March

 

 

 

 


1 March

What Happened To Jones (Dir. William A Seiter, US, 1926) (Screening format – DCP, 70 mins) You might recognise Reginald Denny from his part as the personable estate manager in Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) or as Algy in the 1930s Bulldog Drummond series, but in his youth this dashing actor from Richmond, Surrey was the toast of silent Hollywood, probably best remembered today for his performance alongside Laura La Plante in the delightful comedy Skinner’s Dress Suit, also made in 1926.  What Happened To Jones is another cracking comedy,  on a ‘night before the wedding’ theme, scripted by Melville W Brown, and once again showcasing both Denny’s gift for comedy and his likeable personality.  Find out more at giornatedelcinemamuto.it. Introduction on behalf of Reginald Denny’s granddaughter and biographer, Kimberly Pucci.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

2 March

Underground(Dir. Anthony Asquith, GB, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 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 Landi). 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 recorded musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

3 March

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 Minima.  Community Centre, Long Itchington Link

4 March

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 atsilentfilm.org .  With live musical accompaniment by The Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand. Hastings International Piano Festival Link

5 March

The Golem: How He Came Into The World  (Dir. Carl Boese/Paul Wegener, Ger, 1920) (Screening Format – not known, 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.  With its foreshadowing of the Jewish persecution that was to come in Europe, Der Golem is a powerful and poignant piece of film-making – capped by inventive special effects, and exhilarating lighting and cinematography from the film’s photographer Karl Freund.Find out more atfilmmonthly.com .  Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Malvern Theaters, Malvern Link

6 March

The Thief of Bagdad (Dir.  Raoul Walsh , US, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 140mins) This swashbuckler, directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Douglas Fairbanks, tells the story of a thief who falls in love with the daughter of the Caliph. He originally means to steal from her, but when he sees this beauty before him, he becomes smitten. But when a group of princely suitors arrive at the palace for her to make her choice, the thief pretends to be a prince himself in order to win her hand. He gets found out and punished, but the princess, who falls for him too, arranges for him to be released. To buy more time, she gives the three suitors a task to bring her the rarest treasure they can find to help her make the important choice. The thief joins the hunt too, hoping to outdo them all to such a degree that he will be able to marry the princess regardless of his current status. Thus begins an epic adventure of magic and peril.  The Thief of Bagdad is now widely considered one of the great silent films and Fairbanks’s greatest work.  The film was a popular success, and Fairbanks made women swoon as one of the screen’s first superstars. Known for his dashing demeanour and incredible stunts, Fairbanks, who would also routinely contribute to the scripts of his films under the pseudonym Elton Thomas, actually created the story for this version of The Thief of Bagdad and included types of special effects and production design never previously seen by audiences. The film also proved a stepping stone for a scantily-clad Anna May Wong, who portrayed a Mongol slave.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.comWith live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.  Fleapit Cinema Club, Westerham, Kent Link

7 March

Oliver Twist (Dir. Frank Lloyd, US, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 74mins) Thought lost for decades, Frank Lloyd’s adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic tale of the boy who asked for more has an all-star cast. Starring the man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney, as Fagin and the wunderkind of 1920s Hollywood, Jackie Coogan (straight after his heartrending debut in Chaplin’s The Kid) in the title role, this spectacular silent film gem was rediscovered in Yugoslavia in the 1970s. Find out more at editoreric.com.  Screened as part of the Leeds Lit Festival. With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.  The Library, Leeds Link

