May – December

 


 

 

 

 


May

2 May

Queen Kelly (Dir. Erich von Stroheim, US, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 101mins) A young convent girl is seduced by a European nobleman, arousing the ire of his bride-to-be Queen Kelly and eventually finding herself exiled to a brothel in East Africa. This film solidified Stroheim’s reputation for extravagance and insistence on complete artistic freedom regardless of economic considerations. It would cost him his Hollywood career. Visually striking and perverse, this film was Erich von Stroheim’s last silent film and final directorial project.  The production of the costly film was shut down after complaints by the star, Gloria Swanson, about the direction the film was taking.  In later interviews, Swanson had claimed that she had been misled by the script which referred to her character arriving in, and taking over, a dance hall; looking at the rushes, it was obvious the ‘dance hall’ was actually a brothel. Stroheim was fired from the film and much of the story-line scrapped. Swanson and producer Joseph P Kennedy (with whom Swanson was having an affair) still wanted to salvage what was left, as it had been so costly and time-consuming, and had potential market value. An alternate ending was shot and the film was released in Europe and South America (but never in the US).  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  With recorded soundtrack.  Austrian Cultural Forum, London SW7 Link

Seven Chances (Dir. Buster keaton, US, 1925) + Hard Luck (Dir. Buster Keaton/Edward F Cline, US, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 57/22mins) In Seven Chances, Keaton plays a young man who suddenly finds he must marry within hours in order to inherit a fortune; after a woeful explanation to the woman he loves, he advertises his need for a wife – with consequences that range from alarming to life-threatening. This elegant, meticulously detailed comedy of pre-marital manners concludes with one of the greatest chase sequences of all time.  Find out more at tcm.com. Believed lost for decades, Hard Luck is a black comedy which sees Buster’s protagonist broke, unloved and haplessly bent on suicide. Find out more at  quietbubble.wordpress.com With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Tokyo Chorus (Dir.  Yasujiro Ozu, Jap, 1931) (Screening format – not known, 90 mins)  Talking pictures came late to Japan, where silent film production continued far into the 1930s. Tokyo Chorus was produced by the Shochiku Company, which was founded as far back as 1895 and still continues today. It was directed by one of Japan’s most famous film-makers, Yasujirō Ozu and stars Tokihiko Okada and Emiko Yagumo. The story, about a man who faces financial problems after losing his job when defending a colleague, was based on various elements in the Shoshimin-gai (`Middle Class Avenue’) novels by Kitamura Komatsu. Tokyo Chorus has sometimes been compared to King Vidor’s 1928 masterpiece The Crowd. Find out more at silentfilm.org.  A Kennington Bioscope presentation.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

3 May

Brighton: Symphony Of A City (Dir. Lizzie Thynne, UK, 2015) + Le Voyage Dans la Lune (Trip to the Moon) (Dir. Georges Melies, Fr, 1902), (Screening format – not known, 48/13 mins).  The daily activities and extraordinary events in the seaside town of Brighton are evocatively captured in modern silent Brighton: Symphony Of A City,  wittily echoing the silent classic, Berlin Symphony of a City (1927). All-weather bathers plunge into winter seas at sunrise. Residents work, commute, flirt and play and do surprising things in their offices. Homelessness and gentrification collide; we glimpse forgotten attractions in sparkling amateur movies from Screen Archive South East. ‘Father Neptune’ is dunked in a raucous ritual from 1951; 1930s marchers celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union and modern protestors commemorate Gaza. The elegant ferris wheel, a contemporary icon destined for destruction, marks the passage of time. The day culminates in night-time revelry, astounding puppetry and the winter solstice festival, ‘The Burning of the Clocks’. A kaleidoscopic view of this unique seaside town, which evokes the past in the present and the extraordinary in the everyday. Brighton Symphony of a City was a Brighton Festival Commission for its 50th anniversary in 2016 where it premiered with a live performance of the score by the Orchestra of Sound and Light.  Find out more at brightonsymphony.com.    A Trip to the Moon  is a 1902 French adventure film inspired by a wide range of sources, including the works of novelist Jules Verne The film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore its surface, escape from an underground city of  lunar inhabitants and return to Earth.  Filmed in the overtly theatrical style which marked out Méliès’ work, the film remains the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and is widely regarded as the earliest example of the  science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.  Find out more at filmsite.org.     Brighton: Symphony Of A City features a recorded score by composer Ed Hughes performed by the Orchestra of Sound and Light. Cinema Museum, London.   Link

