August – December

 

 

 

 

 


August

4 August

Tonka of the Gallows (Dir. Karel Anton, Cz, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 83mins) A rarely seen gem from the archives of the Czech Republic, Tonka of the Gallows fuses German chiaroscuro aesthetics with the Soviet flare for surprising angles for this affective parable of the cruelty that comes from small-mindedness.  At the center of an international cast is the Slovenian ingénue with the haunting eyes, Ita Rina, who seems to channel Garbo’s Anna Christie in her portrayal of a prostitute whose selfless act of spending the night with a condemned man makes her a pariah throughout all Prague.  Made as sound was taking over the industry, Tonka of the Gallows is a tour-de-force of silent-era filmmaking from Czechoslovakian director Karel Anton, who here has made his best work, always tempering style to serve the larger story. Find out more at filmcomment.com  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne. Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley  Link

5 August

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Dir. Lotte Reiniger , Ger, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 65mins) The first feature-length animation in film history, masterminded by Lotte Reiniger and hand-tinted frame by frame. Based on ‘The Arabian Nights’, the film tells the epic tale of Prince Achmed, who is tricked into mounting a magical flying horse by a wicked sorcerer. The horse carries Achmed off on a series of adventures, over the course of which he joins forces with young Aladdin, battles ogres and monsters and romances the beautiful Princess Peri Banu.Find out more at wikipedia.org . Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House.  With live musical accompaniment by Peter Coldham (piano).  Wilton’s Music Hall, London E1 Link

6 August

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 . Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House.  With live musical accompaniment with an original score composed by Emily O’Hara and performed by the Picturehouse quartet.   Wilton’s Music Hall, London E1 Link

7 August

Piccadilly (Dir E A Dupont, UK, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 92 mins)  A film noir before the term was in use, uncredited German director E.A. Dupont’s Piccadilly is one of the true greats of British silent films, on a par with the best of Anthony Asquith or Alfred Hitchcock during this period. Valentine Wilmot (Jameson Thomas) owns a nightclub featuring dancers Mabel (Gilda Gray) and Vic (Cyril Ritchard). After a confrontation with Wilmot, Vic quits performing at the club. When the joint starts losing business, a desperate Wilmot hires former dishwasher Shosho (Anna May Wong) as a dancer. She is an instant hit and forms a rapport with Wilmot, which makes both Mabel and Shosho’s friend (King Ho Chang) jealous, leading to a mysterious murder.  A stylish evocation of Jazz Age London, with dazzlingly fluid cinematography and scenes ranging from the opulent West End to the seediness of Limehouse. One of the pinnacles of British silent cinema, Piccadilly is a sumptuous show business melodrama seething with sexual and racial tension – with an original screenplay by Arnold Bennett.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk . Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House.  With live musical accompaniment with an original score composed  and performed by Andrew Ollver and Nicholas D. Ball (piano and percussion).   Wilton’s Music Hall, London E1 Link

8 August

Speedy (Dir. Ted Wilde, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 86mins) Harold Lloyd’s final silent film sees him reprise his ‘glasses character’ as a baseball-obsessed New Yorker (the film features a cameo from the legendary Babe Ruth) who becomes determined to save the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar, motivated in no small part by its owner being the grandfather of his love interest. Filled with Lloyd’s trademark rapid-fire visual humour and elaborate set-ups, it’s a fine example of his innovative approach to comedy. Find out more at allmovie.com.  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House.  With live musical accompaniment with an original score composed and performed by Christopher Eldred (piano).   Wilton’s Music Hall, London E1 Link

16 August

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) A German Expressionist horror masterpiece starring Max Shreck as the vampire Count Orlok.  The film was an un-authorised 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 by the Green Man Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Minima. Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales Link

17 August

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.  Presented by Collective Cinema.  With recorded soundtrack.  St Margaret’s Church, Lee, London SE13 Link

18 August

Silent Cinema Comedy Special  (Screening format – not known, 80mins)Young Programmer Lyra Sweeney introduces her selection of silent films that delight in physical comedy. The programme includes: The Adventurer (1917), with Charlie Chaplin as an escaped prisoner on the run; super bendy Lupino Lane in Bending Hur (aka Roaming Romeo, 1928); and the excellent Florence Turner making silly faces in Daisy Doodad’s Dial (1914). It all ends with the fantastic final chase scene in Buster Keaton’s Seven Chances (1925).  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

September

28 September

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 Wurltza .   Noss Mayo, Devon Link

 

October

6 October

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

12 October

Silent Film Night  Films to be confirmed.  With live organ accompaniment by Donald Mackenzie    St Aidan with St George Church, Bristol Link

13 October

One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920) + selected shorts (Screening format – not known, 19 mins)  One Week sees Buster and his new bride struggling with a pre-fabricated home unaware that his bride’s former suitor has renumbered all of the boxes.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Landulph Festival, Landulph, Cornwall  Link