11 March

Tatjana (Dir. Robert Dinesen, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – 35mm, ? mins) Tatjana is a tale of Russia, the Bolshevik uprising and revolution in a rural setting, entwined with a story of desire and deception. The first intertitle reads, “Fate tires now and then of painting pretty coloured pictures. In such a mood she takes the Blacks and Reds of Human Passion and paints a stark tragedy…” The scene opens on a manservant, drawing back the curtains and discovering his master slumped over at his desk. He is dead. The Chief of Police arrives to interrogate the household and discovers the dead man’s wife purposely sent all the servants out to the theatre the night before… what was the reason for her actions? A letter will explain all as the film delves into the characters’ past through flashback…Olga Tschechowa fills the title role of Tatjana and the two young fellows in her life are Ivan Gorky, portrayed by German actor Paul Hartmann (probably familiar to many from Oscar-winning WWII film The Longest Day (1962) as Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt) and Prince Boris Orloff, played by director Robert Dinesen himself in what would be his final acting role. The version of the film being screened will be the British release print from 1927 which was re-titled He Who Covets.  Find out more atimdb.comPresented by the Kennington Bioscope.  Introduced by Michelle Facey.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + shorts (Screening format – not known, 60 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 atsilentfilm.org.  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House  With live musical accompaniment.  Crescent – The Vaults, Waterloo, LondonLink

12 March

Cabinet of Dr Caligari(Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more atwikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Malvern Theaters, Malvern Link

Man With a Movie Camera (Dir. Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 68mins) “An experiment in the creative communication of visible events without the aid of inter-titles, a scenario or theatre “aiming at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema,” is how the inter-titles describe what is about to be seen. Bold claims indeed, but in its awesome sophistication The Man with a Movie Camera does live up to them, making it one of the most contemporary of silent movies. The subject, the life of a city from dawn to dusk, was not original even for 1928, but its treatment was–the cameraman as voyeur, social commentator and prankster, exploiting every trick permissible with the technology of the day (slow motion, dissolves, split screens, freeze frames, stop motion animation, etc). A young woman stirs in her bed, apparently fighting a nightmare in which a cameraman is about to be crushed by an oncoming train. She wakes up, and the sequence is revealed to be a simple trick shot. As she blinks her weary eyes, the shutters of her window mimic her viewpoint, and the iris of the camera spins open. Self-reflexive wit like this abounds here–there’s even a delicious counterpoint made between the splicing of film and the painting of a woman’s nails.  Find out more atopenculture.com .  With recorded score.  Screened as part of the Explore Film programme and accompanied by a lecture from film academic Ellen Cheshire.  Depot Cinema, Lewes Link

13 March

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. The Odessa Steps sequence, which depicts the massacre of the citizens, 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 if anything, somewhat anticlimactic.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com  Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney.  Arnolfini, Bristol Link

14 March

Filibus (Dir. Mario Roncoroni, It, 1915) (Screening format – not known, 76mins)   Filibus (the first of thirty films directed by Roncoroni) featured as a protagonist a roguish female lead character, the Baroness Troixmonde, who is a respectable member of society by day, but by night in the guise of “Filibus” she terrorizes Sicily from her zeppelin, which is full of technologically-advanced equipment and weaponry. The zeppelin is manned by a staff of mask-wearing, black-skin-suit-clad male assistants who obey the Baroness’ commands instantly. The airship is her headquarters and her home, and she descends to land only to rob or to hobnob with the socialites and dance with women as the tuxedo-wearing dandy Count de la Brieve ( a full 15 years before Dietrich’s famous cross-dressing scene in Morocco).  But has Filibus met her match with the renowned Detective Hardy on her trail…..  Find out more atsilentsplease.wordpress.com .  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from Jane Gardner.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

The Live Ghost Tent: Quarterly Meeting Of The Laurel and Hardy Society.  Films being screened include late silent Thats My Wife (Dir. Lloyd French, US, 1929) in which Oliver stands to inherit a large fortune from his rich Uncle Bernal, on condition that he be happily married. But when Mrs. Hardy walks out just before Uncle Bernal is due for a visit, Stanley is pressed into duty (and into drag) to impersonate Oliver’s loving spouse. He’s convincing enough to earn a pass or two from a drunk at a nightclub, but then a stolen necklace gets dropped down his dress……..! With recorded soundtrack.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

