March – December

 


 

 

 

 


March

2 March

Chicago (Dir. Frank Urson & Cecil B.DeMille (uncredited),  1927) (Screening format – not known,   118mins )  Seventy-five years before Bob Fosse’s Oscar-winning musical version of Maurine Watkins’ successful stage play, Cecil B. DeMille’s production company made this saucy silent film version.  Phyllis Haver is hugely entertaining as the brazen Roxie Hart “Chicago’s most beautiful murderess” – a woman so pathologically shallow she sees notoriety for a murder rap as an opportunity to secure her fortune.  Egged on by her crooked lawyer (“they’ll be naming babies after you”) Roxie neglects her long-suffering loyal husband and sets about milking her celebrity status for all she’s worth.  The sequence in the prison is an absolute delight – particularly the rivalry between Roxie and fellow-murderess Velma (played by DeMille’s mistress), as are the climactic courtroom scenes.  A cracking, satire on fame and the media, this fun-filled tale of adultery, murder and sin (so sinful that DeMille – known for his Biblical epics – was at pains to keep his name off the credits) is as fresh and relevant as ever.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .   Presented by the Flea Pit Cinema.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.  Westerham Hall, Westerham, Kent 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 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. Tutbury Village Hall, Tutbury, Staffs  Link

3 March

London Symphony (Dir.  Alex Barrett, UK, 2017) (Screening format – not known)  London Symphony  is a brand new silent film – a city symphony – which offers a poetic journey through London, a cosmopolitan city facing a challenge to its identity in the current political climate.  It is an artistic portrait of the city as it stands today, and a celebration of its culture and diversity. Find out more at londonsymphfilm.com . With recorded James McWilliam soundtrack.  Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, Cumbria   Link

4 March

The Lost World (Dir. Harry Hoyt, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur adventure is brought to the big screen for the first time in an adventure across continents to the land that time forgot, featuring swooping beasts, the terrifying ‘apeman’ and the odd volcano too! This film used pioneering techniques in stop motion by Willis O’Brien (a forerunner of his work on the original King Kong film) and was one of the first to use a tinting technique that brought colour to film. It also features an introduction from the author himself.  For more than 80 years, only abridged editions of The Lost World remained in existence… until now! South West Silents are thrilled to present this visually stunning 2K restoration by Lobster Films, Paris, incorporating original elements from archives and collections around the world.Find out more at  moviessilently.com.  Presented as part of the Borderlands Festival.  With recorded orchestral score composed by Robert Israel.  Assembly Rooms, Ludlow Link

The Mysterious Lady (Dir. Fred Niblo, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) In turn of the century Vienna,  Captain Karl von Raden (Conrad Nagel)  shares a box at the opera with a gorgeous woman (Greta Garbo). Karl gives her a ride home  and they spend the night together and the following day. But then Karl is assigned to deliver secret plans to the German government. The chief of the Austrian secret service advises Karl the woman with whom he had spent the previous day is the notorious Russian spy Tania Fedorova. On his journey, Tania meets Karl to tell that she is in love with him, but he rejects her telling that he knows who she is. But the next morning he wakes up and the secret papers are gone…. Find out more at garboforever.com .   Also being screened is the single surviving reel from Garbo’s 1928 film The Divine Woman (Dir. Victor Sjostrom),  Find out more at wikipedia.org   With live musical accompaniment from the  Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis.   Royal Festival Hall, London  Link

9 March

Behind The Door (Dir. Irvin Willat, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 70mins)  With America entering World War I, German-American Oscar Krug (Hobart Bosworth) is thought to be an enemy sympathizer. He fights his foes to prove that they’re wrong, then immediately enlists and is assigned to the merchant marines. The night before boarding, he marries his sweetheart, Alice Morse (Jane Novak), and she sails with him. A German submarine torpedoes the craft and sinks it. Krug and his bride board a lifeboat. The Germans take Alice and leave Krug, who swears revenge to the commander (Wallace Beery)…. Restored from surviving incomplete copies held at the US Library of Congress and at the Gosfilmofond, the Russian national archive so that what Kevin Brownlow called “the most outspoken of all the [WWI] vengeance films,” can now be seen in its most complete form since its release in 1919.  And it is possibly the ‘darkest’ silent film we have ever seen.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org .Presented as part of the Borderlands Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  The Courtyard, Hereford. Link

