2019

 

 

 

 


January

6 January

The Penalty  (Dir. Wallace Worsley, US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 89mins) The great American actor Lon Chaney demonstrates his unparalleled flair for on-screen transformation with his macabre characterisation of ‘Blizzard’ – a tortured, criminal mastermind. A young boy has both his legs needlessly amputated by an inexperienced surgeon and grows up to become “master of the underworld”, driven to terrible deeds by his passion for sadistic revenge. The film is considered Chaney’s break-out role, cementing his reputation as master of the gruesome and grotesque, ahead of his defining performance as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The actor famously refused the use of trick camera angles to simulate his ‘deformity’, forcing his legs into leather stumps in a tightly bent position that was so painful he could only wear them for ten minutes at a time. The effect is astounding, as is Chaney’s nimble manoeuvring across the set of ropes, ladders and poles showing a technical ability that makes his character utterly believable.  Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by Graeme Stephen and Pete Harvey.  Contemporary Arts, Dundee  Link

18 January

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. Tutbury Village Hall, Staffs  Link

19 January

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. St Peter’s Church, Cowleigh, Malvern Link

20 January

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 musical accompaniment by jazz students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  Barbican, London Link

24 January

The Marvelous Mabel Normand – The Leading Lady of Film Comedy  Everyone knows Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but where are the women in silent film comedy? But the trailblazing Mabel Normand – who starred in 167 shorts and 23 features – is long overdue her moment in the spotlight.   Normand was the irrepressible spirit of early Hollywood, an extraordinary performer from the anarchic days of Mack Sennett’s Keystone company to the refined comedies of the 1920s. The first lady of silent comedy, she directed her own films, ran her own production company and worked with the best – including Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and a young Oliver Hardy. But make no mistake: Mabel was always the star.The Marvellous Mabel Normand: Leading Lady of Film Comedy is a package of four short films from the BFI National Archive, including Mabel’s Blunder (1914), Mabel’s Dramatic Career (1913), His Trysting Place (1914) and Should Men Walk Home? (1927). Find out more about her at wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu.  With a newly commissioned recorded score by The Meg Morley Trio.  Film Theatre, Stoke  Link

25 January

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. Hilgay Village Hall, Hilgay, Norfolk  Link

26 January

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. Harmston Memorial Hall, Harmston, Lincs Link

February

1 February

The Golem: How He Came Into The World  (Dir. Carl Boese/Paul Wegener, Ger, 1920) (Screening Format – DCP, 94mins) The only one of three films directed by and starring Paul Wegener concerning the Golem, a figure from Jewish folklore, to have survived, this is, along with The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), one of the key works of Expressionism, as well as being one of the earliest and most influential horror films. In medieval Prague, Rabbi Loew fears disaster for the Jewish community at the hands of the Christian Emperor. To defend his people, he creates from clay the Golem, whose awakening leads to a series of disasters in this visual feast.  Find out more at filmmonthly.com . With a new score by composer Paul Robinson, performed live by his HarmonieBand. Square Chapel, Halifax    Link

2 February

The Golem: How He Came Into The World  (Dir. Carl Boese/Paul Wegener, Ger, 1920) (Screening Format – DCP, 94mins) The only one of three films directed by and starring Paul Wegener concerning the Golem, a figure from Jewish folklore, to have survived, this is, along with The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), one of the key works of Expressionism, as well as being one of the earliest and most influential horror films. In medieval Prague, Rabbi Loew fears disaster for the Jewish community at the hands of the Christian Emperor. To defend his people, he creates from clay the Golem, whose awakening leads to a series of disasters in this visual feast.  Find out more at filmmonthly.com . With a new score by composer Paul Robinson, performed live by his HarmonieBand. Theatr Clwyd, Mold, Wales   Link

3 February

He Who Gets Slapped (Dir. Victor Sjostrom, US, 1924) (Screening format – 35mm, 94mins)  Paul Beaumont (Lon Chaney) is a talented scientist who has laboured for years to develop his theories on the origin of mankind.  But on the eve of delivering the results of his research to the wider scientific community, Beaumont’s wife Marie and his wealthy patron Baron Regnard (Mark McDermott) conspire to steal his papers and the Baron himself claims the credit for Beaumont’s work.  When Beaumont seeks redress he is slapped by the Baron and humiliated in front of the scientific community.  Five years pass and Beaumont, now known only as ‘He’, is working as a circus clown in an act which consists of his getting slapped every evening by other clowns.  He gradually falls in love with Consuelo (Norma Shearer) another performer but when he learns that she is to be forcibly married to baron Regard, the scene is set for high drama.  A big critical and popular success on its first release, the film set a one-day world record with $15,000 in ticket sales, a one-week record of $71,900, and a two-week record of $121,574. The New York Times described the film as “… a picture which defies one to write about it without indulging in superlatives … so beautifully told, so flawlessly directed that we imagine it will be held up as a model by all producers.” Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  With live piano accompaniment by Taz Modi.  Barbican, London Link

The Golem: How He Came Into The World  (Dir. Carl Boese/Paul Wegener, Ger, 1920) (Screening Format – DCP, 94mins) The only one of three films directed by and starring Paul Wegener concerning the Golem, a figure from Jewish folklore, to have survived, this is, along with The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), one of the key works of Expressionism, as well as being one of the earliest and most influential horror films. In medieval Prague, Rabbi Loew fears disaster for the Jewish community at the hands of the Christian Emperor. To defend his people, he creates from clay the Golem, whose awakening leads to a series of disasters in this visual feast.  Find out more at filmmonthly.com . With a new score by composer Paul Robinson, performed live by his HarmonieBand. Home 2, Manchester  Link

22 February

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

March

15 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 by Wurlitza. Plymouth University, Plymouth  Link

April

11 April

King of Kings (Dir. Cecil B DeMille, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 155mins) It was the biggest silent-era blockbuster of its time. The film blended spectacle and reverence, with text taken directly from the Bible and featuring a cast of thousands. The film cost at least $1,265,000 (inflated by press agents to $2,300,000), with sets and crowd scenes rivaling D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916) in scale and ornateness. The King of Kings is the height of cinematic and photographic sophistication in 1920s Hollywood.  This brand new restoration from Lobster Films, Paris, is scanned in 4K direct from the tinted nitrate, as well as surviving two-colour Technicolor footage from UCLA Film & Television Archive, with a few brief shots from other sources. This new restoration also features a digital recreation of the hand-coloured effects from Gustav Brock, which have likewise not been seen since 1927.  When it comes to Cecil B. DeMille’s King of Kings, seeing is believing!  Find out more at  criterion.com..   With live organ accompaniment by David Bednall.  Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Link

May

17 May

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. Ombersley Memorial Hall, Ombersly, Worcs. Link

June