16 March

The Wind(Dir. Victor Sjöström, US. 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 95mins)   Innocent and naive Letty Mason (Lillian Gish) moves from her Virginia home to Sweet Water on the western prairies to live on the ranch of her cousin Beverly (Edward Earle) , his wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming) and their three children. Letty quickly learns how inhospitable the environment in Sweet Water is, the most obvious feature being the incessant wind. But equally inhospitable are the unrefined lives of the people of Sweet Water, to which Letty is unaccustomed, and Cora, who believes Letty has come to steal Beverly away from her. As a result, Cora orders Letty out of her and Bev’s house. With no money, Letty is forced to accept one of the marriage proposals she receives, from Lige Hightower (Lars Hanson), a man who she does not love. But greater terrors loom and the incessant wind brings with it the prospect of madness.   As the film shifts from low-key naturalism to full-on melodramatic symbolism, Sjöström – shooting the climactic sandstorm in the Mojave desert– makes the weather an astonishingly vivid index of the protagonist’s mental state.  Despite being a critical and popular failure on its release (overshadowed by the arrival of ‘the talkies’), The Wind is now considered a classic, featuring one of Gish’s greatest performances. But it marked the end of an era being the last silent film starring Gish, the last directed by Sjostrom, and the last major silent released by MGM.  Find out more atsilentfilm.org With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

18 March

Edith Cavell on Film: 1915-1928 When the German occupiers in Belgium shot Edith Cavell for treason in 1915 they handed the British and their allies a perfect propaganda opportunity to portray the enemy as brutal and uncivilized. This talk will discuss the representations of the Cavell case on film as part of the allied propaganda of the 1914-18 war. After the war in the 1920s international relations shifted significantly, and cinema took a key role in cementing more friendly relations within Europe and in remembrance activities through battle reconstructions and war stories. This illustrated talk will shine a light on the diplomatic controversy sparked by the continuing interest in the case, and in particular by Herbert Wilcox’s extraordinary retelling of Cavell’s story in the film ‘Dawn‘ (1928).  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  The speaker is Dr Lawrence Napper, a senior lecturer at King’s College London.  With live musical accompaniment from Mike Nolan.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

Dawn (Dir. Herbert Wilcox, UK, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 91mins)   One of the most controversial films of the 1920s Dawn tells the story of British nurse Edith Cavell, shot at dawn by the Germans on 12 October 1915 for helping over 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during WW1. Director Herbert Wilcox was keen to ensure realism and historical accuracy in his film, using original location footage, scrupulously researched set designs and one of Cavell’s collaborators Ada Bodart playing herself. The lead role was given to prominent stage actress Sybil Thorndike, whose physical resemblance to Cavell and dignified performance add yet more weight to this suspenseful war drama. Diplomatic efforts to minimise the film’s perceived potential for inflaming anti-German sentiment and disrupting international relations led to censor cuts for British audiences but in Belgium the film was released intact. It is this uncensored version that is being presented here.  Find out more atimdb.com. Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Introduced by the BFI’s Bryony Dixon.    With live musical accompaniment from Stephen Horne.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’NessLink

The Wind(Dir. Victor Sjöström, US. 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 95mins)   Innocent and naive Letty Mason (Lillian Gish) moves from her Virginia home to Sweet Water on the western prairies to live on the ranch of her cousin Beverly (Edward Earle) , his wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming) and their three children. Letty quickly learns how inhospitable the environment in Sweet Water is, the most obvious feature being the incessant wind. But equally inhospitable are the unrefined lives of the people of Sweet Water, to which Letty is unaccustomed, and Cora, who believes Letty has come to steal Beverly away from her. As a result, Cora orders Letty out of her and Bev’s house. With no money, Letty is forced to accept one of the marriage proposals she receives, from Lige Hightower (Lars Hanson), a man who she does not love. But greater terrors loom and the incessant wind brings with it the prospect of madness.   As the film shifts from low-key naturalism to full-on melodramatic symbolism, Sjöström – shooting the climactic sandstorm in the Mojave desert– makes the weather an astonishingly vivid index of the protagonist’s mental state.  Despite being a critical and popular failure on its release (overshadowed by the arrival of ‘the talkies’), The Wind is now considered a classic, featuring one of Gish’s greatest performances. But it marked the end of an era being the last silent film starring Gish, the last directed by Sjostrom, and the last major silent released by MGM.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org Introduced by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

