April

 

 

 

 

 


 

2 April

Sodom and Gomorrah: The Legend of Sin and Punishment (Dir. Michael Curtiz, Aust, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 180(?) mins) In 1920s America, Mary, a young girl exposed from her infancy to evil influences, is in love with Harry, a sculptor, but for the sake of financial gain becomes engaged to be married to the rich banker Jackson Harber, a much older man, and the former lover of her mother. Harry attempts suicide. By her subsequent behaviour, including her attempted seduction not only of Harber’s adolescent son, Eduard, but also of Eduard’s tutor, a priest, Mary drives Harber to the verge of suicide as well. But as Mary sleeps, her dreams cast her back first as the queen of ancient Syria and then as Lia, the wife of lot and we witness the  wickedness and destruction of Sodom.  Made on an epic scale, Sodom and Gomorrah rivals not only earlier Italian blockbusters such as Quo Vadis or Cabiria but also the work of Griffith and de Mille in Hollywood, with estimates of a cast and crew of up to 14,000 people and a main set towering 230feet high.  Then there was the pyrotechnician, missing fingers from both hands and part of his nose due to earlier accidents, but who still handled explosives with an air of casualness….and with a lighted cigar in his mouth.  In charge of all this, director Curtiz apparently had little regard for the money he was spending or the well being of cast and crew.  The end result was a three hour monster, eventually cut down as a result of marketing and censorship issues to little more than 90 minutes. Long thought to have survived in just fragments, a restored version of the film now runs to around 140 minutes.  To find out more go to encyclopedia.com.  With live musical accompaniment.  Austrian Cultural Forum, London SW7 Link

3 April

Another evening of 9.5mm films from Kevin Brownlow’s collection.  As regular attendees will know, 9.5mm was the pioneering amateur film gauge that enabled film enthusiasts to make and project their own films and also screen commercial popular films of the day in their own homes. The 9.5mm gauge preserved many subjects that are now either lost or difficult to obtain in 35mm. 9.5mm has a frame size similar to 16mm and was usually copied from the original 35mm elements, thus providing superb quality images. Highlights tonight will include the German mountain drama The White Hell of Piz Palu (1929), directed by Arnold Fanck and G. W. Pabst, starring Leni Riefenstahi, Gustav Diessl, Ernst Petersen, and World War 1 flying ace Ernst Udet; and the 1927 French drama La Glu, directed by Henri Fescourt (Les Miserables (1925)), with Germaine Rouer and Francois Rozet in the lead roles.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live piano accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

6 April

King of Kings (Dir. Cecil B DeMille, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 120mins)  King of Kings is the Greatest Story Ever Told as only Cecil B. DeMille could tell it. In 1927, working with one of the biggest budgets in Hollywood history, DeMille spun the life and Passion of Christ into a silent-era blockbuster. Featuring text drawn directly from the Bible, a cast of thousands, and the great showman’s singular cinematic bag of tricks, the film is at once spectacular and deeply reverent—part Gospel, part Technicolor epic.  King of Kings was first released in the spring of 1927, and it was the middle chapter in a sort of informal biblical trilogy that DeMille produced, beginning with the original, silent version of The Ten Commandments (1923) and ending with the early talkie The Sign of the Cross (1932), which depicts Nero’s persecution of the early Christians. Despite being a silent film itself, The King of Kings remained popular well into the sound era, so much so that no other major Hollywood movie about the life of Christ was made for over 30 years, until Nicholas Ray directed the similarly-titled King of Kings in 1961.  Find out more at imdb.comWith live organ accompaniment from Nicholas Miller.  St Margaret’s Church, Putney.  Link

