Live Screenings – March 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 March

1 March

South West Silents Club ScreeningIn this month’s SWS club screening,  Mark Fuller will be looking at the careers of some of the numerous Russian film industry exiles who chose to relocate to Paris following the 1917 revolution, including director Alexandre Volkoff  and legendary actor  Ivan Mosjoukine.   Including a feature length screening.  With recorded soundtrack.  Lansdown Public House, Clifton Link       NB  This event has an earlier start time than regular club screenings.

 

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.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London Link

 

3 March

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 master work 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 at wikipedia.org  With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Mill Arts Centre, Banbury  Link

 

4 March

Man With a Movie Camera (Dir. Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – digital, 68mins) Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day, from morning to night. Directed by Vertov, with a variety of complex and innovative camera shots (filmed by Vertov’s equally talented and innovative brother Mikhail Kaufman), the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. While there are no titles or narration, director and cameraman still naturally convey the marvels of the modern city.  Find out more at rogerebert.com .  With live piano accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

The Live Ghost TentQuarterly meeting of the Laurel and Hardy Society.  Screenings will include the silent short Do Detectives Think? (Dir. Fred Guiol, US, 1927).    With recorded score(?)  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

 

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 at  wikipedia.org.   With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Riverside Studios, London Link

 

5 March

Man With a Movie Camera (Dir. Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – digital, 68mins) Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day, from morning to night. Directed by Vertov, with a variety of complex and innovative camera shots (filmed by Vertov’s equally talented and innovative brother Mikhail Kaufman), the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. While there are no titles or narration, director and cameraman still naturally convey the marvels of the modern city.  Find out more at rogerebert.com .  With recorded score  BFI IMAX, London  Link

 

Passion of Joan of Arc (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1928) (Screening format – digital, 82 mins)  In 1926 Danish film director Dreyer was invited to make a film in France by the Societe Generale des Films and chose to direct a film about Joan of Arc, due to her renewed popularity in France (having been canonised as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1920 and subsequently adopted as one of the patron saints of France).  Apparently discarding a script provided by the Societe, Dreyer spent over a year researching Joan of Arc including study of the actual transcripts of her trial before producing a script of his own.  In the title role Dreyer cast the little-known stage actress Renee Jeanne Falconnetti who had previously acted in just two previous, inconsequential films, both back in 1917.  The film focuses upon the trial and eventual execution of Joan of Arc after she is captured by the English.  Although not a popular success at the time, the film attracted immediate critical praise.  The New York Times critic wrote “…as a film work of art, this takes precedence over anything so far produced.  It makes worthy pictures of the past look like tinsel shams.  It fills one with such intense admiration that other pictures appear but trivial in comparison.” Falconnetti’s performance has been widely lauded with critic Pauline Kael writing in 1982 that her portrayal “…may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.”  The film was subsequently re-edited against Dreyer’s wishes and his original version was long thought lost.  But in 1981 a near perfect copy was found in the attic of a psychiatric hospital in Oslo.  The Passion of Joan of Arc now regularly appears in ‘Top Ten’ lists not just of silent films but best films of all time.  Find out more at rogerebert.com .   With live piano accompaniment by Meg Morley.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – digital, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at  theguardian.com   With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

6 March

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – digital, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at  theguardian.com   With recorded score plus live introduction .  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

9 March

Man With a Movie Camera (Dir. Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – digital, 68mins) Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day, from morning to night. Directed by Vertov, with a variety of complex and innovative camera shots (filmed by Vertov’s equally talented and innovative brother Mikhail Kaufman), the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. While there are no titles or narration, director and cameraman still naturally convey the marvels of the modern city.  Find out more at rogerebert.com .  With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

  10 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 at  wikipedia.org.   With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Village Hall, Kirk Langley Link

 

11 March

Au Bonheur des Dames (aka Ladie’s Paradise) (Dir.  Julien Duvivier, Fr, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 90mins)  Set within the glamorous world of a Parisian department store, Julien Duvivier’s long-forgotten masterpiece was one of the last silent films to be made in France and is ripe for rediscovery.  Dita Parlo, a German actress who later appeared in Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante (1934) and Jean Renoir’s The Grand Illusion (1937), plays a wide-eyed innocent from the country who is relocated to the city of lights and is lured away from her uncle’s small shop by the richness of the department store. While Duvivier’s film celebrates the richness of Parisian life, it is, at the same time, a damning portrait of rampant consumerism and the demise of small, local shops. Directed by the iconic director of future celebrated French classics such as La belle équipe (1936), Pépé le Moko (1936) and Un carnet de bal (1937), Julien Duvivier’s breathtaking Au Bonheur des Dames will leave you laughing, crying and asking for more. Find out more at  silentfilm.org.   Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Meg Morley.   Malvern Theatres  Link