19 March

‘Dumb Jewels’: Shakespeare on the Silent Screen  The idea of silent Shakespeare may sound strange to us now, but these films were crucial to the development of cinema, and were produced at studios around the world, sometimes featuring acclaimed stage actors as well as colour, special effects, animation, and even sound. Many were surprisingly faithful to the original text, while others took enjoyably bold liberties with the Bard’s work. Find out why audiences loved to watch Shakespeare without dialogue and how filmmakers learned to ‘suit the action to the word’ when adapting his plays for the screen in this richly illustrated talk.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  The speaker is Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson.     With live musical accompaniment from John Sweeney.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness .Link

The Loves of Mary, Queen of Scots  (Dir.  Denison Clift, UK, 1923  ) ( Screening format – not known, 120mins   )  The world premiere of a new restoration of this extremely rare British feature film, chronicling the Scottish Queen’s life. Full of intrigue, betrayal and scandal: her bitter enmity with John Knox, wars with the unruly Scottish nobility, her fatal marriages to Darnley and Bothwell, her captivity, imprisonment and execution at the hands of Queen Elizabeth – all are played out in this ambitious historical costume drama. Find out more atwikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live narration by Andy Cannon and live musical accompaniment by Wendy Weatherby (cello, voice), Frank McLaughlin (guitar, pipes) and David Trouton (piano)     Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

Hamlet (Dir. Svend Gade/Heinz Schall, Ger, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 116mins) A unique vision of the cursed Dane, this silent take on Shakespeare’s drama stands the test of time thanks to a unique and brilliant twist.  Starring the gorgeous Danish siren Asta Nielsen, ‘the first diva of European silent film’,  this adaption supposes that Hamlet’s inner turmoil centred on having been born a girl but having to pass incognito as the male heir to the throne.  Asta Nielsen founded her own production company to realise her artistic vision for this ambitious project, with herself in the leading role. Her memorable performance stands out for its relatively uninhibited style, whilst the Expressionist-era, shadowy staging is the ideal backdrop for the film’s fascinating premise.   Find out more atsilentsplease.wordpress.com Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry (harp, voice and, Stephen Horne (piano, flute, accordion)    Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

20 March

Filibus (Dir. Mario Roncoroni, It, 1915) (Screening format – not known, 76mins)   Filibus (the first of thirty films directed by Roncoroni) featured as a protagonist a roguish female lead character, the Baroness Troixmonde, who is a respectable member of society by day, but by night in the guise of “Filibus” she terrorizes Sicily from her zeppelin, which is full of technologically-advanced equipment and weaponry. The zeppelin is manned by a staff of mask-wearing, black-skin-suit-clad male assistants who obey the Baroness’ commands instantly. The airship is her headquarters and her home, and she descends to land only to rob or to hobnob with the socialites and dance with women as the tuxedo-wearing dandy Count de la Brieve ( a full 15 years before Dietrich’s famous cross-dressing scene in Morocco).  But has Filibus met her match with the renowned Detective Hardy on her trail…..  Find out more atsilentsplease.wordpress.com .  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from Jane Gardner (piano) and Hazel Morrison (percussion).  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

The Sentimental Bloke ( Dir. Raymond Longford, Australia, 1919) (Screening format – DCP, 99mins)  This delightful film is based on C.J. Dennis’ 1915 Australian poem The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke. The film was produced by South Australian company, The Southern Cross Feature film Co and directed by legendary filmmaker Raymond Longford. Set in the then-rough streets of Woolloomooloo and the beaches of Manly, it offers contemporary audiences a rare glimpse of the Sydney of 100 years ago. A huge box-office hit at the time, The Sentimental Bloke is one of few silent-era Australian films to have survived in its entirety. It tells the story of Bill ‘The Kid’, a larrikin (Australian slang for “uncultivated, rowdy but good-hearted person”) who cleans up his act when the beautiful Doreen enters his life. The much-loved Australian film star Lottie Lyell plays Doreen, and also holds screenplay, art direction, editing and production assistant credits. The text on the inter-titles (also designed by Lyell) was taken directly from Dennis’ poem, resulting in charming, rhyming vernacular inter-titles.  Find out more at theguardian.com  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Introduced by Dr Stephen Morgan, Co-programmer, London Australian Film Society and Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from Meg Morley (piano) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

