February

 

 

 

 

 


 2 February

The Big Parade (Dir. King Vidor, US, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 151mins)  One of the earliest films produced by a newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Big Parade was a huge box office smash (MGM’s highest grossing silent feature) and cemented King Vidor as a prestige filmmaker. The story of idle American James Apperson (John Gilbert), who is deployed to Europe when the USA join WWI, its plot points were heavily borrowed from 1924 Broadway play What Price Glory?. The Big Parade wraps every WWI trope – the unlikely hero, the French girl, the comradeship, the horrors of battle – into a tidy narrative. But these were not yet clichés in 1925 and it’s easy to see why this powerful, funny, romantic anti-war film, scripted by Laurence Stallings and Harry Behn, became a model against which all WWI dramas would be measured, it is a film full of strange, wonderful moments and impressive scenes of battle.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com  Introduced by author Michael Hammond.  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  BFI Southbank, London Link

4 – 22 February

Chaplin: Birth Of A Tramp For over 100 years, Charlie Chaplin has been the world’s best-loved clown. His brilliant comic creation of “The Little Tramp” is the first and most recognisable cinematic icon in history. But his remarkable story of stardom and success has a darker side. Raised in the horrific, grinding poverty of a Victorian slum, Charlie never knew the security of a stable family. Whilst his parents destroyed themselves with disastrous ambition and unshakeable vice, Charlie was thrown at the mercy of the workhouse. Desperate to escape his feral existence on the streets of South London, Charlie became captivated by the shining lights of music hall, and gradually began to see a way out. Critically-acclaimed theatre group Arrows & Traps return with an examination of the relationship between experience and creativity, and invite you to discover how Chaplin spun personal tragedy into universal comedy, in a psychological exploration of one of the world’s most remarkable lives. Presented by the Arrows & Traps theatre group.  The Brockley Jack Theatre, Crofton Park, London  SE4  Link

5 February

South (Dir. Frank Hurley, UK/Aus, 1919) (Screening format – 35mm, 88mins). Australian filmmaker Frank Hurley’s record of Shackleton’s 1914-17 Antarctic expedition is also a document of life – human and otherwise – striving to survive in the most adverse climatic conditions imaginable. More than a mere chronicle of an epic undertaking, the film is visually magnificent, its images of the vast frozen wilderness composed with a meticulous attention to framing and light.  Restored with its original tinting and toning by the BFI National Archive and EYE Filmmuseum, this incredible film of true-life heroism and survival in the most formidable conditions is over a century old. It lives on as an enthralling testimony to the delicate balance between humanity and the natural world.Find out more at moviessilently.com   Introduced by the BFI’s Bryony Dixon.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

8 February

South (Dir. Frank Hurley, UK/Aus, 1919) (Screening format – 35mm, 88mins). Australian filmmaker Frank Hurley’s record of Shackleton’s 1914-17 Antarctic expedition is also a document of life – human and otherwise – striving to survive in the most adverse climatic conditions imaginable. More than a mere chronicle of an epic undertaking, the film is visually magnificent, its images of the vast frozen wilderness composed with a meticulous attention to framing and light.  Restored with its original tinting and toning by the BFI National Archive and EYE Filmmuseum, this incredible film of true-life heroism and survival in the most formidable conditions is over a century old. It lives on as an enthralling testimony to the delicate balance between humanity and the natural world.Find out more at moviessilently.com     With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London   Link

9 February

The Goldrush (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins)  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 moviessilently.com .  With recorded Chaplin score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Cyrano de Bergerac (Dir. Augusto Genina, It, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 90mins) The earliest film adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s classic tale of swashbuckling and unexpressed love, this 1923 version of the familiar French story (the nasally over-endowed poet, soldier and duelist Cyrano de Bergerac, his beloved Roxanne, her would-be lover Christian) features frame-by-frame Pathéchrome (Pathé Stencil Colour).  Introduced around 1904, this process resembled not so much natural color photography but rather painting-in-motion, which it basically was.  The film was projected frame by frame onto a ground glass screen, where a Mme. Thullier, the most famous stencil-color artist, selected the colors and traced, one color at a time with a device called a Pantograph, the area of each frame of film chosen for each of up to four colors. The Pantograph was essentially a mechanical linkage, at the other end of which was a knife which cut away the area of a stencil the size of the actual 35mm frame to be colored. These colors were then printed by a process similar to silk-screening successively through each of the four stencils upon a black-and-white print of the film.  Three years were devoted to coloring Cyrano de Bergerac, so that the film was not fully released until 1925! And because only a limited number of hand-colored prints were available the film did not receive the wide circulation necessary to establish its well-deserved place in the public memory as an outstanding classic of the screen.  Find out more at moviessilently.com With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Phoenix, East Finchley  Link

Finis Terrae (Dir. Jean Epstein, Fr, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 80 Mins) On a tiny island off Brittany two young men eke out a living by harvesting seaweed to burn for prized soda. When one of them cuts his thumb and an infection sets in, it challenges the boundaries of their relationship and galvanises the neighbouring community. Jean Epstein’s timeless narrative about survival in extremis is underpinned by avant-garde techniques and deeply resonant images, such as the recurrent lighthouse or the sight of women sheltering by rocks like giant black birds. Even without sound you can almost hear the ocean. This is a film about the possibilities of cinema and anyone thinking of picking up a camera should watch and be inspired. Find out more at worldscinema.org. Presented by South West Silents.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol Link

