Live Screenings 2021


 

May

18 May

general 1The General (Dir. Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, 1926)  (Screening format – DCP, 75mins)  Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made and one of the most revered comedies of the silent era, Buster Keaton’s effortless masterpiece sees hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that highlight Keaton’s boundless, innovative wit and joyful, lighthearted dexterity, to reclaim the train and thereby save the South. Find out more at  busterkeaton.com . With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  BFI Southbank, London Link

19 May

siren of the tropics 6Siren of the Tropics (Les Siren des Tropiques) (Dir. Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant, Fr, 1927)  (Screening format – video, 86mins) Josephine Baker was an American-born dancer and entertainer who later became a French citizen, World War II resistance agent and a civil rights activist. In 1926 she caused a sensation at the Folies Bergère in Paris with her improvised fusion of ballet, Broadway kicks, tap and African dance styles. She was also the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, making her debut in the 1927 silent film Siren Of The Tropics (1927). In the film, Baker plays a native girl named Papitou, who falls in love with a young engineer. When he returns to Paris and his fiancée,  Papitou follows. The film is now best remembered for Baker’s exceptional dance performances, but it has much more to offer. Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk  With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

22 May

steamboat bill jr 6Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – digital 4k,  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).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  BFI Southbank, London Link

29 May

GeneralThe General (Dir. Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, 1926)  (Screening format – DCP, 75mins)  Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made and one of the most revered comedies of the silent era, Buster Keaton’s effortless masterpiece sees hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that highlight Keaton’s boundless, innovative wit and joyful, lighthearted dexterity, to reclaim the train and thereby save the South. Find out more at  busterkeaton.com . With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  BFI Southbank, London Link

June

3 June

steamboat bill jr 3Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – digital 4k,  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).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London Link

5 June

siren of the tropics 1927 1Siren of the Tropics (Les Siren des Tropiques) (Dir. Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant, Fr, 1927)  (Screening format – video, 86mins) Josephine Baker was an American-born dancer and entertainer who later became a French citizen, World War II resistance agent and a civil rights activist. In 1926 she caused a sensation at the Folies Bergère in Paris with her improvised fusion of ballet, Broadway kicks, tap and African dance styles. She was also the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, making her debut in the 1927 silent film Siren Of The Tropics (1927). In the film, Baker plays a native girl named Papitou, who falls in love with a young engineer. When he returns to Paris and his fiancée,  Papitou follows. The film is now best remembered for Baker’s exceptional dance performances, but it has much more to offer. Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk  With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

17 June

metropolis 11Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927) (Screening format –not known , 149 mins ) Made in Germany during the Weimar period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the metropolis poster 2wealthy son of the city’s ruler, and Maria (Brigitte Helm), a poor worker, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichmarks, making it the most expensive film ever released up to that point. It is regarded as a pioneering work of science fiction and is among the most influential films of all time. Following its world premiere in 1927, half an hour was cut from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and lost to the world. Eighty years later a spectacular discovery was made when the footage Metropoliswas found in a small, dusty museum in Buenos Aires. The film was then painstakingly reconstructed and digitally restored so that at last audiences could see the iconic futuristic fairy tale as Lang had envisioned it. Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented by Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, Harrogate Theatre and Harrogate Film Society.  With live musical accompaniment by Frame Ensemble featuring Irine Røsnes (violin), Liz Hanks (cello), Trevor Bartlett (percussion) and Jonny Best (piano).  Odeon Harrogate  Link

20 June

laurel and hardy 2Funny Business  An hour of classic silent film comedy featuring Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Film titles to be confirmed.  An event to commemorate the centenary of Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House.  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonny BestAbbeydale Picture House, SheffieldLink  

brilliant biographThe Brilliant Biograph – Earliest Moving Images of Europe 1897-1902  Immerse yourself in the sights and sensations of Europe a hundred and twenty years ago. These fifty one-minute films each record a minute of real life from over a century ago. Filmed across Europe from Vatican City, Venice, Amsterdam, and Berlin, to Newcastle, Windsor, and Southampton, each film is a time-capsule from the vanished world of Victorian Europe. Shot on extra-large  68mm film in the unique Mutoscope camera, the images have an eye-popping sharpness and dazzling detail. These fifty films are from the unique collections of 68mm Mutoscope and Biograph films in the collections at Eye Filmmuseum (Netherlands) and the British Film Institute.  An event to commemorate the centenary of Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House.  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Frame Ensemble  bringing this extraordinary series of films alive with an improvised score performed by Irine Røsnes (violin), Liz Hanks (cello), Trevor Bartlett (percussion) and Jonny Best (piano).   Abbeydale Picture House, SheffieldLink 

