London and the South East


2 May

The Wedding March (Dir.   Eric von Stroheim, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 113mins) The setting is Vienna in 1914 before the outbreak of war. The aristocratic and somewhat jaded Prince Nicki (Stroheim), pursued by all the ladies, begins a flirtation with Mitzi (Fay Wray), a crippled harpist who works in a suburban wine-garden, and who is in turn idolized by Schani (Matthew Betz), an uncouth and violently jealous butcher.  Meanwhile, amidst the sumptuous and corrupt milieu of the family palace, Nicki is drawn into complicity against his will, as his unscrupulous mother informs him he must marry Cecelia (ZaSu Pitts) , the daughter of a wealthy commoner, in order to revive the family fortune. With passions rising, can this all end in anything other than tragedy?  Find out more at .  With recorded soundtrack.  Sands Cinema Club, Rotherhithe  Link

3 May

Trail Of The Law  (Dir. Oscar Apfel, 1924) (Screening format – 35mm) Rare sceening for a little known and frequently but incorrectly thought lost film.  An early starring role for Norma Shearer although little is known of the plot.  All I have is “A girl masquerades as a boy to help avenge her mother’s murder” and as ‘Variety’ magazine said in its 1924 review…‘That’s all there is to the plot, and it can be seen that the brain is not seriously taxed keeping up with it… Miss Shearer is cute and appealing, even in trousers and cap, but the usual imagination is needed to conceive of her palming herself off as a boy.” Find out more at  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope. Introduced by Kevin Brownlow.  With live piano accompaniment  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

4 May

Lady Windermere’s Fan (Dir. Fred Paul, UK, 1916) + Blue Bottles (Dir. Ivor Montagu, UK, 1928)  (Screening format – not known, 66/26mins) This 1916 version of Lady Windemere’s Fan is the earliest known film adaption of Wilde’s 1892 play, although it apparently suffers from some rather staid camera work and much of Wilde’s sparkling dialogue is lost in the inter-titles. Find out more at  letterboxd.comBlue Bottles  was part of a compendium of films directed by Ivor Montagu in 1928, in conjunction with H G Wells (who wrote the stories). All were made by Angle Pictures and starred Elsa Lanchester (image, right) in the leading role. Lanchester‘s eponymous character is a rather scatterbrained maid who accidentally foils some crooks after blowing a police whistle. The film also stars Charles Laughton.  Find out more at .   With recorded soundtrack.  Birkbeck Cinema, University of London, WC1 Link

5 May

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + Do Detectives Think (Dir. Fred Guiol, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 45/19 mins) 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   Starring Laurel and Hardy but before they became an established partnership, Do Detectives Think sees a judge (James Finlayson) hiring two detectives (guess who!) to protect him from an escaped criminal.  Find out more at   With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.  St John’s Church, Notting Hill, London   Link

6 May

Deeds Not Words: The Women Pioneers of Silent Comedy (Dir. Various) A selection of rarely-screened shorts celebrates the talented women of silent comedy.  While the Suffragettes were fighting for women to have the vote, their cinematic counterparts were more than equal to the men, creating and starring in some of the most successful, subversive and inventive films of the era. This special selection of rarely-screened shorts celebrates the brilliant women of silent comedy. Presented as part of the London Comedy Film Festival.  Curated and presented by BFI Silent Film Curator Bryony Dixon with a new live score by The Lucky Dog Picturehouse.  BFI Southbank, London Link

7 May

Such Is Life (Dir. Carl Junghans, 1930) (Screening format – DCP,  71mins)  This Czech film captures the tragic story of an aging laundress (Vera Baranovskaja) whose drudgery and toil support a licentious and abusive alcoholic husband (Theodor Pištěk). A psychological drama with social themes, it draws from Zola’s novel, The Kill, and with full cinematic expression, a progressive approach to montage and emphasis on the symbolic power of close-ups, represents the climax of silent film.  Find out more at .  With live musical accompaniment.  Barbican, London Link 

18 May

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight into the realities of trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It shows scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive including the massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle (the bloodiest single day in Britain’s military history) and depictions of the small gains and massive costs of the attack. The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals Britain’s commitment to the First World War. It is the source of many of that conflict’s most iconic images. It was made by British official cinematographers Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. Though it was not intended as a feature film, once the volume and quality of their footage had been seen in London, the British Topical Committee for War Films decided to compile a feature-length film.  Find out more at Wikipedia  Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.    Accompanied by a live performance from Oxford University Orchestra conducted by Ben Palmer.    Sheldonian Theatre,  Oxford Link

Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 90mins) Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein’s greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein’s theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase; his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment of the mass instead of the individual as the protagonist. The film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising.Their mutiny was short-lived, however, as during their attempts to get the population of Odessa to join the uprising, soldiers arrived and laid waste to the insurgents.  Battleship Potemkin is a work of extraordinary pictorial beauty and great elegance of form. It is symmetrically broken into five movements or acts. In the first of these, “Men and Maggots,” the flagrant mistreatment of the sailors at the hands of their officers is demonstrated, while the second, “Drama on the Quarterdeck,” presents the actual mutiny and the ship’s arrival in Odessa. “Appeal from the Dead” establishes the solidarity of the citizens of Odessa with the mutineers. It is the fourth sequence, “The Odessa Steps,” which depicts the massacre of the citizens, that thrust Eisenstein and his film into the historical eminence that both occupy today. It is unquestionably the most famous sequence of its kind in film history, and Eisenstein displays his legendary ability to convey large-scale action scenes. The shot of the baby carriage tumbling down the long staircase has been re-created in many films. The sequence’s power is such that the film’s conclusion, “Meeting the Squadron,” in which the Potemkin in a show of brotherhood is allowed to pass through the squadron unharmed, is anticlimactic.  Find out more at .  With live musical accompaniment by Marcelo Graf Reis aka Wushta.  Prince Charles Cinema, London Link

20 May

Exploring Silent Indian Cinema (Dir. Various) The history of India’s silent film era is explored, moulded by pioneers like Save Dada, Hiralal Sen, JJ Madan and Dadasaheb Phalke. This event includes a rare screening of India’s first feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913). The film is directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, the “father of Indian Cinema”. The narrative of the film is based on the eponymous legend recounted in the Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The story centres around the hero Harishchandra, a noble king, who, to honour his promise to the sage Vishwamitra, sacrifices his kingdom, his wife, and eventually also his children. By the end, however, having pleased the Gods with his actions, Harishchandra’s former glory is restored. Introduced by film historian and South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) director Lalit Mohan Joshi with live music specially written and led by Pandit Vishwa Prakash.  BFI Southbank, London Link

The Gold Rush (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 95 mins) 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 .   Presented by the Lost Format Society, with live musical accompaniment by The London Mozart Players.  Centrale Shopping Centre Car Park,  Croydon. Link 

21 May

The Rink + Easy StreetThe Immigrant (Dir, Charles Chaplin, US, 1916/17) (Screening format – not known, 24/19/22 mins)  Three classic Charlie Chaplin films.  In The Rink, after causing restaurant chaos at work, Charlie the bumbling waiter tears up the local roller rink with his skating. In Easy Street the reformed little tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street. The Immigrant sees the little tramp arriving in America, finding the girl of his dreams but then having trouble paying for a meal.  Presented as part of the Merge Festival.  Introduced by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson.  With live piano accompaniment byNeil Brand.  Tate Modern, London Link

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For details see 18 May above.    Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.    Accompanied by a live performance from the Hastings Sinfonia conducted by Derek Carden.  St Mary in the Castle, Hastings. Link

Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – disc,  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).  Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic.    Find out more at Wikipedia  With live organ accompaniment from Donald MacKenzie.  Regent Street Cinema, London  Link

24 May

A Tribute To David ShepardThis evening’s Kennington Bioscope is intended as a tribute to renowned film preservationist David Shepard who died in January.  Films being shown include Regeneration (Dir Raoul Walsh, US, 1915) and the documentary The Moving Picture Boys in the Great War (Larry Ward, US, 1975)  (Screening format – not known)  Regeneration is the story of a young Irish-American (Rockliffe Fellowes) forced into a life of crime, but ultimately redeemed when he falls for Marie (Anna Q. Nilsson), the film was shot on location on New York’s Lower East Side, and features real prostitutes, gangsters and homeless people as extras. It also features a fire on an excursion ferry, which recalls the General Slocum disaster of 1904, when over 1000 people died – the second worst disaster on US waterways.   Find out more at .   The Moving Picture Boys in the Great War was a project very close to David’s heart and is a compilation documentary narrated by Lowell Thomas, illustrating changing attitudes toward the war and its participants, as well as toward the movies themselves. Every shot is an image preserved from those days – actual and faked news films, government propaganda films, fiction films that range from the sensational excesses of ‘Hun brutality’ to the sentiment of D.W. Griffith, as well as magazine covers, posters, lantern slides and still photographs. The filmmakers were doctoral candidates in American studies, and apart from being quite entertaining, the film has been praised by historians for its balance and accuracy. Winner, Gold Medal, 1975 Chicago Film Festival.  Find out more at     Introduced by Kevin Brownlow, with live piano accompaniment.    Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