City Girl  (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 89mins).  Murnau made three silent movies for Fox in Hollywood. The first, Sunrise, is universally acclaimed; the second one, Four Devils, no longer exists; and the third, City Girl, was for years known only through a re-edited, semi-sound version which Murnau disowned. But the restored full silent City Girl is a lyrical masterwork of pastoral realism, in which Lem, a simple farm boy from Minnesota (Charles Farrell), in Chicago to sell the family’s wheat crop, meets and marries Kate (Mary Duncan), a waitress yearning for an idyllic life in the countryside. When they return to Minnesota, however, they’re met with hostility by coarse, lascivious harvesters and Lem’s overbearing father. It is a rural melodrama of great beauty and honesty, and in many ways was the inspiration for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978).  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.    With live musical accompaniment from the Dodge Brothers. Regent Centre, Christchurch Link

11 February

Phantom Of The Opera (Dir. Rupert Julian, 1925)  (Screening format – not known, 103mins)  A title that needs no introduction, The Phantom of the Opera has spawned many remakes, remasters and sequels. This original film version, produced with moments of early Technicolour, sees Lon Chaney, the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ perform one of his most iconic roles. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this title a benchmark in the American silent film era. The film was a critical and commercial success upon release, and still stands as an important film in cinematic history to this day, with press quotes from the time labeling the film an ‘ultra-fantastic melodrama’ (New York Times), ‘produced on a stupendous scale’ (Moving Picture World) and ‘probably the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened’ (Variety).  The mysterious phantom (Lon Chaney) is a vengeful composer living in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House, determined to promote the career of  the singer he loves (Mary Philbin).  Famed for the phantom’s shock unmasking, incredible set designs and the masked ball sequence, it still packs a punch. Find out more at wikipedia.org  With live musical accompaniment by David Briggs.  Solihull School Chapel, Solihull Link

 12 February

The Whipping Boss (Dir.  J P McGowan , US, 1924) + Pruning The Movies (Dir. ?  , US, 1915)  (Screening format – 16mm, ?/? mins)  The Whipping Boss is an American drama directed by the pioneering Hollywood actor and director P. J. McGowan and written by Jack Boyle, author of a series of short stories about reformed safecracker and jewel thief Boston Blackie. The film features Wade Boteler, Eddie Phillips and the director himself, and is based on a real-life incident that happened in Oregon. Prison inmates are leased by the state to a lumber company, which makes them work under atrocious and dangerous conditions and treats them as virtual slave labourers. Find out more at imdb.com Pruning The Movies is an early humorous take on the faceless individuals who sit in judgement over what should be censored out of the films we see.  Find out more at  imdb.comPresented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + shorts (Screening format – not known, 60 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.org.  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House  With live musical accompaniment.  Crescent – The Vaults, Waterloo, London Link

13 February

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.  Presented by South West Silents.  With live organ accompaniment by David Bednall.  Bristol Cathedral Link

14 February

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + shorts (Screening format – not known, 60 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.org.  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House  With live musical accompaniment. Kenton Theatre, Henley on Thames    Link

Rob Roy (Dir. William Kellino, UK, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) Rarely screened, this impressive biopic of one of Scotland’s best-known outlaws stars David Hawthorne in full tartan kilt and tammy and tells the story of the MacGregors in the early 18th century.  Shot entirely on location in the Trossachs and nearby Stirling Castle, whilst the 10th Duke of Argyll gave permission to the production to film on his estates, the film makes liberal use of Scots for the intertitles (“dinnae fash yersel”) and includes epic fight scenes, with over 800 men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders enlisted as extras in a dramatic battle.  Find out more at imdb.com With live musical accompaniment by David Allison.  Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh  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. Spring Bank Arts Centre, New Mills Derbyshire Link

15 February

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, Great Longstone, Derbyshire Link

19 February

The Goldrush (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 72mins)  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 moviessilently.com . Introduced by film historian and academic Professor Ian Christie.  With recorded Chaplin score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

SWS Club Night presents – Ivan Mosjoukine  South West Silents looks at the career of Russian heart throb Ivan Mosjoukine featuring one of his ledgendary starring roles Lansdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol Link

21 February

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. Find out more at rogerebert.com.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonny Best.  Truck Theatre, Hull Link

26 February

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + shorts (Screening format – not known, 60 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.org.  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House  With live musical accompaniment.  Crescent – The Vaults, Waterloo, London 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. Beadles School, Hampshire Link

27 February

Andy Warhol’s Screen-tests – Reel #10  ( Dir Andy Warhol,  US 1964-66) (Screening format – 16mm , 40mins)  Between 1964-66, Warhol would ask some visitors to the Factory to sit in front of his tripod-mounted 16mm Bolex camera, face forward, and hold still. They each sat for three minutes; the films that resulted are known as the Screen Tests.  The sitters’ responses to this ordeal, and their decisions about how to perform themselves for the camera, make these films hugely revealing. Some are reduced to weeping; some are overcome with self-consciousness; some meet the camera with an equal force of personality. The sitters in Reel #10 include Lou Reed and Edie Sedgwick.  Find out more at wikipedia.orgWith live musical accompaniment by DJ and producer Leif.  Barbican, London Link

28 February

The Golem: How He Came Into The World  (Dir. Carl Boese/Paul Wegener, Ger, 1920) (Screening Format – DCP, 86mins) The only one of three films directed by and starring Paul Wegener concerning the Golem, a figure from Jewish folklore, to have survived.  This is, along with The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), one of the key works of Expressionism, as well as being one of the earliest and most influential horror films. In medieval Prague, Rabbi Loew fears disaster for the Jewish community at the hands of the Christian Emperor. To defend his people, he creates from clay the Golem, whose awakening leads to a series of disasters in this visual feast.  Find out more at filmmonthly.com .  Presented by South West Silents.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Arnolfini, Bristol  Link