November – December

 

 

 

 

 


 

NB.  With a renewed Covid-19 related lock-down in force nationwide, all screenings at least up until December 2nd are assumed to be cancelled. 

 

November

6 November

The Eagle (Dir. Clarence Brown, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) Based on the novel Dubrovsky by Alexander Pushkin, Rudolph Valentino stars as the title character, a young Russian Cossack officer who rejects the Czarina’s (Louise Dresser) amorous attention and is promptly branded a deserter in this silent tale of love and revenge. On the eve of his dismissal he learns of his father’s ruin–his father had sent a letter pleading for the Czarina’s aid against Kyrilla (James Marcus), a gluttonous and treacherous neighbor who has stolen the family’s estate. Sentenced to death with a reward on his head for shunning the lusty Czarina, Vladimir escapes into the countryside and becomes the Black Eagle, a dashing masked vigilante who seeks to avenge the death of his father. But things get complicated when he falls in love with Mascha Troekouroff (Vilma Banky), Kyrilla’s daughter.  Escaping for once his ‘Latin Lover’ persona, Valentino delivers a charismatic and seductive performance in this full-scale romantic adventure that shines with early Hollywood’s technical advancements and stylish production values.  Find out more at iamhist.net.  Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Arnolfini, Bristol Link

7 November

Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – DCP,  71  mins)  In Steamboat Bill Jr a crusty river boat captain hopes that his long departed son’s return will help him compete with a business rival.  Unfortunately, William Canfield Jnr (Buster Keaton) is an effete college boy.  Worse still, he has fallen for the business rival’s daughter (Marion Byron).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  With recorded musical accompaniment.  BFI SouthbankLink

9 November

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

12 November

Last of the Mohicans (Dir. Maurice Tourneur/Clarence Brown, US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 73mins)   Based on James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 best-selling novel and set during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of North America, this the second film adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans, initially directed by the great Maurice Tourneur and completed thanks to his assistant (another soon to be great director) Clarence Brown, is one of the great masterpieces of America cinema of the early 1920s.  Telling 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, the sisters’ only hope of survival against the French forces and a menacing Huron Indian called Magua is with the son of the last chief of the Mohican tribe, the hunky yet majestic Uncas (Albert Roscoe) and the hunter and scout Hawkeye (Harry Lorraine). What ensues is an epic battle of survival, betrayal, murder and love all of which are set within the incredible forests and mountainous landscapes of North America..    Wallace Beery is suitably menacing as the evil Magua.  Oh, and look out for Boris Karloff in an uncredited bit-part as an Indian. Find out more at  imdb.com .   With live piano accompaniment from Meg Morley.  Bristol Cathedral, Bristol Link

16 November

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

18 November

Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – DCP,  71  mins)  In Steamboat Bill Jr a crusty river boat captain hopes that his long departed son’s return will help him compete with a business rival.  Unfortunately, William Canfield Jnr (Buster Keaton) is an effete college boy.  Worse still, he has fallen for the business rival’s daughter (Marion Byron).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  With recorded musical accompaniment.  BFI SouthbankLink

22 November

Funny Business (Dir. Various, US) (Screening format – not known, 75mins) An afternoon of classic silent film comedy featuring Laurel and Hardy and early Hollywood’s greatest female clown, Mabel Normand.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.  National Centre For Early Music, York  Link

The Woman One Longs For (aka The Woman That Men Yearn For, Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt,  ) (Dir, Curtis Bernhard, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 78mins) The dreamy Charles Leblanc (Oskar Sima), about to marry into a wealthy steel-making family, glimpses Stascha (Marlene Dietrich) and her companion Karoff (Fritz Kortner) as they pause for a drink at a bar in his small southern France town. They meet again on the train taking him and his wife on their honeymoon. Overwhelmed by Stascha’s sexuality, and ignoring his distraught new wife, Leblanc agrees to help her escape from the domineering Karoff, setting in motion a chain of obsessive, destructive events.  Long before von Sternberg brought us Dietrich as Lola Lola in The Blue Angel, the actress had already created her femme fatale persona with this, her first starring role.  Although made on something of a shoestring budget and wholly studio shot, the film benefits from excellent direction from Bernhardt, Dietrich smoulders superbly and the rest of the cast are excellent.  Unfortunately the film was released just as audiences were clamouring for sound films and as a result it was not particularly successful. But this is a welcome opportunity to see this rarely screened classic which marked an important milestone in Dietrich’s career development Find out more at silentfilm.org With live musical accompaniment by  Jonny Best (piano) and Irine Røsnes (violin).  National Centre For Early Music, York, Link

24 November

Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – DCP,  71  mins)  In Steamboat Bill Jr a crusty river boat captain hopes that his long departed son’s return will help him compete with a business rival.  Unfortunately, William Canfield Jnr (Buster Keaton) is an effete college boy.  Worse still, he has fallen for the business rival’s daughter (Marion Byron).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  With recorded musical accompaniment.  BFI SouthbankLink

 

December

20 December

Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House opened on this date 100 years ago.  To celebrate its centenary the cinema will be screening a series of films with live accompaniment, some of which played at the Abbeydale during the 1920s.  Film details to be confirmed. Abbetdale Picture House, Sheffield  (No Link Yet)