25 May

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920) + Cops (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1922)(Screening format – DVD, 45/19/20 mins) 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.orgOne Week sees Buster and his new bride struggling with a pre-fabricated home while in Cops  Buster contrives to get himself chased by the entire LA police department. With live piano accompaniment by Meg Morley.  1901 Arts Club, Waterloo, London  Link

28 May

The Rink (Dir. Charles Chaplin, 1916) +  Limousine Love (Dir. FredGuiol, 1928) + The Finishing Touch (Dir. Clyde Bruckman, 1928)  (Screening format – not known, 24/20/19 mins) In The Rink, Charlie Chaplin employs an unorthodox approach to his work as a waiter. He prepares bills by examining food stains on customers clothing, he makes a cocktail with a shimmy of his body while the cocktail shaker remains immobile in his hands and he carelessly places a broiler cover over a live cat that he serves to a startled diner. He is however also incredibly graceful on roller skates, which is how he spends his lunch break…Find out more at imdb.comIn Limousine Love, its Charley Chase’s wedding day and he’s running late. When his chauffeur quits in a huff Charley is forced to take the wheel himself, in his formal get-up of tailcoat and top hat, and drive through a remote rural area to the wedding. After stepping away from his car for a brief moment he comes back and resumes driving unaware that he has a beautiful nude girl riding in the backseat, which is where the fun begins….Find out more at .   In The Finishing Touch  Laurel and Hardy are contracted to build a house in one day but on completion a bird lands on the chimney and the house collapses, bit by bit. When the owner demands his money back, mayhem ensues. Find out more at .  Presented as part of the Herne Hill Free Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Herne Hill Railway Station, London SE21  Link

The Informer  (Dir. Arthur Robison, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 101mins) A technically and artistically sophisticated drama set in Dublin amongst members of a revolutionary party in the newly independent Ireland of 1922.  The noir-ish story follows the fateful consequences of jealousy and betrayal when fiery Gypo ‘informs’ on his former comrade Francis, out of misguided suspicion over a girl.  With a German/American director, a Hungarian leading lady and a Swedish leading man the international nature of the production was typical of a period in filmmaking unencumbered by dialogue and exhibits hallmarks of a distinctively German style thanks to cinematography by Werner Brandes (‘Piccadilly’) and Lubitsch regular Theodor Sparkuhl. The film was released in both part-talkie and silent versions but this afternoon we present the superior, silent version, newly restored by the British Film Institute.   Find out more at .    Presented with a new recorded score by Irish composer and violist Garth Knox.  BFI Southbank, London Link

30 May

Shkurnik (aka A Profiteer, aka The Self-Seeker) (Dir. Nikolai Shpikovsky, Ukr/USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 75mins)  Shkurnik is a little known avant-garde film of the period. It is a comic tale of survival in the kaleidoscopic change of circumstances during the civil war in Ukraine and a biting satire on the Soviet propaganda.  In the film, the peaceful bourgeois life of an opportunistic Kiev resident is interrupted by the civil war.  Seeking first the protection of the white Russian forces he then falls into the hands of the Red Army.  Will he survive in the hands of the (female) Bolshevik commisar or will his ingrained thirst for a profit once again put his life in danger.  The film, produced by VUFKU, the the All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Directorate in 1929, was quickly banned by the Soviet authorities and is virtually unknown to western audiences.  Find out more at .  Presented by the Ukrainian Institute, London and the LSESU Ukranian Society as part of a series to mark  A Century of Ukrainian Revolutions: 1917-2017”.  The screening will be preceeded by a presentation ‘Why the Ukrainian Revolution Matters for Historians of the Russian Revolutions? by US slavic studies academic Professor Mark von Hagen. With recorded soundtrack.   LSE Old Building,  London WC2. Link

31 May

Pandora’s Box (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 135mins) On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of G.W. Pabst on 29 May 2017, the Goethe Institute is presenting one of his most iconic films. The Austrian born director is often named alongside Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau as one of the great directors of Weimar Cinema. 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 a 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 .  With recorded Peer Raben soundtrack.  Goethe Institute, London SW7Link


NB  Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these listings is accurate, can take no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies.  You are strongly advised to confirm with the venue that the event remains as detailed, particularly if travelling any distance to attend.