London Symphony (Dir. Alex Barrett, UK, 2017) (Screening format – not known) London Symphony is a brand new silent film – a city symphony – which offers a poetic journey through London, a cosmopolitan city facing a challenge to its identity in the current political climate. It is an artistic portrait of the city as it stands today, and a celebration of its culture and diversity. Find out more at londonsymphfilm.com . With recorded James McWilliam soundtrack. Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, Cumbria Link
Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 97mins) 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 last year’s London Film Festival. Find out more at silentfilm.org. With Anoushka Shankar recorded score. Winter Gardens, Blackpool Link
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Dir. Rex Ingram, US, 1921) (Screening format not known, 156mins) The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is an epic tale of an Argentinean family who becomes divided and ends up fighting on opposite sides during WWI. The film, based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez, grew into a mammoth production: over $1 million was poured into it and over 12,000 people were involved. Yet the film’s existence can be traced back to one woman, June Mathis. As the head of Metro’s script department, Mathis, realizing the film potential of the best-selling novel, persuaded then-president Richard Rowland to buy the rights. She also convinced the studio to hire Ingram on as director; realizing her passion for the project, Metro also gave her screenwriting duties. As the final coup de grace, Mathis insisted on casting an unknown actor in the featured role of Julio. In a 1921 interview with famed columnist Louella Parsons, Valentino says of Mathis, “She discovered me. Anything I have accomplished I owe to her, to her judgment, to her advice and to her unfailing patience and confidence in me.” Mathis had spotted Valentino in a bit part in the film Eyes of Youth (1919), and her instincts told her he was a star. Those instincts resulted in one of the most successful films of its time, grossing over $4 million, and catapulted “The Great Lover” into cinematic history as the first screen idol. Find out more at silentfilm.org. With live musical accompaniment by by Barry Adamson, Matthew Nolan, Seán Mac Erlaine, Adrian Crowley, & Kevin Murphy. Home, Manchester Link
The Lost World (Dir. Harry Hoyt, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur adventure is brought to the big screen for the first time in an adventure across continents to the land that time forgot, featuring swooping beasts, the terrifying ‘apeman’ and the odd volcano too! This film used pioneering techniques in stop motion by Willis O’Brien (a forerunner of his work on the original King Kong film) and was one of the first to use a tinting technique that brought colour to film. It also features an introduction from the author himself. Find out more at moviessilently.com. With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best. Hull Truck, Hull Link
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