 

13 March

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – digital, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at  theguardian.com   With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

Foolish Wives (Dir. Erich von Stroheim, US, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 117mins) One of the great visionaries of the silent era, Erich von Stroheim, wrote, directed and starred in this extravagant erotic melodrama about a predatory Russian count, out to make a killing in Monte Carlo. Masquerading as Russian nobility Stroheim (often billed as “the man you love to hate”) attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.  When released in 1922, the film was the most expensive film made at that time, and billed by Universal Studios as the “first million-dollar movie” to come out of Hollywood. Originally, von Stroheim intended the film to run anywhere between 6 and 10 hours, and be shown over two evenings, but Universal executives opposed this idea and eventually cut the film drastically before the release date. The opulent sets – with the California coast standing in for Monaco – truly glow in this glorious new restoration. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.   Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Meg Morley.  Assembly Rooms, Ludlow  Link

 

15 March 

Passion of Joan of Arc (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1928) (Screening format – digital, 82 mins)  In 1926 Danish film director Dreyer was invited to make a film in France by the Societe Generale des Films and chose to direct a film about Joan of Arc, due to her renewed popularity in France (having been canonised as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1920 and subsequently adopted as one of the patron saints of France).  Apparently discarding a script provided by the Societe, Dreyer spent over a year researching Joan of Arc including study of the actual transcripts of her trial before producing a script of his own.  In the title role Dreyer cast the little-known stage actress Renee Jeanne Falconnetti who had previously acted in just two previous, inconsequential films, both back in 1917.  The film focuses upon the trial and eventual execution of Joan of Arc after she is captured by the English.  Although not a popular success at the time, the film attracted immediate critical praise.  The New York Times critic wrote “…as a film work of art, this takes precedence over anything so far produced.  It makes worthy pictures of the past look like tinsel shams.  It fills one with such intense admiration that other pictures appear but trivial in comparison.” Falconnetti’s performance has been widely lauded with critic Pauline Kael writing in 1982 that her portrayal “…may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.”  The film was subsequently re-edited against Dreyer’s wishes and his original version was long thought lost.  But in 1981 a near perfect copy was found in the attic of a psychiatric hospital in Oslo.  The Passion of Joan of Arc now regularly appears in ‘Top Ten’ lists not just of silent films but best films of all time.  Find out more at rogerebert.com .   With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

17 March

A Woman Of Paris (Dir, Charles Chaplin, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 82mins)  Charles Chaplin made his debut as a director/producer at United Artists with A Woman of Paris (1923) which, as a serious drama, was a major departure from his previous output. With this film, Chaplin proved that he was just as adept here as he was with comedy. Directing with keen-eyed finesse and appearing in only a bit role, Chaplin jabs at French high society while telling a tale of tragic love. Marie St. Clair (Edna Purviance) plans to leave for Paris with her fiancé Jean Millet (Carl Miller) so they can be married. But events conspire against them. Marie finds herself alone in Paris where she quickly settles down to life as the mistress of successful businessman Pierre Revel (Adolphe Menjou), enjoying all the luxuries his wealth can offer. But events conspire again and Marie finds herself in a number of troubling situations…Find out more at  charliechaplin.com.  Presented by South West Silents.  Introduced by @silentlondon ‘s Pamela Hutchinson.  With recorded Chaplin score.  Arnolfini, Bristol  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 from Minima.  Bedales, Petersfield   Link

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dir.Wallace Worsley, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 117mins) A classic silent film, full of drama, frights, romance, and excitement – Quasimodo’s story is told with the thrilling addition of a live score – bringing this extraordinary movie to life like never before.  Quasimodo is ordered to kidnap a gypsy girl, Esmerelda, by his wicked master, and an unlikely friendship forms between them. However, the reclusive hunchback is tested to his limits when Esmerelda is framed for attempted murder, and must fight back against the powers that have subjugated him. Victor Hugo’s tragic tale of the deformed bellringer and his love for Esmeralda, a doomed gypsy girl, has been filmed so many times and it’s not hard to see the film’s ageless appeal. While some movie lovers who cite the 1939 Charles Laughton version as their favorite interpretation, the general consensus  is that Chaney remains the definitive Quasimodo. Find out more at  wikipedia.org.   With live organ accompaniment by Jonathan Eyre at the Wurlitzer.   Victoria Hall, Saltaire   Link