11 March

The Lost World (Dir. Harry Hoyt, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur adventure is brought to the big screen for the first time in an adventure across continents to the land that time forgot, featuring swooping beasts, the terrifying ‘apeman’ and the odd volcano too! This film used pioneering techniques in stop motion by Willis O’Brien (a forerunner of his work on the original King Kong film) and was one of the first to use a tinting technique that brought colour to film. It also features an introduction from the author himself.  For more than 80 years, only abridged editions of The Lost World remained in existence… until now! South West Silents are thrilled to present this visually stunning 2K restoration by Lobster Films, Paris, incorporating original elements from archives and collections around the world.Find out more at  moviessilently.com.  Presented as part of the Borderlands Festival.  With recorded orchestral score composed by Robert Israel.  The Courtyard, Hereford Link

14 March

Another Evening of 9.5mm Films From The Brownlow Collection Renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow introduces another selection of films from his 9.5mm collection.  Included is an edited version of Casanova (aka The Prince of Adventurers (Dir. Alexandre Volkoff, Fr, 1927) starring Ivan Mozzhukhin, Suzanne Bianchetti and Diana Karenne. This spectacular production was shot on location in Venice and was one of the few tinted prints ever released by 9.5mm distributor Pathescope.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

18 March

Little Old New York (Dir. Sidney Olcott, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 110 mins)  This charming and expensively made historical romance was one of Marion Davies better films. Never entirely comfortable in the overblown historical drama roles chosen for her by media baron William Randolph Herst while she was his mistress (her preferred forte being light comedy such as Show People(1928)), this one works better than most.  She spends much of the picture disguised as a boy, something she also did effectively in several other films. A young Irish lad inherits a fortune, providing he travels to New York to claim it within a certain period of time. But the boy is sick and dies en route to New York. In order to get the money, his sister Patricia (Davies) disguises herself as her brother. But this is just the start of her troubles…Find out more at moviessilently.com.  With live musical accompaniment by Morgan Cooke,  Barbican, London   (No link yet)

Earth (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, USSR 1930) (Screening format – not known, 75 mins) Earth, the final part of Dovzhenko’s silent trilogy, is undoubtedly the most famous and controversial movie of the Ukrainian Soviet silent film heritage. Full of lyrical pantheism and utopian exaltation, it demonstrated the ambiguity of Ukrainian geopolitical choice in the late 1920s. The simple plot tells the story of a small Ukrainian village on the eve of collectivisation. Vasyl, the leader of the activist youth, is trying to engage villagers into the collective farm movement while waiting for a technical miracle: a tractor, the forerunner of the new era. Finally, he ploughs a boundary separating the private plots from the collective ones. This enthusiasm costs Vasyl his life, but makes him a martyr – a necessary sacrifice for the new social order.  Although Earth fits the tradition of Soviet propaganda films, Dovzhenko’s interest in the human condition and its bond with nature takes the film beyond the propaganda realm. As told by Dovzhenko, an ordinary tale of a class struggle becomes a universal philosophical parable about life and death.  Criticised severely for its naturalism, the film was banned nine days after its release in the Soviet Union and was given a credit in Ukraine only after Dovzhenko’s death. Earth hit the headlines only in 1958, when the International Referendum in Brussels praised the film as one of the best 12 films in the history of cinema. It has been voted one of the top ten silent films by The Guardian and The Observer.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  With live musical accompaniment by electro-improvisational group GrokGenesis Cinema, London  Link

