Live Screenings – September 2022


 

 

3 September

The Live Ghost TentThe quarterly meeting of The Laurel and Hardy Society. The films tonight include Should Married Men Go Home? (Dir. Leo McCarey/James Parrott, US, 1928).  Ollie and his wife are enjoying a quiet Sunday at home until Stan shows up, eager to play some golf. After Stan breaks the Hardys’ Victrola and nearly sets fire to their house, Mrs. Hardy chases the boys out. At the golf course, they are partnered with a pair of comely young lasses to complete a foursome and with Edgar Kennedy as the ‘rude golfer’, how could things not go wrong.  Find out more at  laurel-and-hardy-blog.com.  With recorded score.  Cinema Museum, London Link

 

4 September

The Primrose Path (Dir. Harry O. Hoyt, US, 1925) + The Kid Reporter (Dir. Alfred J Goulding, US, 1923)  (Screening format – digital, 64/20mins)  The Primrose Path stars Clara Bow as cabaret dancer Marilyn Merrill, in love with  playboy Bruce Armstrong (MacDonald). He is also a drinker, a gambler, and pretty much worthless as a human being. Yet she sticks by him, even when he gambles with her boss  and, when he loses, writes bad checks. But when Armstrong gets involved in diamond smuggling, things take a more serious turn.   Not considered one of her greatest films, but anything with Clara Bow in is always worth watching.  Find out more at wikipedia.org  Five-year-old Baby Peggy’s 25th film, The Kid Reporter, originally preserved by the BFI National Archive with French and German titles, is now restored with new English titles. Another connection – Baby Peggy and Clara Bow starred together in Helen’s Babies in 1924.  Find out more at  imdb.com  Introduced by BFI curator of silent film, Bryony Dixon.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

7 September

The Sea Hawk (Dir. Frank Lloyd, US, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 123 mins) Based on Rafael Sabatini’s 1915 novel, The Sea Hawk was adapted for the screen by J.G. Hawks and produced and directed by Frank Lloyd. The story – about an English baronet (Milton Sills) who is framed for murder by his half-brother (Lloyd Hughes), becomes a galley slave then escapes to reinvent himself as the buccaneering `Sakr-el-Bahr’ – is set amid the high-seas piracy of the late 16th century. Aware that audiences had learned to recognise the use of scale models, Lloyd spent $200,000 for the construction of authentic-looking sea vessels, hiring Buster Keaton’s prop designer Fred Gabourie – who had previously built replicas of Stephenson’s Rocket and a hobby-horse bike for Keaton’s Our Hospitality – to create wooden cladding that would convert modern ships into those suitable for the period setting. The results were so convincing (the New York Times considered it `far and away the best sea story that’s yet been done up to that point’) that Warner Brothers subsequently re-used the footage in the Errol Flynn vehicles Captain Blood (1935) and the nominal remake of The Sea Hawk in 1940. Filming of these scenes took place off Catalina Island, with 150 tents supplied for the use of 1,000 extras, 21 technicians, 14 main actors and 64 sailors. The Sea Hawk also stars Enid Bennett, Wallace Beery and Marc McDermott.  Find out more at moviessilently.com.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London  Link

 

11 September

Phantom (Dir. F W Murnau, Ger, 1922) (Screening format – digital, 117mins)  Overshadowed by Murnau’s previous film, Nosferatu (1922), Phantom is a tale of obsession, painting a portrait of the corrupting influence of money, the conformity of societal norms and the redemptive power of family.  An aspiring poet, believing himself to be on the verge of a big break, experiences a chance encounter with a beautiful woman in the street and falls headlong into love and fantasy. All the while, his debts pile up and his promised literary celebrity fails to materialise.  Phantom is a forgotten gem of a film that stands as an early precursor to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).  Scripted by distinguished screenwriter Thea von Harbou (Destiny (1921), Dr Mabuse (1922), Metropolis (1927), M (1931) etc) based upon an original novel of Gerhart Hauptmann.  The film strs some of the biggest names in European cinema including Alfred Abel, Lil Dagover and Lya de Putti.   Thought lost for many years, the film was rediscovered in 2003 and this screening of Phantom is of the recent restoration by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden.  Find out more at  cineaste.com  Presented by South West Silents in association with Bristol Ideas.  With live musical accompaniment featuring a brand new score by pianist Dominic Irving.   Arnolfini, Bristol. Link