5 May

Seven Chances (Dir. Buster keaton, US, 1925) + Hard Luck (Dir. Buster Keaton/Edward F Cline, US, 1921) (Screening format – DCP, 57/22mins) In Seven Chances, Keaton plays a young man who suddenly finds he must marry within hours in order to inherit a fortune; after a woeful explanation to the woman he loves, he advertises his need for a wife – with consequences that range from alarming to life-threatening. This elegant, meticulously detailed comedy of pre-marital manners concludes with one of the greatest chase sequences of all time.  Find out more at tcm.com. Believed lost for decades, Hard Luck is a black comedy which sees Buster’s protagonist broke, unloved and haplessly bent on suicide. Find out more at  quietbubble.wordpress.com.  With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) A German Expressionis horror masterpiece starring Max Shreck as the vampire Count Orlok.  The film was an unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel.  Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaption and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed.  However, a few prints survived and the film came to be regarded as an inspirational masterwork of the cinema. In the film, Count Orlok travels across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  Presented as part of the Derby Film Festival.  With live organ accompaniment by Richard Hills.  The Cathedral, Derby 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. Gwinear Hall, Gwinear, Cornwall   Link

6 May

The Racket (Dir. Lewis Milestone, US, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 84mins) Nominated for best picture in the first ever Oscars, The Racket is a cracking gangster picture featuring the charismatic Louis Wolheim as a bootlegger pursued by Thomas Meighan’s Chicago copper, with Marie Prevost’s vengeful ‘chantoose’ in tow. In 1928, Moving Picture News noted that ‘The Racket is much better than usual underworld picture.’ The Racket  was one of the movies that started the cycle of gangster pictures that would lead to Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931) and Scarface (1932). It’s also one of producer Howard Hughes’ most sought after titles and has been out of distribution for decades. The film’s  success led to Milestone’s triumph two years later with All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) with Louis Wolheim playing the gruff Sergeant Katczinsky. Despite its popularity however, The Racket was banned in Chicago just as the play it was based on had been, as being a little too uncomfortable for the city of Al Capone. Hughes remade the movie in 1951 with Robert Ryan in the gangster role and the original remained locked up in his personal vault.  Find out more at nitratediva.wordpress.com.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

9 May

       Event rescheduled from 2 March

Assunta Spina (Dir. Gustavo Serena and Francesca Bertini, It, 1915)  (Screening format – not known, 70 mins) Assunta Spina is one of the great films of Italian silent cinema. Shot in fall 1914 in Naples the picture shows the city’s soul, scrutinizes its every aspect, realistically portraying the serenity and beauty of its most colorful areas, the chaotic frenzy of its neighborhoods and markets, as well as the run-down state of the working class suburbs. The film tells the dramatic  story of laundress Assunta Spina (Francesca Bertini) engaged to a violent butcher Michele (Gustavo Serena) but courted by the handsome Raffaele (Luciano Albertini).  When, in a jealous rage, Michele slashes Assunta’s face with a knife the scene is set for high drama and tragedy.   The film reveals the spirit of Neapolitans, emphasizing their exuberance and passion but also their vengefulness and unrestrained reactions that often degenerate into violence.But Bertini and Serena are not the film’s only main characters: the unlucky laundress’s shawl, in Bertini’s skilled hands, comes to life and acts as a kind of metronome marking the various stages of the tragedy as it unfolds. When approached by the studio to star in the film, Bertini only accepted as long as she was also the film’s writer and director.  But Bertini demonstrated skill and sensitivity in this, her directorial debut.  Find out more at medium.com/cuny-fashion/film-review-assunta-spina . Presented as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by seven-piece band The Badwills.  St Andrew’s In The Square, Glasgow  Link

10 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.  Mill Arts Centre, Banbury  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

12 May

Salome (Dir. Charles Bryant, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 74mins) This  is a film adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name and is a loose retelling of the biblical story of King Herod and his execution of John the Baptist at the request of Herod’s stepdaughter, Salome, whom he lusts after.  The film stars Alla Nazimova who, though largely forgotten today, was an international sensation in the early 20th century. Born in Yalta in 1879, she studied acting at Constantin Stanislavski’s Moscow Arts Theatre in the 1890s. In 1907, she found acclaim on Broadway, where her groundbreaking performances in European Modernist plays by Anton Chekov, August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen generated millions of dollars. Six years later, Metro put Nazimova under contract at $13,000 per week, making her the highest-salaried actress in the industry.   The highly stylized costumes, exaggerated acting, minimal sets, and absence of all but the most necessary props in Salome make for a screen image much more focused on atmosphere and on conveying a sense of the characters’ individual heightened desires than on conventional plot development and as such it has been labelled by some as one of the first ‘art films’ to be made in the US.  But for all its style, the film was a popular failure and a financial disaster for Nazimova who had bankrolled its production and from which she never really recovered.  But in the years since, its weirdly beautiful atmosphere and aesthetic – combining Art Nouveau, modernism and the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age – have led to its growing recognition as an exotic gem, and a cornerstone of camp.  To find out more see www.loc.gov.   With live musical accompaniment by Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr and her band performing a newly commissioned original soundtrack. Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds 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  Link