 

18 March

Buster Keaton Double Bill – The Boat (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1921) +  One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920)(Screening format – not known, 18/19mins) In The Boat Buster is determined to take his family on a trip in his self-built yacht, no matter what the cost. Find out more at  classicsailor.com   One Week  sees Buster and his new bride struggling with a pre-fabricated home unaware that his bride’s former suitor has renumbered all of the boxes.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  With live piano accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.   Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling Link

 

The Man Who Laughs (Dir. Paul Leni, USA, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 110mins) In an effort to top the critical and financial success of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, studio head Carl Laemmle recruited two influential artists of the German Expressionist school: actor Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and director Paul Leni (Waxworks). The shadowy exteriors, the carnival setting, the demonically misshapen “hero” made The Man Who Laughs something entirely new to American cinema-the foundation upon which the classic Universal horror films would be built. Veidt stars as Gwynplaine, a nobleman’s son who is kidnapped by a political enemy, and then is mutilated by a gypsy “surgeon” who carves a monstrous smile upon his face. Finding shelter in a traveling freakshow, he falls in love with a blind girl (The Phantom Of the Opera‘s Mary Philbin), the one person who cannot be repulsed by his appearance. As years pass, the hand of fate draws Gwynplaine back into the world of political intrigue. He becomes the plaything of a jaded duchess (Freaks‘ Olga Baclanova), and his enemies renew their efforts to control him. The distinctive ‘look’ of Gwynplaine is cited as a major influence for the American comic book writer, animator and artist, Bob Kane, when he created the visual aesthetics of Batman’s grinning nemesis: the Joker.  Veidt’s extraordinary performance, and the film overall however, deserve to be celebrated for far more than this.  The gripping story is propelled by director Paul Leni’s masterful visual style, rewarding us with excitement, pathos plus a triumphant star-turn by Zimbo the dog!Find out more at rogerebert.com.   HippFest Community Screening.  With live piano accompaniment by Mike Nolan.  Barony Theatre, Bo’ness. Link

 

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + Chess Fever  (Dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky, USSR,1925) + The Cameraman’s Revenge (Dir. Ladislaw Starewicz, Russia, 1912)  (Screening format – not known, 68/28/13mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature The Kid is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  In 1925 Soviet citizens were transfixed by the International Chess Tournament being held at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol in November 1925 and the then up-and-coming director Pudovkin was asked to make a topical comedy about the ‘chess fever’ sweeping the nation. , simply titled Chess Fever.  Find out more at moviessilently.com  Ladislaw Starewicz was a pioneer of stop-motion animation, often using dried insect specimens and The Cameraman’s Revenge features a cast of beetles, dragonfly and grasshopper acting out a marital drama.  Find out more at  wcsu.edu  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Drewsteignton Church . 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 master work 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 at wikipedia.org  With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Crich Live, Derbyshire    Link

 

19 March

Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 73mins) A boy (Harold Lloyd) moves to New York City to make enough money to support his loving girlfriend (Mildred Davis), but soon discovers that making it in the big city is harder than it looks. When he hears that a store manager will pay $1,000 to anyone who can draw people to his store, he convinces his friend, the “human fly,” (Bill Strother) to climb the building and split the profit with him. But when his pal gets in trouble with the law, he must complete the crazy stunt on his own. The image of Harold Lloyd hanging desperately from the hands of a skyscraper clock during Safety Last!  is one of the great icons of film history (although it was achieved with a certain amount of film trickery) and this remains one of the best and best loved comedies of the silent era.  Find out more at   rogerebert.com.   With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.   Paramount Cinema, Penistone  Link

 