 

13 September

Tartuffe (Dir. F.W. Murnau, Ger, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 70mins) Molière performed his first version of Tartuffe in 1664…. 260 years later, in 1924, F.W. Murnau filmed a silent adaptation… The impersonal result of a contractual obligation, Tartüffe is nevertheless one of F. W. Murnau’s most beautiful films. Like Dreyer’s The Parson’s Widow, Master of the House and Ordet, it’s a comedy from someone from whom we don’t expect a comedy.  Molière’s sixteenth-century play exists here as a film-within-the-film; the narrative frame encasing it is modern-day—the addition that scenarist Carl Mayer contributed. Molière’s play attacks various forms of hypocrisy, including religious hypocrisy. In the frame, a rich old man’s disinherited grandson, disguised, shows his grandfather a film of the play in order to expose the housekeeper, to whom the grandfather now plans to leave his fortune, as a greedy manipulator who only pretends to care about her employer. It is she who has convinced the old man that his grandson, an actor, is not to be trusted.  Find out more at imdb.com With recorded score.  Sands Films Cinema, Rotherhithe  Link

 

14 September

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 Wurlitzer organ accompaniment by Jonathan Eyre.  Victoria Hall, Saltaire Link

 

23 September

Journey to the Isles: Marjory Kennedy-Fraser A mesmerising glimpse into the landscapes, folktales and songs that inspired one of Scotland’s great early collectors of Traditional Arts.  Marjory Kennedy-Fraser began collecting Hebridean songs in 1905, fired by a desire to preserve and celebrate the musical riches of the islands’ people. These two disarming films, made by Kennedy-Fraser herself provide a snapshot of her work and the culture of the people she devoted her life to studying, all the while revealing the warmth of her personality and her passion for the rugged beauty of the Hebrides.  Joining audiences on this journey to the Isles are acclaimed live performers: Marion Kenny, one of Scotland’s leading storytellers, and award-winning musician, singer and songwriter Mairi Campbell. Weaving together words, music and song alongside Kennedy-Fraser’s enchanting films, Marion and Mairi will conjure the sounds and landscapes captured by this key figure of Scotland’s Celtic Revival.  Commissioned by the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival. Isle of Tiree  Link

 

25 September

Buster Keaton’s Comedy Capers.    Three Buster Keaton shorts to bring laughter to your Sunday afternoon.  Titles TBC.  With live piano accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Palace Cinema, Broadstairs  Link

 

Journey to the Isles: Marjory Kennedy-Fraser A mesmerising glimpse into the landscapes, folktales and songs that inspired one of Scotland’s great early collectors of Traditional Arts.  Marjory Kennedy-Fraser began collecting Hebridean songs in 1905, fired by a desire to preserve and celebrate the musical riches of the islands’ people. These two disarming films, made by Kennedy-Fraser herself provide a snapshot of her work and the culture of the people she devoted her life to studying, all the while revealing the warmth of her personality and her passion for the rugged beauty of the Hebrides.  Joining audiences on this journey to the Isles are acclaimed live performers: Marion Kenny, one of Scotland’s leading storytellers, and award-winning musician, singer and songwriter Mairi Campbell. Weaving together words, music and song alongside Kennedy-Fraser’s enchanting films, Marion and Mairi will conjure the sounds and landscapes captured by this key figure of Scotland’s Celtic Revival.  Commissioned by the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.   DCA Dundee Link

 

27 September

Journey to the Isles: Marjory Kennedy-Fraser A mesmerising glimpse into the landscapes, folktales and songs that inspired one of Scotland’s great early collectors of Traditional Arts.  Marjory Kennedy-Fraser began collecting Hebridean songs in 1905, fired by a desire to preserve and celebrate the musical riches of the islands’ people. These two disarming films, made by Kennedy-Fraser herself provide a snapshot of her work and the culture of the people she devoted her life to studying, all the while revealing the warmth of her personality and her passion for the rugged beauty of the Hebrides.  Joining audiences on this journey to the Isles are acclaimed live performers: Marion Kenny, one of Scotland’s leading storytellers, and award-winning musician, singer and songwriter Mairi Campbell. Weaving together words, music and song alongside Kennedy-Fraser’s enchanting films, Marion and Mairi will conjure the sounds and landscapes captured by this key figure of Scotland’s Celtic Revival.  Commissioned by the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival.  An Tobar, Isle of Mull   Link