7 April

Laurel & Hardy + Charlie Chaplin  An afternoon of silent film slapstick. The films include Easy Street and Angora Love.  In Easy Street  (Dir, Charles Chaplin, US, 1917) Chaplin is a down-and-out derelict, sleeping at the steps of the religious mission .  He is entranced by the beautiful mission worker and organist, Edna Purviance.  Passing a police recruiting notice he decides to join but his ‘beat’ is Easy Street, terrorised by giant bully Eric Campbell!   Upon its release, Easy Street was hailed as a watershed moment in Chaplin’s career. Find out more at silentsaregolden.com In Angora Love (Dir. Lewis R Foster, US, 1929) Laurel and Hardy are adopted by a runaway goat, whose noise and aroma in turn get the goat of their suspicious landlord. Attempts to bathe the smelly animal result in a waterlogged free-for-all.  Find out more at laurelandhardycentral.com.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.  National Centre for Early Music, York. Link

Palais de Danse (Dir. Maurice Elvey, UK, 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 94mins) Cinderella is at the wrong kind of Ball in this romance of a night-watchman’s daughter who takes a job as ‘No.16’ in a sleazy London dance hall. Maurice Elvey is at his best in this lively drama with nice Mabel Poulton and naughty Chilli Bouchier. Contributions of note are script by John Longden who plays the cad, a young David Lean helping with camera and the great Andrew Mazzei on décor.  Find ut more at imdb.com.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link.     (  NB  This screening replaces the originally sheduled Squibs Wins the Calcutta Sweep (1922) )

9 April

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 118mins) Based on a play by Indian author Niranjan Pal, Shiraz tells the fictionalised love story of the 17th-century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.  It was directed by Germany’s Franz Osten, one of at least 17 films he made in India between 1925 and 1939, best known of which are The Light of Asia (1925) and A Throw of Dice (1929).  Shot entirely on location in India with an all-Indian cast, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings – all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive with specially-commisioned score. The film was the brainchild of producer Himansu Rai, who also stars as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she’s sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).Upon its release Shiraz was a considerable critical and popular success and received rave reviews when the restored version was screened at the 2017 London Film Festival.  Find out more at silentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by renowned sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar and  her ensemble.  Royal Festival Hall, London Link

10 April

Around India with a Movie Camera (Dir. various, UK, 2018) (Screening format -not known, 73mins) Around India with a Movie Camera presents some of the earliest surviving film from India, as well as enchanting travelogues, intimate home movies and newsreels from British, French and Indian filmmakers, drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive’s early film collection. Taking in maharajas and viceroys, fakirs and farmhands, as well as personalities such as Sabu and Gandhi, this compilation by award-winning filmmaker Sandhya Suri explores not only the people and places of over 70 years ago but asks us to engage with broader themes of a shared history, shifting perspectives in the lead up to Indian independence and the ghosts of the past. Find out more at asianmoviepulse.com.  With live musical accompaniment from acclaimed composer and sarod player Soumik Datta. Town Hall, Birmingham Link

11 April

The Maid of Cefn Ydfa (Dir. William Haggar, UK, 1914) +  Jessica’s First Prayer (Dir. Bert Wynn, UK, 1921) (Screening format – Digital/35mm, 40/38 mins)  The Maid of Cefn Ydfa is a traditional Welsh folk tale of the thwarted romance between a thatcher and an heiress in 17th-century Cefn Ydfa.  Long believed lost, an incomplete nitrate print in poor condition was discovered in 1984. The print was found in the stairwell of a house near Swansea and was donated to the BFI National Archive by a descendant of the filmmaker’s family.  Jessica’s First Prayer is an unknown  drama starring Warrick Ward. Presented as part of the British Silent Film Festival Symposium.  With live musical accompaniment.  King’s College, London  Link

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

12 April

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. Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Cube Cinema, Bristol Link

19 April

Buster Keaton Triple Bill featuring Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + The Haunted House (Dir. Buster Keaton/Edward F Cline, 1921) + Neighbours (Dir. Buster Keaton/Edward F Cline, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 45/21/18mins) 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. The Haunted House sees Buster Keaton as a bank teller at a bank where one of the managers is fleecing customers of their cash. While trying to prevent a robbery Buster is caught with a gun stuck in one hand and cash stuck to the other, leading the owner of the bank to suspect Buster of the crime. But when Buster takes refuge in a supposedly haunted house which is also doubling as the hideout for his crooked co-worker and gang the fun really starts.  Watch out for the un-credited bank customer who faints, who was played by Natalie Talmadge, the first Mrs Keaton.  Find out more at silentology.wordpress.comNeighbours sees Buster and co-star Virginia Fox in a Romeo and Juliet story played out in a tenement neighbourhood with their respective families hating each other over the fence separating their buildings. Find out more at wikipedia.orgWith live piano accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Festival Theatre, EdinburghLink

