The Goat (Dir. Buster Keaton/Mal St Clair, US, 1921) + Sailors Beware (Dir. Fred Guiol/Hal Yates, US, 1927) (Screening format – not Known, 27/20mins) In The Goat, Buster Keaton is already on the run from the cops when he’s mistaken for murderer Dead Shot Dan (portrayed, incidentally, by Keaton’s co-director Mal St. Clair). Keaton has eluded the previous group of policeman, but he’s no match for the ill-tempered, heavyweight detective Joe Roberts who’s hot on his trail…or is he? The battle of wits and punishing physical stunts is a pleasure to behold — Keaton wrings every bit of mirth from props such as an old-fashioned dump truck, an elevator, windows and, of course, the passing train. A delightful, fast-moving film.Find out more at wikipedia.org. Sailors Beware Stan is an honest cab driver, unaware that his current fares are a couple of slick con artists: Anita Garvin and her midget husband who dresses as a baby. When they leave the cab with their fare unpaid and the meter running, Stan gives chase when they board an ocean liner and comedy follows. This is not yet a Laurel and Hardy film but a Stan Laurel film with Oliver Hardy in an important supporting role. Many cite this film as being the one that opened many eyes to the potential Laurel and Hardy had as a team. While they share but a few moments together, it is those moments that are charged with a bit of extra comic electricity and a hint of what was to follow. Find out more at imdb.com. With live musical accompaniment by The Harcourt Players. The Electric Cinema, Birmingham Link
Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 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 the 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 recorded soundtrack. Artrix Arts Centre, Bromsgrove Link
Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 135mins) For film details see 17 July above. With recorded soundtrack. Artrix Arts Centre, Bromsgrove Link
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. Martley Fringe Festival, Worcester Link
Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 135mins) For film details see 17 July above. With recorded soundtrack. Broadway Cinema, Nottingham Link
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