22 March

All faces Are Different: Visible Difference in Silent Cinema.  An exploration of silent cinema’s portrayal of visibly different characters.    Hollywood, world capital of glamour and beauty, had an ambivalent attitude to themes of disfigurement and difference. The cinema of Lon Chaney used the art of makeup and physical performance to present complex characters with various disabilities or outward differences, and Chaney’s success in The Hunchback of Notre Dame would lead directly to The Man Who Laughs, also based on a novel by Victor Hugo. These films both exploited and criticised the sideshow aesthetic, combining the spectacle of “human oddities” with genuine, if imperfect, compassion.  With images and clips, we will explore the origins of the “horror” genre in connection with visible differences and discuss the I Am Not Your Villain campaign, which calls out those in the film industry using scars, burns or marks as a shorthand for villainy.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Presented by  critic and filmmaker David Cairns and Chris Heppell, campaigner from Changing Faces, the UK charity providing support and promoting respect for everyone with a visible difference.  With live piano accompaniment by Mike Nolan.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

The Blue Bird (Dir. Maurice Tourneur, US, 1918) (Screening format – not known, 80 mins)  Before The Wizard of Oz, there was The Blue Bird – Maurice Tourneur’s fairy-tale fantasy about two children’s quest for the blue bird of happiness!  The magical journey of Tyltyl and his little sister Mytyl is based on playwright Maurice Maeterlinck’s hugely popular Symbolist 1908 play L’oiseau bleu that has inspired dozens of versions before and since Tourneur’s exquisite adaptation.  The allegory extolling what is really important in life is simple, but every frame is a visual delight, with bewitching costumes, stunning sets and gorgeous production design.  For his film of the play, Tourneur and French artist Andre lbels designed sets and lighting tricks that created expressionistic images, one year before Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919). The Blue Bird was popular with critics and audiences. Upon its release, Photoplay described the film as “one of the most important photodramas ever made.”  Find out more at  silentology.wordpress.com   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by award-winning Glasgow-based inclusive ensemble Sonic Bothy.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

23 March

The Accidental Anthropologist – Benjamin T Gault  (Screening format – digital, 90mins) An extremely rare and precious silent film collection, discovered in the US, depicting rural life in Ireland in the 1920s.  In 1925-1926, during the early years of the Irish Free State, American naturalist Benjamin T. Gault spent time in west Kerry and Cork, collecting seabirds and other wildlife specimens.  By that time filmmaking was a tool for documenting fieldwork, like notetaking, sketching, or photography. As any thorough scientist would, Gault also turned his lens to the wider habitat, capturing the local people as they went about their business, swarming out of church, gathering at the races, and even goofing for the camera. Upon his return home, he filed his footage away and it was never seen.  A search started by a curious local, Mícheál Ó Mainnín, who had heard tales of Gault’s visit from his grandfather, led to the discovery of 19 rolls of 35mm nitrate negatives among Gault’s fieldnotes. This presentation unravels the story of how the films were unearthed and what they reveal about Ireland’s past and present.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Introduced by Kathy Rose O’Regan of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival who directed the digitisation of the films.  With live violin accompaniment by Gunter Buchwald. Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

The  Silent Enemy (Dir.  H.P. Carver, US, 1930) + short (Screening format – not known, 82mins) An exciting, dramatised reconstruction of the authentic ways of life of the Ojibway indigenous tribe.  This extraordinary film features a brief but compelling sound prologue by one of the stars, Chief Chauncey Yellow Robe, a  Sioux elder, who tells us that this is the story of his people, declaring: “When you look at this picture, look not upon us as actors. We are Indians living once more our old life.”  Filmed in the Canadian Northwest, and featuring an all-Native American cast, the film follows the tribe as they struggle to survive in the face of ‘the silent enemy’: Hunger! The famine and harsh winter conditions are the backdrop for a sensational drama which sees Dagwan, the devious medicine-man, use every trick in the book to secure his betrothal to Neewa, the Chief’s daughter – scheming to come between her and the noble hunter Baluk. The critics declared the film a masterpiece on its original release and today, according to Oscar-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow, it remains “a priceless treasure… The caribou scene is a sequence of such dimensions… that it stuns the audience with the force of a snowstorm.”  Find out more at silentfilm.org   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  .  With live musical accompaniment by Günter Buchwald (violin, piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion). Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness   Link

 