The Freshman (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 76mins) Harold Lloyd’s biggest box-office hit was this silent comedy gem, featuring the befuddled everyman at his eager best as a new college student. Though he dreams of being a big man on campus, the freshman’s careful plans inevitably go hilariously awry, be it on the football field or at the Fall Frolic. But he gets a climactic chance to prove his mettle—and impress the sweet girl he loves—in one of the most famous sports sequences ever filmed. This crowd-pleaser is a gleeful showcase for Lloyd’s slapstick brilliance.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  With live musical accompaniment by the Lucky Dog Picture House.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

26 April

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927)(Screening format –DVD, Jan ’05 pre-restored version, 118mins)  Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria (Brigitte Helm), a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichmarks, making it the most expensive film ever released up to that point. It is regarded as a pioneering work of science fiction and is among the most influential films of all time.  Find out more at silentfilm.org With live piano accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.  Wilton’s Music Hall. London Link

27 April

Laila (Dir. George Schnéevoigt, Nor, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 146mins) This epic-scaled romantic drama tells the story of Laila, separated as a baby from her Norwegian parents and raised amongst the nomadic Sami people. Returned to her birth family Laila grows to maturity, torn between the Christian settlers and the reindeer-herding community who raised her as one of their own.  Director Schnéevoigt (cinematographer on a number of Carl Dreyer films including The Parson’s Widow), captures the imposing vastness of the stunning snow and ice landscape, the fascinating way of life of a still beleaguered minority people, and the intimate narrative of a father who sacrifices his own happiness for that of his daughter. Find out more at parallax-view.orgPresented as part of the Folk Film Gathering Season.  With a score specially commissioned for this year’s Hippodrome Silent Film Festival from award-winning Norwegian/Scottish folk duo Marit and Rona who have created a score marrying the music of the remote landscapes and indigenous peoples of their respective homes. Filmhouse, Edinburgh Link

Running Wild(Dir. Gregory La Cava, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 65mins) One of W.C.Fields’ few surviving silent features, and the most successful, with Fields as his usual downtrodden, henpecked anti-hero – Elmer Finch is a very timid man who is bossed around by his harridan of a second wife, and her fat, lazy son. Even his stepson’s dog attacks him. The only love he gets is from his young daughter from his first marriage. He is also a put-upon, poorly paid clerk in an office. But stumbling into a vaudeville house where a hypnosis act is going on, Elmer is hypnotized into being fearlessly confrontational. And then the fun starts.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London    Link

Chaplin Unrestored!  Award winning film editor and director Christopher Bird reveals why ‘restored’ Chaplin comedies on DVD aren’t always the best versions, and shows vintage prints of The Vagabond (1916) and The Immigrant (1917) to prove it. Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London    Link

The Real Stan & Ollie  A rare chance to see Laurel & Hardy’s Battle of the Century (1927), with its now complete “pie battle to end all pie battles”; We Faw Down (1928), in which they escape their wives (or do they?), now with its original Vitaphone soundtrack, plus two of their long lost solo appearances.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment by guest pianist Vincent Byrne – possibly Britain’s youngest film accompanist.. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London    Link

Grandma’s Boy (Dir. Fred Neweyer, US, 1922) This is Harold Lloyd’s first full length feature with flashback stories of his Civil War ancestor (also Lloyd) inspiring him to win his girl (Mildred Davis) in the present. Showing on the 97th anniversary of its original release (brilliant programming or what?). Preceded by two of Lloyd’s rarest shorts co starring Bebe Daniels – Over the Fence (1917) his first wearing the famous glasses, and That’s Him (1918) – a recent discovery by Christopher Bird. Find out more at decentfilms.com.   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London    Link