The Mark Of Zorro (Dir. Fred Niblo, US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 85mins)  Don Diego Vega (Douglas Fairbanks) masquerades as an ineffectual fop to bamboozle his enemies and conceal his secret persona: ‘Zorro’: avenger of the oppressed. The first King of Hollywood – dashing, athletic Fairbanks, pretty much defined the swashbuckling genre with this rip-roaring adventure flick. Featuring horseback stunts, witty chase sequences and sword fighting, this entertaining romp achieves a satisfying blend of humour and heroics that remains the benchmark for action films today.  Find out more at  silentfilm.orgPresented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from Neil Brand (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’NessLink

21 March

Behind the Screen ( Dir. Charlie Chaplin, US, 1916) + Sherlock Jr. (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 23/45mins)  In Behind The Screen, Charlie Chaplin plays an overworked stagehand who gets a shot at comeuppance when he and his nemesis are enlisted as extras in a pie fight.  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 atsilentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from Neil Brand (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

Poil de Carotte  (Dir. Julien Duvivier, France, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 117mins) A touching version of Jules Renard’s famous novel about an unloved, redheaded farm boy from the director of Pépé le Moko.  François is a nine-year-old boy with red hair and freckles. His mother is a harridan of Dickensian dimensions who favours her eldest son and persecutes the neglected François, deriding him with the name ‘carrot top’. Un-noticed by his father, the boy sinks deeper and deeper into despair, with the kindly maid his only ally. This sophisticatedly filmed and occasionally dark film is an emotionally satisfying, child’s eye view of an unhappy family.  Find out more at frenchfilms.org.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from Stephen Horne (piano, accordion, flute).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

A String of Pearls (Yichuan Zhenzhu(Dir. Li Zeyauan, China, 1926) (Screening format -not known, 106mins) One of the earliest surviving Chinese features, and based on Guy de Maupassant’s short story The Necklace. A social climbing, middle-class housewife cajoles her husband into borrowing an expensive necklace to wear at a party. Her ostentatious display succeeds in making a big impression but, on the night of the party, the necklace is stolen and her husband ends up embezzling funds to pay for the loss, triggering a downward spiral in their fortunes. Boasting some surprisingly lovely cinematic touches, and moody lighting, the film also offers a fascinating look at rich, Westernized life in 1920s Shanghai.  Find out more at  imdb.com   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from John Sweeney (piano).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

Station Content (Dir. Arthur Hoyt, US,1918) + The Timber Queen (Dir. Fred Jackman, US, 1922) + The Lonedale Operator (Dir. D.W. Griffith, US, 1911)   (Screening format – not known, 12/10/15mins)  A sensational triple bill of railroad heroines featuring screen legend Gloria Swanson, queen of the serials Ruth Roland, and the Biograph Blonde Blanche Sweet.  The evening opens with Station Content, a snappy morality tale about Kitty (Swanson), the lonely wife of a station master who decides to run away to the big city, redeeming herself by selflessly averting a train wreck. Then it’s full steam ahead for The Timber Queen, ep. 12: The Abyss in which Ruth Reading (Roland) finds herself atop a runaway box car. Finally, we pull in at the remote Lonedale Operator railroad telegraph office for D.W. Griffiths’ celebrated adventure about a self-willed, quick-witted girl (Sweet), who thwarts two ruffians intent on train robbery. Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from Mike Nolan (piano).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

The Woman That Men Yearn For (aka 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 clamoring 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 Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from Jonny Best (piano) and Irine Røsnes (violin).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness   Link

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 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 atwikipedia.org With live musical accompaniment by Minima. Village Hall, Studland, Swanage  Link

