portrayed by actual British Naval crewman and officers from WWI.  Find out more at imdb.com  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Films of World War I’ day.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Europe at War A collection of films highlighting European involvement in WWI. (Screening TBC) The programme will include: two (out of three) reels of Nurse And Martyr (UK 1915), directed by Percy Moran, an Edgar Wallace story about the British heroine, nurse Edith Cavell; the only surviving reel of the British feature The Invasion Of Britain (UK 1918), directed by Herbert Brenon; Réveille (UK 1924), directed by George Pearson and starring Betty Balfour;  and,  Armistice Celebration At The Cenotaph (UK 1928), the very first sound newsreel item of Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Films of World War I’ day.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Big Parade (Dir. King Vidor, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 151mins)  (Screening TBC) 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?. Centered 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 as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Films of World War I’ day.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

18 November

The Ancient Law (aka Das Alte Gesetz) (Dir. E A Dupont, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 135 mins) In the mid 1800s in Galicia, Baruch Mayer (Ernst Deutsch), yearns to become an actor. Despite the expectation to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an orthodox rabbi, he breaks from tradition and leaves the shtetl in pursuit of his dream. Whilst performing in a traveling theatre troupe he meets the Austrian archduchess, Elisabeth Theresia (Henny Porten), who falls in love with the young man. With her support he joins the renowned Vienna’s Burg Theatre company where he soon rises to fame.  “With its complex portrayal of orthodoxy and emancipation, E. A. Dupont’s period film marks a highpoint of Jewish filmmaking in Germany. This new restoration marks the first time that a version corresponding to the lost 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colourisation digitally restored.” – Berlinale 68.   Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented as part of the Jewish Film Festival.  JW3, Finchley, London Link

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

19 November

The Wizard of Oz (Dir. Larry Semon, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 93mins) Sharing little in common with the classic Judy Garland version of 1939 and differing radically from L Frank Baum’s source novel, this version of Oz is primarily a vehicle for director and star Larry Semon.  Dorothy is portrayed by Dorothy Dwan, the then Mrs Semon, and Oliver Hardy crops up as the Tin Man.  Although the film did reasonable business on first release it was never a critical hit and this judgement hasn’t changed over the years  Although perhaps not the worst silent film of all time (although this is an accolade some have awarded it) this version of Oz has little to recommend it…oh, unless that is you like projectile vomiting ducks!.  Find out more at moviessilently.comWith live organ accompaniment from Donald MacKenzie.  Alexandra Palace, London  Link

21 November

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 45 mins) In Sherlock Jr, a kindly movie projectionist (Buster Keaton) longs to be a detective. When his fiancée (Kathryn McGuire) is robbed by a local thief (Ward Crane), the poor projectionist is framed for the crime. Using his amateur detective skills, the projectionist follows the thief to the train station – only to find himself locked in a train car.  Disheartened, he returns to his movie theatre, where he falls asleep and dreams that he is the great Sherlock Holmes.   Although not a popular success on its initial release, the film has come to be recognised as a Keaton classic with its special effects and elaborate stunts making it a landmark in motion picture history.  Find out more at silentfilm.org. Presented as part of the Hampstead Arts Festival.  With live piano and organ accompaniment from Peter Foggitt.  Hampstead Parish Church, London.  Link

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

22 November

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.org.  With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Gorleston Library, Norfolk  Link

23 November

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.org.  With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Southwold Arts Centre, Southwold  Link

24 November

Cottage on Dartmoor (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 84mins)  Joe (Uno Henning) works as a barber in a shop in a Devon town, alongside a manicurist called Sally (Norah Baring). He becomes infatuated with her and asks her out but  it is clear that Sally does not reciprocate Joe’s feelings.  Joe’s infatuation with her develops into obsession. Meanwhile a young  farmer Harry (Hans Schlettow), begins to woo Sally and the couple begin seeing each other which leaves Joe in despair. After a fight with Harry, Joe is jailed but swears revenge on Harry and Sally.  A Cottage on Dartmoor is a tale of love and revenge set in the bleak landscape of Dartmoor and a thoughtful distillation of the best of European silent film techniques from a director steeped in the work of the Soviet avant-garde and German expressionism. One of the last films of the silent era and a virtuoso piece of film-making, A Cottage on Dartmoor was a final passionate cry in defence of an art form soon to be obsolete. Find out more at    silentfilm.org. With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Assembly Rooms, Ludlow Link

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.org.  With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Number 8 Arts Centre, Pershore Link

25 November

Exit Smiling (Dir. Sam Taylor, US, 1926)   (Screening format – 35mm, 80mins)  Violet (Lillie) works for a travelling theatre troupe doing menial tasks, but she dreams of becoming the main lead in the play. The arrival of Jimmy (Mary Pickford’s brother Jack) will give her a chance to fulfil her dream, while saving his life from a false accusation. This screen debut of celebrated stage comedian Beatrice Lillie presents her brilliant comic skills. Find out more at  silent-volume.blogspot.co.uk.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks (Dir. Geoffrey Malins, UK, 1917) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)  For details, see 3 November above.  With live performance of the Laura Rossi score by the Orchestra of Square Chapel.  Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax.   Link

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

29 November

Women in Silent Film Comedy  This fascinating panel discussion re-examines the female comedy pioneers of the era. Everyone knows Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but what about Mabel Normand and Marion Davies? Join expert speakers, including Pamela Hutchinson (writer, critic and founder of silentlondon.co.uk) and Bryony Dixon (Curator of Silent Film, BFI National Archive) to explore silent cinema’s underappreciated queens of comedy and their joyously funny work. With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Exit Smiling (Dir. Sam Taylor, US, 1926)   (Screening format – video, 80mins)  Violet (Lillie) works for a travelling theatre troupe doing menial tasks, but she dreams of becoming the main lead in the play. The arrival of Jimmy (Mary Pickford’s brother Jack) will give her a chance to fulfil her dream, while saving his life from a false accusation. This screen debut of celebrated stage comedian Beatrice Lillie presents her brilliant comic skills. Find out more at  silent-volume.blogspot.co.uk.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Mickey (Dir. F Richard Jones & James Young, USA, 1918) (Screening format – 35mm, 93mins) This silent romantic comedy features one of the era’s most popular stars, Mabel Normand, who also produced the film. Mickey (Normand) is an orphan brought up in a mining community. When she’s sent to a wealthy aunt, she navigates her new environment with great humour, charm and mischief. Find out more at moviessilently.com.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

December

5 December

The Virgin of Stamboul (Dir. Tod Browning, USA, 1920)  (Screening format – not known, 70 mins)  Starring Browning’s wife Priscilla Dean, Wheeler Oakman and Wallace Beery. Achmet Bey (Beery), a Turkish chieftain, catches one of his many wives in adultery and murders her lover. Throwing aside the cuckolding wife, he abducts an innocent girl (Dean) to his harem. However, a brave American who loves her (Oakman) comes to her rescue.  Find out more at imdb.com.  Presented by Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical Accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

 

 

 


NB. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these listings is accurate, silentfilmcalendar.org 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.

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