I Was Born, But…… (Dir. Yasujiro Ozu, Jap, 1932) (Screening format, not known, 90mins)  This early comedy from Yasujirô Ozu focuses on the Yoshii family – dad Kennosuke, his homemaker wife, and two sons Keiji and Ryoichi – who have just moved from Tokyo’s crowded city centre to a suburban development. Straight away the two boys start slugging it out to find a place in the pecking order among the neighbourhood kids. One of those deposed by their wily antics is Taro, son of Mr Iwasaki, the owner of the company where Kennosuke works as a humble salaryman. Then one night the Yoshii family are invited round to the Iwasaki’s, where the boys are mortified to see their dad dutifully kowtowing to his boss: “You tell us to become somebody, but you’re nobody. Why do you have to bow so much to Taro’s father?” Kennosuke’s attempts to explain the realities of the adult world to his sons leads to some soul-searching of his own.  One of the few surviving examples of Ozu’s silent period filmmaking, like his later films this one focuses on the internal dynamics of a single family unit as a way of drawing out broader generalisations about contemporary Japanese society, and uses the low-angle camera shots of domestic interiors that would become his stylistic trademark. Find out more at silentfilm.org .  Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by Meg Morley.  Pound Arts, Corsham Link

 

24 March

Master Of The House  (Dir, C T Dreyer, Den, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 107mins)  Before he directed his cinematic masterpiece, the intense and visceral The Passion of Joan of Arc, Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. A deft comedy of gentle revenge, it is the story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her tyrannical husband. In it, Dreyer combines lightness and humor with his customary meticulous craft and sense of integrity. Master of the House, an enormous box-office success in its day, is a jewel of the silent cinema.  With an enchanting performance from Astrid Holm at its centre, this is a carefully observed comedy of manners, tackling issues of domestic inequality which are still relevant today. Meanwhile the wonderful Mathilde Nielsen as Nanny Mads ensures a rich vein of humour runs through this emotional and deeply affecting film.  Find out more at frenchfilms.org   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney. Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

What Happened To Jones (Dir. William A Seiter, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 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.    Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion). Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness  Link

 

25 March

Jeely Jar ScreeningDog Shy (Dir. Leo McCarey, US, 1926) +  Mighty Like A Moose (Dir. Leo McCarey, US, 1926).    (Screening format – not known, 19/23  mins)  A welcome return to HippFest for the comedy genius that is Charley Chase, whose fame has been unfairly eclipsed by the familiar trinity of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd.  In the first film, Chase plays a befuddled gent called Charley who is “deathly afraid of anything that barked or yelped.” Through a series of mishaps and identity mix-ups Charley finds himself appointed as a butler and charged with bathing Duke the dog.   In the second, Chase plays Mr Moose who has secretly booked into a clinic to get his teeth straightened. Meanwhile Mrs Moose has made a secret appointment to get a nose job. Fresh out of the clinic with their respective “alterations”, the transformed couple fail to recognise each other, flirt outrageously and embark on a two-person love triangle.  Preposterous and hilarious, this two-reeler stands not only as one of Chase’s best films, but as one of the best comedies of the silent era.    Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand (piano). Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

Where The North Begins (Dir. Chester M. Franklin, US, 1923) + short (Screening format – not known, 60/?mins)   Bonafide movie royalty Rin Tin Tin takes the lead in his first star vehicle, released 100 years ago in 1923.   A German Shepherd puppy (‘the Wolf-Dog’) is adopted by a wolf pack in northern Canada. He encounters a French fur-trapper and the pair develop a bond, becoming inseparable… until their happy unit is disrupted by a corrupt trading post manager.   The film’s star had been rescued as a puppy from a French WW1 battlefield by soldier Lee Duncan who trained him and, recognising the handsome hound’s talent to “register emotions and portray a real character”, wrote the scenario for Where the North Begins.  The film cost Warner Bros. around $1.2 million in today’s money but made back many times this much – reputedly rescuing the studio from bankruptcy and earning Rin Tin Tin the nickname: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood.  Find out more at wikipedia.org Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney (piano). Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

The Only Woman Animator – Bessie Mae Kelley and Women at the Dawn of the Animation Industry.  Stop the press! Award-winning American author, historian and filmmaker Mindy Johnson will, for the first time, share with audiences outside the USA her game-changing research which redefines our understanding of women’s historical roles within early animation and beyond… completely shattering the prevailing myth that the early animation industry was solely developed and created by men.  Featuring rare clips, imagery and artwork, Mindy will reveal the hitherto untold ‘herstory’ of Bessie Mae Kelley who worked elbow-to-elbow with Max Fleischer (creator of Betty Boop and Popeye), Paul Terry (Mighty Mouse) and Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker). In this centenary year of the Walt Disney Studios, find out more about this unsung, pioneering animator whose animated mouse couple Roderick and Gladys, predates the birth of animation royalty: Mickey and Minnie.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    Presented by historian and filmmaker Mindy Johnson   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