So This Is Paris (Dir. Ernst Lubitsch, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) Paul and Suzanna are a happily married couple in Paris, when new neighbors across the street start causing trouble. When Paul goes to complain to Georgette and Maurice, he realizes that she is an old flame. Thus begins a series of marital mishaps that try the fidelity of both couples. When Ernst Lubitsch joined Warner Brothers in 1923 with a three-year, six-picture deal, he moved away from the kind of historical epics he had produced previously in Germany and began a remarkable series of marital comedies that earned him the reputation of Hollywood’s most elegant and sophisticated director, encapsulated in “the Lubitsch touch.”  Like Cecil B. DeMille before him, Lubitsch became the foremost commentator of gender relations in the Jazz Age. So This is Paris, the last film on his Warners contract, is a trifle, but light as a feather and twice as funny.  Credited as the first film to feature a choreographed dance scene, as one couple (Patsy Ruth Miller and Monte Blue) enter a Charleston contest. Voted one of the ten best films of 1926 by the New York Times. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.    Introduced by Michelle Facey. With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London    Link

The Goldrush (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 95mins)   In this classic silent comedy, the Little Tramp (Charles Chaplin) heads north to join in the Klondike gold rush. Trapped in a small cabin by a blizzard, the Tramp is forced to share close quarters with a successful prospector (Mack Swain) and a fugitive (Tom Murray). Eventually able to leave the cabin, he falls for a lovely barmaid (Georgia Hale), trying valiantly to win her affections. When the prospector needs help locating his claim, it appears the Tramp’s fortunes may change. It is today one of Chaplin’s most celebrated works, and he himself declared several times that it was the film for which he most wanted to be remembered.  Find out more at moviessilently.com .   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  The restored original 1925 version with a newly recorded adaption of Chaplin’s score, as composed for his 1942 re-issue. Introduced by Chaplin’s biographer David Robinson . Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London    Link

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927)(Screening format –DVD, Jan ’05 pre-restored version, 118mins)  Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria (Brigitte Helm), a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichmarks, making it the most expensive film ever released up to that point. It is regarded as a pioneering work of science fiction and is among the most influential films of all time.  Find out more at silentfilm.org With live piano accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.  Wilton’s Music Hall. London Link

28 April

Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 135mins)  Based on two plays by the German author Frank Wedekind, Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895), which Pabst himself had directed for the stage, and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904), the silent drama follows Pthe tumultuous life of the showgirl Lulu whose unselfconscious sexuality brings about the ruin of all those that fall for her and eventually her own.  In a daring move, Pabst chose a little known American actress over the more experienced Marlene Dietrich for the part of Lulu, a decision that made the young Louise Brooks an international star. Her innocent looks paired with her natural erotic allure and sense of movement – Brooks was also a dancer – perfectly matched Pabst’s idea of his heroine as unwitting seductress. Subjected to cuts to eliminate some of its “scandalous” content and unfavourably reviewed by critics at the time, it is now considered one of the boldest and most modern films of the Weimar era highlighting Pabst’s command of camera language and montage.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk With live piano accompaniment from Jonny Best.  National Centre for Early Music, York. Link

Stage Struck (Dir. Allan Dwan, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 87mins) One of the last lighthearted collaborations between Gloria Swanson and Allan Dwan, Stage Struck (1925) is a sweetly funny account of a small-town girl with dreams of fame. Swanson plays Jenny Hagen, a diner waitress who fantasizes about a life on stage. Her heart belongs to Orme Wilson (Lawrence Gray), an expert pancake flipper, who only has eyes for the women in movie magazines. So when a river showboat comes to town, he only has eyes for the star, Lillian Lyons (Gertrude Astor). Inflamed with jealousy, Jenny is determined to get on stage herself, by any means necessary.! One of Paramount’s first features to use Technicolor. Find out more at  wikipedia.org   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.    Introduced by Michelle Facey. With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London   Link