21 March

Dorothy Davenport Film NightVery much a forgotten name now but throughout the 1910s and 1920s Dorothy Davenport (1895 – 1977) was one of the key women stars of Hollywood. Coming from the Davenport stage acting dynasty (very much as popular as the other stage dynasty that was the Barrymore family), she moved to Southern California as an actress with the Nestor Film Company in late 1911, becoming one of the first members of the early film colony soon to be known as Hollywood.  Having initially worked primarily as an actress, after the tragic death of her morphine addicted husband Wallace Reid in 1923, Davenport turned to writing/directing with the film Human Wreckage (1923),  about the tragic consequences of the illegal trade in narcotics.  She followed this with  several other films with strong social messages.  Find out more at cdrs.columbia.edu.  Presented by South West Silents.  Introduced by Norman Taylor.  Landsdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol Link

Last of the Mohicans (Dir. Maurice Tourneur/Clarence Brown, US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 73mins)   This is the second film adaption of James Fenimore Cooper’s classic adventure novel,  the story of two English sisters (Barbara Bedford and Lillian Hall) meeting danger on the frontier of the American colonies, in and around the fort commanded by their father.  Help comes in the form of hunter and scout Hawkeye (Harry Lorraine) together with  Chingachgook (Theodore Lorch) and his son Uncas (Alan Roscoe), the last of the Mohicans.  Wallace Beery is suitably menacing as the evil Magua.  Oh, and look out for Boris Karloff (supposedly) in an un-credited bit-part as an Indian. Find out more at  imdb.com .  Presented as the opening night premier of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest18).  With live musical accompaniment from David Allison.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

22 March

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1927) + The Scarecrow (Dir.Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, US, 1920)  (Screening format – DVD, 91/19 mins ) In The Lodger, a serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org. In The Scarecrow, farmhands Buster Keaton and Joe Roberts are both in love with the same girl (Sybil Seely) but the girl’s father (Joe Keaton, Buster’s dad) is none too impressed with either of them. After being pursued by a supposedly mad dog and disguising himself as a scarecrow, Buster wins the girl in spite of himself but they then have to elude both Buster’s rival and the girl’s father in a madcap final chase.  Find out more at allmovie.com .   With live musical accompaniment by the Meg Morley Trio.  1901 Arts Club, Waterloo, London  Link

23 March

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 from Wurlitza. The Old Bakery, Truro, Cornwall.  Link

25 March

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dir.Wallace Worsley, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 110mins) A classic silent film, full of drama, frights, romance, and excitement .  Quasimodo is ordered to kidnap a gypsy girl, Esmerelda, by his wicked master, and an unlikely friendship forms between them. However, the reclusive hunchback is tested to his limits when Esmerelda is framed for attempted murder, and must fight back against the powers that have subjugated him. Victor Hugo’s tragic tale of the deformed bell-ringer and his love for Esmeralda, a doomed gypsy girl, has been filmed so many times but for many this Chaney adaption remains the definitive Quasimodo. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was filmed over the course of six months on a specially built set depicting 15th-century Paris, a set which spanned 19 acres of Universal Pictures’ back lot and included a full scale façade of Notre Dame Cathedral. The version to be screened is a brand new restoration thanks to Flicker Alley and Lobster Films, Paris and is the edition mastered from a multi-tinted 16mm print struck in 1926 from the original camera negative. (The film apparently does not survive in 35mm). Visible wear in the source material is diminished with a moderate amount of digital restoration. It is pictorially superior to any past releases and represents the best condition in which this landmark film survives today. Find out more at  wikipedia.org. Presented by South West Silents in association with Curzon Cinema and Arts.  With live musical accompaniment by Andy Quinn on the Curzon’s cinema organ.  Curzon Cinema, Clevedon, North Somerset  Link

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 from Wurlitza. Regal Cinema, Wadebridge, CornwallLink

29 March

The Call Of The Sea (aka Zew Morza) (Dir. Henryk Szaro, Pol, 1927) (Screeningformat – DCP, 126mins)  The Barbican and the Polish Cultural Institute in London presents the Closing Gala event of the 2018 Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, featuring a screening of the digitally restored 1927 film The Call of the Sea, directed by Henryk Szaro and based on a novel by Stefan Kiedrzyński. Immensely popular in Poland in the 1920s due to its complex scenery and cinematography, this epic love story with a turbulent plot combines maritime cinema and romance, featuring many stars of the silent film era as well as officers and gunmen of the Polish navy and air force. Find out more at  letsceefilmfestival.com With live musical accompaniment TBC.  Barbican, London   (No link yet)

