October: Ten Days That Shook The World (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 104mins) Borrowing its title from a book by American journalist John Reed, Sergei Eisenstein’s Ten Days That Shook the World reenacts the crucial week-and-a-half in October, 1918, when the Russian Kerensky regime was toppled by the Bolsheviks. Eisenstein used the film to further develop his theories of film structure, using a concept he described as “intellectual montage”, the editing together of shots of apparently unconnected objects in order to create and encourage intellectual comparisons between them. A largely non-professional cast was employed, the “actor” playing Lenin, a nonprofessional cement factory worker named Nikandrov, so closely resembles the genuine article that the effect is striking while a University student took on the role of Kerensky and Zinoviev was played by his real brother. The film was not as successful or influential in the Soviet Union as Battleship Potemkin with audiences finding the film stilted and artificial. Eisenstein’s montage experiments met with official disapproval; the authorities complained that October was unintelligible to the masses and he was also required to re-edit the work to expurgate references to Trotsky, who had recently been purged by Stalin. Nevertheless, film historians now consider it to be an important film, a sweeping historical epic of vast scale, and a powerful testament to Eisenstein’s creativity and artistry. Find out more at imdb.com. With recorded soundtrack. Watershed, Bristol Link
Sin & Silent Film (Dir. Various) The beginning of new series of screenings which will showcase the darker side of silent film, including a rare screening of The Devil’s Needle (Dir. Cheter Withey, US, 1916), one of a glut of films made at this time highllighting the evils of drug abuse. In the film, artist David White (Tully Marshall) has a model, Rene (Norma Talmadge), who is a drug addict. He falls for Wynne Mortimer (Marguerite), the daughter of a wealthy man (F A Turner). But Wynne is engaged to Hugh Gordon, her father’s priggish right-hand man (Howard Gaye). To ease White’s hurt, Rene offers him some of her drugs. At first he refuses, but he sneaks a taste and soon becomes hooked….Find out more at moviessilently.com . Presented by South West Silents and introduced by James Harrison (BBC Bristol). Lansdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol Link
An Evening of Buster Keaton Silents (Dir. Various) An evening of Silent Movies, featuring the many laughs and stoneface of Buster Keaton, featuring Jeff Barnhart. During the past decade Jeff Barnhart has turned his attention to performing live, era- appropriate piano accompaniment to classic silent films. He returns to Whitchurch with a treasure trove of stories and films from the early days of cinematic comedy. For this evening he will feature the movie magic of Buster Keaton possibly filmdoms greatest clown with a collection of his greatest hits. Weaving his musical magic from scene to scene Jeff will provide an unforgettable evening of education, entertainment, and above all laughter! Whitchurch & Ganarew Memorial Hall, Ross on Wye. Link
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