general 3The General  (Dir. Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, 1926)  (Screening format – not known, 75mins)  Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made and one of the most revered comedies of the silent era, Buster Keaton’s effortless masterpiece sees hapless Southern railroad engineer Johnny Gray (Keaton) facing off against Union soldiers during the American Civil War. When Johnny’s fiancée, Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), is accidentally taken away while on a train stolen by Northern forces, Gray pursues the soldiers, using various modes of transportation in comic action scenes that Generalhighlight Keaton’s boundless, innovative wit and joyful, lighthearted dexterity, to reclaim the train and thereby save the South. Find out more at  busterkeaton.com .  An event to commemorate the centenary of Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House.  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Trevor Bartlett (percussion) and Jonny Best (piano).   Abbeydale Picture House, SheffieldLink

woman one longs for 3The Woman That Men Yearn For (aka Die Frau, nach der man sich sehnt,  ) (Dir, Curtis Bernhard, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 78mins) The dreamy Charles Leblanc (Oskar Sima), about to marry into a wealthy steel-making family, glimpses Stascha (Marlene Dietrich) and her companion Karoff (Fritz Kortner) as they pause for a drink at a bar in his small southern France town. They meet again on the train taking him and his wife on their honeymoon. woman men long for tOverwhelmed by Stascha’s sexuality, and ignoring his distraught new wife, Leblanc agrees to help her escape from the domineering Karoff, setting in motion a chain of obsessive, destructive events.  Long before von Sternberg brought us Dietrich as Lola Lola in The Blue Angel, the actress had already created her femme fatale persona with this, her first starring role.  Although made on something of a shoestring budget and wholly studio shot, the film benefits from excellent direction from Bernhardt, Dietrich smoulders superbly and the rest of the cast are excellent.  Unfortunately the film was released just as audiences were clamouring for sound films and as a result it was not particularly successful. But this is a welcome opportunity to see this rarely screened classic which marked an important milestone in Dietrich’s career development Find out more at silentfilm.org  An event to commemorate the centenary of Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House.  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Frame Ensemble featuring an improvised score performed by Irine Røsnes (violin), Liz Hanks (cello), Trevor Bartlett (percussion) and Jonny Best (piano).   Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield. Link

22 June

steamboat bill jr 1Steamboat Bill Jr   (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – digital 4k,  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).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  With live piano accompaniment by Costas Fotopoulos.  BFI Southbank, London Link

July

16 July

laurel_hardy_420_228Neil Brand Presents Laurel And Hardy From their earliest days on opposite sides of the Atlantic in Music Hall and on the stage, to their individual comedy films, acclaimed silent film composer/pianist and TV presenter Neil Brand will tell the Liberty_1929touching story of the world’s greatest comedy team, who could not have been two more different men! Fully illustrated with stills, clips (both silent and sound) and Neil’s superlative piano accompaniment and culminating in two of the Boys’ best silent short films, Big Business and Liberty, this is a show that promises gales of laughter throughout, as well as getting under the skin of two warm, funny men who continue to make the world laugh when it needs it most. Presented as part of the Budleigh Music Festival.  Narration and live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  St Peter’s Church, Budleigh SaltertonLink

August

10 August

nosferatu 3Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) A German Expressionist horror masterpiece starring Max Shreck as the vampire Count Orlok.  The film was an unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel.  Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaption and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed.  However, a few prints survived and the film came to be regarded as an inspirational master work of the cinema. In the film, Count Orlok travels across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at wikipedia.org Presented by the Lucky Dog Picturehouse.  With live piano accompaniment by Sam Watts.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

11 August

nosferatu 2Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) A German Expressionist horror masterpiece starring Max Shreck as the vampire Count Orlok.  The film was an unauthorised adaption of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel.  Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaption and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed.  However, a few prints survived and the film came to be regarded as an inspirational master work of the cinema. In the film, Count Orlok travels across Europe leaving a trail of death in his wake.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved.  Find out more at wikipedia.org Presented by the Lucky Dog Picturehouse.  With live piano accompaniment by Sam Watts.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link