Recent Discoveries Lost silent comedies, recently rescued. Included will be Maud’s Bachelors starring the forgotten Amedee Compton from Brighton, amazingly a one time stage and film star in France; a long lost British Hepworth comedy, a 1919 Harold Lloyd uncovered at the Cinema Museum itself and a previously missing Mack Sennett classic, now (almost) restored.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.    With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London   Link

Chaplinitis   David Glass presents a programme looking at the fallout from the Little Tramp’s incredible popularity – his huge influence and many imitators. Don’t miss Chinese Chaplin Chai Hong and Phil Dunham’s very funny revamp of Chaplin’s One A.M.(1916) as Cut Loose(1924).  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.    With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London   Link

A Little Bit of Fluff (Dir. Wheeler Dryden/Jesse Robbins, UK, 1928) (Screening format – not known)  Syd Chaplin, Charlie’s brother, made what turned out to be his last comedy at British International’s Elstree studios. Together with British star Betty Balfour, this highly praised farce, the misadventures of an effete and completely mother-in-law-dominated newly-wed man (Chaplin) and an exotic dancer (Balfour), the titular “little bit of fluff” with Chaplin becoming unwittingly involved in a boxer’s  plot to wrest his girlfriend’s (Balfour) $5000 necklace from her in order to pay his gambling debts, included an expensive recreation of London’s Kit Kat Club with on – stage dance troupe the Tiller Girls. . Plus Caught in a Park – a 1915 Keystone comedy starring Syd Chaplin. Find out more at  Wikipedia.org   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  Introduced by David Robinson.  With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London   Link

Charley Chase – By Popular Demand A trio of Charley Chase’s very best 1920’s comedies – as requested by the KenBio’s ‘Silent Laughter’ audience last year. They are His Wooden Wedding (1925) and Dog Shy (1926), both directed by Leo McCarey, and Snappy Sneezer (1929), directed by Warren Doane.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend.  Introduced by Matthew Ross,  editor of the on–line vintage comedy magazine thelostlaugh.com. With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London   Link

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 Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend. Introduced by Michelle Facey.  With live musical accompaniment. Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London   Link

White Paradise (aka Bílý ráj)  (Dir. Karel Lamac, Cz, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 73mins) The heroine of this social melodrama, set in a desolate region “where people were born with solitude in their hearts”, is the naive orphan Nina (Anna Ondry), who stumbles upon an escaped prisoner intent on seeing his dying mother one last time. With its classic story and advanced technical quality, this low-budget picture was a hit with audiences both at home and abroad. Its success was due in part to the involvement of Der starke Vierer (the strong four), one of the most distinctive creative teams to come out of early Czechoslovak cinema: director and actor Karel Lamač, cameraman Otto Heller, actress Anny Ondra and, later on, scriptwriter Václav Wasserman. Find out more at ilcinemaritrovato.it.  With live musical accompaniment by Tomáš Vtípil. Barbican, London Link

Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928) +  Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy shorts (Screening format – not known,  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.  Accompanied live by The Bristol Ensemble, who will perform the London premiere of a new score composed and conducted by maestro Carl Davis.  Hosted by Barry Humphries with guests Barry Cryer and Bernie Clifton.  London Palladium  Link

30 April

A Page of Madness (aka Kurutta Ippēji) (Dir.Teinosuke Kinugasa, Jap, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 60mins)  A man (Masao Inoue) takes a job as a janitor at a mental asylum in order to be near his wife (Yoshie Nakagawa). Although his wife suffers genuine mental anguish, the man believes he can rescue her , but all is not quite as it seems….Considered lost for some 45 years, Kinugasa thankfully found the print in his garden shed in the early 1970s.  A Page of Madness is a visually stunning, and technically dazzling work of surrealismThe film contained no intertitles as it was intended to be exhibited with live narration delivered by a benshi who would stand to the side of the screen and introduce and relate the story to the audience.  Find out more at tcm.turner.com .  Presented as part of the Flatpack Festival.With the world premiere of a newly commissioned live score by Sinestro Home Video; composed by  Matt Eaton (Pram) and Gareth Jones (Misty’s Big Adventure, Grandmaster Gareth).   Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham Link