 

In Spring (Dir. Mikhail Kaufman, Ukr/USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 54mins)  In Spring is a masterpiece of Ukrainian avant-garde cinema, a non-fiction film made by Mikhail Kaufman, brother of the rather better known Dziga Vertov.  Following the brothers joint work on Man With A Movie Camera (1929) creative differences led to them going their own separate ways.  According to Kaufman “That year with Vertov we diverged in views for good and all and began to work independently. I was armed with a movie camera and had a multitude of methods concerning reflection of life. Regarding the topic of spring, I actually stumbled upon it by accident.”  In Spring was Kaufman’s first solo project and is a cinematic poem to arrival of spring in nature as well as a new life in a society. With the first use of hidden camera  it also offers a rare glimpse on everyday life in Soviet Ukraine during the New Economic Policy and the Soviet “indigenisation” programme.  The film was long considered lost until a copy was discovered in 2005 at an archive in Amsterdam.  Find out more at imdb.com . Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by Ukrainian musicians Roksana Smirnova and Misha Kalinin. Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness   Link

 

 The Man Who Laughs (Dir. Paul Leni, USA, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 110mins) In an effort to top the critical and financial success of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, studio head Carl Laemmle recruited two influential artists of the German Expressionist school: actor Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and director Paul Leni (Waxworks). The shadowy exteriors, the carnival setting, the demonically misshapen “hero” made The Man Who Laughs something entirely new to American cinema-the foundation upon which the classic Universal horror films would be built. Veidt stars as Gwynplaine, a nobleman’s son who is kidnapped by a political enemy, and then is mutilated by a gypsy “surgeon” who carves a monstrous smile upon his face. Finding shelter in a traveling freakshow, he falls in love with a blind girl (The Phantom Of the Opera‘s Mary Philbin), the one person who cannot be repulsed by his appearance. As years pass, the hand of fate draws Gwynplaine back into the world of political intrigue. He becomes the plaything of a jaded duchess (Freaks‘ Olga Baclanova), and his enemies renew their efforts to control him. The distinctive ‘look’ of Gwynplaine is cited as a major influence for the American comic book writer, animator and artist, Bob Kane, when he created the visual aesthetics of Batman’s grinning nemesis: the Joker.  Veidt’s extraordinary performance, and the film overall however, deserve to be celebrated for far more than this.  The gripping story is propelled by director Paul Leni’s masterful visual style, rewarding us with excitement, pathos plus a triumphant star-turn by Zimbo the dog!Find out more at rogerebert.com.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by  Meg Morley (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness  Link

 

26 March

Queens Of Destruction (1903 – 1919)   Palace Sunday Silent presents: Cinema’s First Nasty Women – Queens of Destruction,  a deliciously mischievous collection of restored silent shorts that celebrate women creating mayhem. These 11 short films from the UK, USA and France feature some of the earliest rebel women to take to the silver screen. Sharply comedic and delightfully entertaining, this is a raucous uprising of women who wreck their homes, bring tyranny upon their spouses and wage revolution in the streets.  With live piano accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Palace Cinema, Broadstairs Link

 

Woman In The Moon ( Frau im Mond ) (Dir. Fritz Lang, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 169mis)  The first feature-length film to portray space-exploration in a serious manner, paying close attention to the science involved in launching a vessel from the surface of the earth to the valleys of the moon.  In this, Lang’s final silent epic, the legendary filmmaker spins a tale involving a wicked cartel of spies who co-opt an experimental mission to the moon in the hope of plundering the satellite’s vast (and highly theoretical) stores of gold. When the crew, helmed by Willy Fritsch and Gerda Maurus (both of whom had previously starred in Lang’s Spione), finally reach their impossible destination, they find themselves stranded in a lunar labyrinth without walls — where emotions run scattershot, and the new goal becomes survival.  A modern Daedalus tale which uncannily foretold Germany’s wartime push into rocket-science, Frau im Mond is as much a warning-sign against human hubris as it is a hopeful depiction of mankind’s potential.  Find out more at  sensesofcinema.com .   With  live piano accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.  Institut français, London  Link

 