City Girl  (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 89mins).Murnau made three silent movies for Fox in Hollywood. The first, Sunrise, is universally acclaimed; the second one, Four Devils, no longer exists; and the third, City Girl, was for years known only through a re-edited, semi-sound version which Murnau disowned. But the restored full silent City Girl is a lyrical masterwork of pastoral realism, in which Lem, a simple farm boy from Minnesota (Charles Farrell), in Chicago to sell the family’s wheat crop, meets and marries Kate (Mary Duncan), a waitress yearning for an idyllic life in the countryside. When they return to Minnesota, however, they’re met with hostility by coarse, lascivious harvesters and Lem’s overbearing father. It is a rural melodrama of great beauty and honesty, and in many ways was the inspiration for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978).  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from the Dodge Brothers.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

22 March

Laurel & Hardy – Triple Bill  An outstanding Laurel and Hardy triple bill beginning with the long lost, recently re-discovered and restored Duck Soup (later remade with sound as Another Fine Mess, and not to be confused with the 1933 Marx Brothers film of the same name). Stan and Ollie are a couple of vagrants who masquerade as owner and housemaid of a fancy mansion. Stan in a dress is always a joy!  Next up is Two Tars – a comedy classic in which The Boys play sailors on leave. The pair score a date with two girls but wind up stalled in a very long traffic jam… and a whole lot of trouble.  Finally, Liberty in which Laurel and Hardy are escaped convicts trying to reclaim their trousers… atop the girders of an unfinished skyscraper!   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from Jonny Best (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion) .  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

Lady Windermere’s Fan (Dir. Ernst Lubitsch, US, 1925) (Screening Format – not known, 89mins)    Ronald Colman has one of his first important screen roles as the slightly caddish Lord Darlington, who is in love with the very pretty–and very married–Lady Windermere (May McAvoy). The lady is rescued from disgrace at the hands of Darlington by the notorious Mrs. Erlynne (Irene Rich), who unbeknownst to everyone is Lady Windemere’s long-lost mother. Unable to rely upon Oscar Wilde’s epigrammatic dialogue to carry the day (this was, after all, the silent-film era), director Ernst Lubitsch substitutes visual wit for the verbal variety in his 1925 interpretation of Lady Windermere’s Fan.  The film was an enormous hit, and an instant candidate for the many “Ten Best” lists tabulated by the fan magazines of the era, and viewed nearly a hundred years later it remains a superb adaption. The characters and the story are Wilde’s, while the acting and the style are pure Lubitsch.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com. Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from John Sweeney (piano) .  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

L’Homme du Large (aka Man of the Sea) (Dir. Marcel L’Herbier, France, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 84mins)  Severe and deeply religious, Nolff is a fisherman who lives with his wife, daughter and son on the Breton coast, far from the temptations of the city. From his remote cliff-top home, Nolff dedicates himself to his fishing and to raising his son Marcel, as “a free man, a sailor”. But Marcel is idle and selfish, exploiting his father’s blind affection, and rejecting the old man’s passionate devotion to the sea and all it represents. With beautifully stylised, poetic inter-titles, haunting symbolic imagery and striking use of natural settings this is a memorable fable of the opposing elements of earth and water, of the corrupt modern world and the timeless purity of the ocean. Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live inter-title translation by Paul McGann and live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion).   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

23 March

Show People (Dir. King Vidor, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 79mins) This delightful King Vidor comedy  features Marion Davies (also the film’s producer) as Peggy Pepper, an aspiring young actress fascinated by the allure of Hollywood. After meeting Billy Boone, the slapstick comedy actor played by William Haines, Peggy begins her journey through the strange world of the dream factory.  Davies is a knockout as the aspiring actress, but will her emerging ego destroy her career or will she realize who her real friends are? Look out for cameo appearances by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and King Vidor himself… as well as the real Marion Davies!! Find out more at moviessilently.com With live accordion accompaniment by Francis Strange.  The Clockwork Rose, Bristol Link

29 March

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 Minima. Village Hall, Alderholt, Fordingbridge Link

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