15 May

Brighton: Symphony Of A City (Dir. Lizzie Thynne, UK, 2015) (Screening format – not known, 48 mins).  The daily activities and extraordinary events in the seaside town of Brighton are evocatively captured in modern silent Brighton: Symphony Of A City,  wittily echoing the silent classic, Berlin Symphony of a City (1927). All-weather bathers plunge into winter seas at sunrise. Residents work, commute, flirt and play and do surprising things in their offices. Homelessness and gentrification collide; we glimpse forgotten attractions in sparkling amateur movies from Screen Archive South East. ‘Father Neptune’ is dunked in a raucous ritual from 1951; 1930s marchers celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union and modern protestors commemorate Gaza. The elegant ferris wheel, a contemporary icon destined for destruction, marks the passage of time. The day culminates in night-time revelry, astounding puppetry and the winter solstice festival, ‘The Burning of the Clocks’. A kaleidoscopic view of this unique seaside town, which evokes the past in the present and the extraordinary in the everyday. Brighton Symphony of a City was a Brighton Festival Commission for its 50th anniversary in 2016 where it premiered with a live performance of the score by the Orchestra of Sound and Light.  Find out more at brightonsymphony.com.      Brighton: Symphony Of A City features a recorded score by composer Ed Hughes performed by the Orchestra of Sound and Light.   Deptford Cinema, London E8 Link

16 May

Salome (Dir. Charles Bryant, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 74mins) This  is a film adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name and is a loose retelling of the biblical story of King Herod and his execution of John the Baptist at the request of Herod’s stepdaughter, Salome, whom he lusts after.  The film stars Alla Nazimova who, though largely forgotten today, was an international sensation in the early 20th century. Born in Yalta in 1879, she studied acting at Constantin Stanislavski’s Moscow Arts Theatre in the 1890s. In 1907, she found acclaim on Broadway, where her groundbreaking performances in European Modernist plays by Anton Chekov, August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen generated millions of dollars. Six years later, Metro put Nazimova under contract at $13,000 per week, making her the highest-salaried actress in the industry.   The highly stylized costumes, exaggerated acting, minimal sets, and absence of all but the most necessary props in Salome make for a screen image much more focused on atmosphere and on conveying a sense of the characters’ individual heightened desires than on conventional plot development and as such it has been labelled by some as one of the first ‘art films’ to be made in the US.  But for all its style, the film was a popular failure and a financial disaster for Nazimova who had bankrolled its production and from which she never really recovered.  But in the years since, its weirdly beautiful atmosphere and aesthetic – combining Art Nouveau, modernism and the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age – have led to its growing recognition as an exotic gem, and a cornerstone of camp.  To find out more see www.loc.gov.  With live musical accompaniment by Haley Fohr of experimental folk project Circuit des Yeux.  Barbican, London Link

18 May

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) A German Expressionis horror masterpiece starring Max Shreck as the vampire Count Orlok.  The film was an unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel.  Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaption and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed.  However, a few prints survived and the film came to be regarded as an inspirational masterwork of the cinema. In the film, Count Orlok travels across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at wikipedia.org With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Sacred Heart Church, Tamworth, Staffs  Link

23 May

The Spanish Dancer (Dir. Herbert Brennon, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, ??mins)  Directed for Famous Players-Lasky by Herbert Brenon, The Spanish Dancer was one of those films which, through circumstance, finds itself competing directly with another production telling essentially the same story, in this instance the Mary Pickford vehicle Rosita, directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Contemporary opinion favoured The Spanish Dancer, starring Antonio Moreno and Pola Negri as, respectively, a 17th century nobleman and the seductive dancer, Maritana, who wins his heart. Wallace Beery plays the amorous King whose advances Maritana must repel. The screenplay was adapted by June Mathis and Beulah Mary Dix from the stage play Don César de Bazan by Philippe François Pinel and Adolphe Philippe d’Ennery. Photography was by James Wong Howe. The Spanish Dancer was restored by the Eye Institute in the Netherlands, through whose courtesy this screening has been made possible.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  A Kennington Bioscope presentation.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth.  Link