April

17 April

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (Dir. Benjamin Christensen, Swe., 1922) ( Screening format – not known, 105mins) A fictionalized documentary with dramatic reconstructions showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern (1922) Europe. Based partly on Christensen’s study of the  Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th-century German guide for inquisitors, Häxan is a study of how superstition and the misunderstanding of diseases and mental illness could lead to the hysteria of the witch hunts.  Although it won acclaim in Denmark and Sweden when first released, Haxan was heavily censored or banned outright in many countries.  But it is now considered to be Christensen’s finest work, a witches’ brew of the scary, the grotesque, and the darkly humorous. Find out more at thedevilsmanor.blogspot.co.uk .  Presented as part of Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival.   Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen, High Rise, A Field in England), will be narrating a live translation of the Swedish inter-titles and renowned musician Stephen Horne will be providing live musical accompaniment. Town Hall, Birmingham. Link

20 April

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 from Wurlitza. The Tolmen Centre, Constantine, Cornwall.  Link

22 April

The Suffragette (Dir. Urban Gad, Ger, 1913)  + Make More Noise (Dir. Various) (Screening format – not known, 60/?? mins)  In The Suffragette, silent film diva Asta Nielsen, one of the most popular leading female actors of the silent era and one of the first international movie stars, plays a militant British Suffragette, who gets involved in a plot to murder a government official. Including depiction of suffrage protests and imprisonment, the film has gained popularity and wide appeal, while limited in its overall support of the cause. Find out more at allenjohn.over-blog.com (in French).     Followed by highlights from Make More Noise! (BFI National Archive) a collection exploring the representation of pioneering women in the first decades of the 20th century.   Introduced by Naomi Paxton.  With live musical accompaniment by Wendy Hiscocks.  Barbican, London  (No link yet)

24 April

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.  Tavistock Festival  Link

27 April

London Symphony (Dir.  Alex Barrett, UK, 2017) (Screening format – not known)  London Symphony  is a brand new silent film – a city symphony – which offers a poetic journey through London, a cosmopolitan city facing a challenge to its identity in the current political climate.  It is an artistic portrait of the city as it stands today, and a celebration of its culture and diversity. Find out more at londonsymphfilm.com . With recorded James McWilliam soundtrack.  The Brewhouse, Taunton, Somerset Link

29 April

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. With live musical accompaniment by electro-improvisational group GrokGenesis Cinema, London  Link

May

5 May

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 from Wurlitza. Gwinear Hall, Gwinear, Cornwall   Link

11 May

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. St Leonard’s Mission Church, Chesterfield  Link

13 May

Underground (Dir. Anthony Asquith, GB, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 84 mins) In 1920s London, during a normal hectic day on the Underground, mild mannered Northern Line porter Bill (Brian Aherne) falls for shop worker Nell (Elissa Lndi). But their relationship is threatened by power station worker Burt (Cyril McLaglan) who also has eyes for Nell.  Consumed by jealousy, Burt plots to discredit Bill with a plan that results in a daring chase through London’s underground and across rooftops of the city.  Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film  he handles the melodramatic story with confidence and great sophistication.  Underground is a rare study of 1920s working-class London, and offers a fascinating and historically interesting glimpse of its public transport system.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk.  With live piano accompaniment from Neil Brand.  Barbican, London  (No link yet)

June

17 June

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 from musicians of the Guildhall School’s Electronic Music Studio.  Barbican, London  (No link yet)

29 June

Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, The (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1927)  (Screening format – not known, 91 mins ) In The Lodger, a serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the #avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of a Hitchcock double bill with the sound version of Blackmail (1929).  With recorded soundtrack.  The Plaza, Stockport, Cheshire Link

 

 


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