Laurel & Hardy Double Bill –  Angora Love  (Dir. Lewis R. Foster,  US, 1929)  +  Bacon Grabbers (Dir. Lewis R. Foster,  US, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 20/20mins)  In Angora Love, an escaped goat attaches itself to Stan, requiring the pair to go to great – if ineffectual – lengths to keep it concealed from their short-fused landlord (played by regular Laurel and Hardy side-kick Edgar Kennedy). This was the last silent film Stan and Ollie made together before moving into the talkies, refashioning the hilarious premise two years later with the scenario for Laughing Gravy, but with a dog instead of a goat. In Bacon Grabbers in which the pair must serve papers on the expertly evasive Mr. Kennedy (Edgar again).  Joyous and packed with perfectly timed gags – this archetypal Laurel and Hardy gem is just the ticket for guaranteed belly laughs!  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by  Meg Morley (piano) and Frank Bockius (percussion) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness  Link

 

Volcanic Passions (aka Loving Blood Of The Volcano) (Dir. Sun Yu, China, 1932) (Screening format – not known, 95mins) In a tropical land at the foot of a volcano, “a deep grudge rankles, and ignites!”… don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a delicious fusion of Chinese peasant drama with Hollywood-style island exotica.   In this passionate melodrama, set in the South Seas, Zheng Junli plays an anguished hero whose heart is healed by the beautiful dancer: Willow Blossom (Li Li-Li). This is Li’s first leading role and the first of her six collaborations with writer/director Sun Yu.  Sun went on to write Queen of Sports (1934) for his prized star, and  to direct her in the star vehicle Daybreak (1933).  Find out more at imdb.com   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by  Stephen Horne (piano, flute, accordion) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness  Link

 

His Majesty The Barber (Dir. Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius, Swe, 1928)  (Screening format – not known, 85mins)  In this engaging Swedish/German rom-com, handsome young graduate Nickolo (Enrique Rivero) returns home determined to follow his vocation for snipping the latest styles at his grandfather’s hair salon.  The local womenfolk are delighted, the grandfather not-so-much.  It doesn’t take long for the hero to bump into his feisty love-interest Astrid (16-year-old Swedish actress Brita Appelgren), much to the annoyance of Astrid’s rich grandmother – inventor of a miraculous hair tonic for luscious long locks.  This promising set-up is only the beginning, as Nickolo gets tangled up in a royal coup being staged in his former homeland Tirania.  This film is lots and lots of fun, with an appealing central couple (Rivero was heralded at the time as the next Valentino) and a host of charming supporting characters.  Find out more at giornatedelcinemamuto.it   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    With live musical accompaniment by  John Sweeney (piano) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness   Link

 

Platform ReelsFor one night only the platform of the Bo’ness and Kinneil heritage railway will be transformed into an outdoor cinema. Featuring phantom rides, early fiction shorts and actuality footage, and with Bryony Dixon as our guide, we will ride the rails back to the turn of the 20th century when cinema’s love affair with the railway began.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.    Introduced by BFI Curator of Silent Film Bryony Dixon and with live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand (piano) Bo’ness Station, Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Link

 

Shooting Stars (Dir. Anthony Asquith and A.V. Bramble,  UK, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 80mins)  At Zenith Studios, a starlet plots an escape to Hollywood with her lover and the murder of her superfluous husband. Shooting Stars is a must for any silent cinema fan. Offering a rare insight into the workings of a 1920s film studio, there are location scenes, comic stunts and an on-set jazz band which demonstrate just what life was like in the early days of cinema. Shooting Stars begins as a witty and affectionate look at the smoke-and-mirrors world of filmmaking, with many a wink to its audience, but as the paranoia associated with adultery takes its toll, the mood becomes somewhat darker.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk .  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  Introduced by BFI Curator of Silent Film Bryony Dixon  With live musical accompaniment by  Stephen Horne (piano, flute, accordion) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness  Link

 

29 March

The Love Expert (Dir. David Kirkland, US, 1920)  (Screening format – 35mm/ 72mins)  With a screenplay by John Emerson and Anita Loos (who appeared as an uncredited extra in several scenes) this romantic comedy stars Constance Talmadge as Babs, a girl who is thrown out of boarding school because she’s more interested in studying romance than she is in studying books. The object of her affections is Jim Winthrop, but before they can wed, he has to find suitable mates for his two plain sisters, Dorcas and Matilda – and Winthrop’s elderly aunt, too. To speed things up, Babs takes it upon herself to find them all men.  The film also stars Constance’s sister Natalie as the ‘plain’ aunt Dorcas.  Find out more at catalog.afi.com  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live piano accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London Link