24 May

The Artist (Dir.  Michel Hazanavicius, Fr, 2011)  (Screening format – not known, 100  mins) A ‘modern’ black and white silent, the story takes place in Hollywood, between 1927 and 1932. Outside a movie premiere, enthusiastic fan Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) literally bumps into the swashbuckling hero of the silent film, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin). The star reacts graciously and Peppy plants a kiss on his cheek as they are surrounded by photographers. The headlines demand: “Who’s that girl?” and Peppy is inspired to audition for a dancing bit-part at the studio. However as Peppy slowly rises through the industry, the introduction of talking-pictures turns Valentin’s world upside-down.  It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture.  Oh, and Uggie the dog makes a great co-star.  Find out more at  rogerebert.com . A Kennington Classics presentation.   The Cinema Museum, Lambeth. Link

27 May

The Silent Pianist Speaks.   Musician, writer and broadcaster Neil Brand, (BBC’s The Film Programme, Sound of Cinema, Music that made the Movies) celebrates the great filmmakers of the Silent Era and the magic of the accompanists who breathed life and sound into their work. From the earliest, earthiest comedies and thrillers, through a silent cine-verité classic shot by a young Billy Wilder, to the glories of Hollywood glamour and the sublime Laurel and Hardy. Neil provides improvised accompaniment and laconic commentary on everything from deep focus to his own live cinema disasters. Presented as part of the Ashmolean’s American Cool festival.  Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Link

June

1 June

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 organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  City Hall, Hull  Link

Brighton: Symphony Of A City (Dir. Lizzie Thynne, UK, 2015) + Le Voyage Dans la Lune (Trip to the Moon) (Dir. Georges Melies, Fr, 1902), (Screening format – not known, 48/13 mins).  The daily activities and extraordinary events in the seaside town of Brighton are evocatively captured in modern silent Brighton: Symphony Of A City,  wittily echoing the silent classic, Berlin Symphony of a City (1927). All-weather bathers plunge into winter seas at sunrise. Residents work, commute, flirt and play and do surprising things in their offices. Homelessness and gentrification collide; we glimpse forgotten attractions in sparkling amateur movies from Screen Archive South East. ‘Father Neptune’ is dunked in a raucous ritual from 1951; 1930s marchers celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union and modern protestors commemorate Gaza. The elegant ferris wheel, a contemporary icon destined for destruction, marks the passage of time. The day culminates in night-time revelry, astounding puppetry and the winter solstice festival, ‘The Burning of the Clocks’. A kaleidoscopic view of this unique seaside town, which evokes the past in the present and the extraordinary in the everyday. Brighton Symphony of a City was a Brighton Festival Commission for its 50th anniversary in 2016 where it premiered with a live performance of the score by the Orchestra of Sound and Light.  Find out more at brightonsymphony.com.    A Trip to the Moon  is a 1902 French adventure film inspired by a wide range of sources, including the works of novelist Jules Verne The film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore its surface, escape from an underground city of  lunar inhabitants and return to Earth.  Filmed in the overtly theatrical style which marked out Méliès’ work, the film remains the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and is widely regarded as the earliest example of the  science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.  Find out more at filmsite.org.     Presented as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.  Brighton: Symphony Of A City features a recorded score by composer Ed Hughes performed by the Orchestra of Sound and Light. Unitarian Church, Brighton Link

13 June

The Road To Happiness (Dir. Michael Curtiz, Aust, 1926) (Screening format – 35mm, 78mins)  The Road to Happiness (aka Fiaker Nr.13) was directed in Austria by Michael Curtiz (to give the later anglicised version of his name) and produced by Arnold Pressburger. It was adapted from Xavier de Montépin’s novel by Alfred Schirokauer. The Road to Happiness stars Lili Damita and Jack Trevor in the story of a newborn baby girl whose mother leaves her in a carriage. The coachman raises the girl, who grows up to become a dancer and finds both romance and her real father. Find out more at filmaffinity.com.  A Kennington Bioscope presentation.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

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  Link

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

July

4 July

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. Deal Fstival Of Music And Arts, Deal, Kent  Link

13 July

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.  Queen Mother Theatre Studio, Hitchin  Link

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – Not known, 96mins) A German Expressionis horror masterpiece starring Max Shreck as the vampire Count Orlok.  The film was an unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel.  Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaption and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed.  However, a few prints survived and the film came to be regarded as an inspirational masterwork of the cinema. In the film, Count Orlok travels across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  With live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit. Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

19 July

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (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 .   With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima.  The Point, Eastleigh, Hampshire  Link

22 July

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (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 .   With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Martley Fringe Festival, Worcester   Link

November

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

 

 


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