 

28 September

Thin Ice (aka Bergenstoget plyndret i natt, aka The Bergen Train Looted Last Night) (Dir. Uwe Jens Krafft, Nor/Ger, 1928) (Screening format – 35mm, 73mins) , Thin Ice  was adapted by Alf Rød from the 1923 novel of the same name written by Nordahl Grieg and Nils Lie under the joint pseudonym `Jonathan Jerv’. Directed by Uwe Jens Krafft and with German actors Aud Egede-Nissen and Paul Richter in the leading roles, Thin Ice is the story of a student embarking on a daring raid on a train passing through the mountain scenery from Oslo to Bergen. His motivation: having obtained a job as advertising executive with the railway company and seeking the hand of the boss’s daughter, he hopes to confirm his chances with both by staging the robbery – but is this merely a publicity stunt, or something more? The extensive Norwegian outdoor scenes were photographed by Paul Berge and Johannes Bentzen; interiors were shot by Günther Krampf in the EFA and UFA studios in Berlin (the film was released in Germany as Schneeschuhbanditen). Thin Ice was Norway’s first true attempt at an international film success and fulfilled its promise; even without promotion. Over 100,000 Norwegian cinema-goers saw the film, which was subsequently exported to 11 countries.  Find out more at  wikipedia-org.translate.   Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London.  Link

 

29 September

The Beauty Of Silent Film   An event which celebrates SILENT MOVIE DAY! An annual celebration of silent movies, a vastly misunderstood and neglected cinematic art form. The event will include a presentation by expert Andrew Woodyatt from the Rio Cinema, a live performance created by Unity Arts, based on the very first films made by Edison and a screening of the silent film The Pleasure Garden (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 75mins) Patsy (Virginia Valli), a chorus girl at the Pleasure Garden music hall helps down on her luck dancer Jill (Carmelita Geraghty) get a job in her show.  But when Jill’s fiance Hugh (John Stuart) turns up, he and Patsy are drawn to each other.  Meanwhile Jill is living the highlife and being courted by a rich prince. Jealousy! Madness! Murder! Alfred Hitchcock’s debut as a film director was this long-thought-to-be-lost and now restored brilliant hothouse silent melodrama.  There is an early chance to spot all the later iconic Hitchcock motifs used here for the very first time. The very first shot shows chorus girls descending a spiral staircase just like the staircase shot in Vertigo, while a man uses opera glasses to better appreciate a dancer just as Jimmy Stewart uses them in Rear Window. Even the classic icy Hitchcock Blonde first appears here.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk .   Rio Cinema,  Dalston Link

 

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920)(Screening format – not known, 68/19 mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature 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 .   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 musical accompaniment by Wurlitza.  St Andrew’s Church, Morehampstead, Devon Link

 

30 September

Salt For Svanetia (Dir.  Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR, 1930} (Screening format – not known, 40mins) Widely regarded as one of the greatest documentaries ever made, Salt for Svanetia is an ethnography of the harsh and disappearing life of the mountain people of the Svan people of Georgia. It is a riotous experiment in camera technique, editing, and the use of non- professional actors. It is also a unique example of Soviet cinematic avant-garde, crossing the genre between documentary, decolonial expression and state propaganda. Director Mikhail Kalatozov was heavily criticised for the film, and it was only 30 years later, after the death of Joseph Stalin, that he redeemed his reputation with another unforgettable masterpiece, the anti-war Palme d’Or winning romance, The Cranes are Flying (1958).  Find out more at  sensesofcinema.com   Introduced by Emma Widdis, Professor in Russian and Film Studies at the University of Cambridge.  With live musical accompaniment composed and performed by Georgian composer Liza Kalandadze,  Garden Cinema, London Link