Live Screenings 2021


31 July

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 53 min 1972 re-edited version) Chaplin’s first full-length feature is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  With recorded score. Prince Charles Cinema, London Link

August

1 August

Who Was William Friese-Greene.  As we mark the centenary of his death, it’s time to reassess the place of William Friese-Greene – Bristol-born photographer, inventor and pioneer of cinematography – in cinema history. For much of the twentieth-century, the contribution of William Friese-Greene to cinema was disputed. Having famously died at a meeting of cinema exhibitors with only the price of a cinema ticket in his pocket, cinemas around the country shut down their projectors to mark his funeral. The film The Magic Box – made for the Festival of Britain and released just before it closed in 1951 – told the story of Friese-Greene and his pioneering work and claimed him to be one of the inventors of moving images. But by the time a plaque was unveiled at his birthplace in Bristol to mark the centenary of his birth in 1955, Friese-Greene’s reputation had begun to decline and some film historians said he was overrated, his inventions failed to move the technology forward, and he took ideas from others to claim as his own. Find out more at theguardian.com  A discussion between film director, historian and Friese-Greene expert Peter Domankiewicz and writer and commentator Sir Christopher Frayling, one of Britain’s leading writers on cinema, chaired by Bryony Dixon the BFI’s curator of silent film.  Arnolfini, Bristol Link

The Open Road (Dir. Claude Friese-Greene, UK, 1924) (Digital, 65 mins)  In the summer of 1924 pioneer cinematographer Claude Friese-Greene (son of Bristol-born William Friese-Greene) set out from Cornwall with the aim of recording life on the road between Land’s End and John O’Groats with a unique colour film technique. Originally Friese-Greene’s The Open Road was intended to be shown weekly in cinemas. The 26 short episodes combine to form a unique social document of life in Britain between the wars.  Friese-Greene takes us on a journey that encompasses Plymouth, a hunt on Exmoor, the docks of Cardiff, the pleasure beach at Blackpool and more. In Scotland, he records shipbuilding on the Clyde, the banks of Loch Lomond and the castles of Stirling and Edinburgh before concluding on the busy streets of London.  The film has undergone a revolutionary restoration by the British Film Institute that was generously supported by the Eric Anker-Petersen Charity. Find out more at wikipedia.org  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Arnolfini, Bristol Link

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 WattsWilton’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 WattsWilton’s Music Hall, London Link

13 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 as part of the Putney Festival.  With live organ accompaniment by Nick Miller.  St Margaret’s Church, Putney   Link

15 August

The Wit And Wisdom Of A A Milne. Most of us know the stories and poems of A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh. Here is a rare chance to experience more of his unique humour in two silent comedies made a century ago, playing alongside the first film Lotte Reiniger made in England, illustrating Milne’s poem ‘The King’s Breakfast’.   Films are; The Bump (Dir,  Adrian Brunel. UK, 1920 28min).  A famous explorer gets lost in London; plus Bookworms(Dir. Adrian Brunel. UK, 1920 27min). A young man leaves a love letter in a zealously guarded girl’s library book; plus The King’s Breakfast(Dir Lotte Reiniger, UK, 1937,11min)  A king demands butter for his royal slice of bread.  Introduced by Bryony Dixon, curator of silent film at BFI.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

20 August

The Eagle (Dir. Clarence Brown, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) Based on the novel Dubrovsky by Alexander Pushkin, Rudolph Valentino stars as the title character, a young Russian Cossack officer who rejects the Czarina’s (Louise Dresser) amorous attention and is promptly branded a deserter in this silent tale of love and revenge. On the eve of his dismissal he learns of his father’s ruin–his father had sent a letter pleading for the Czarina’s aid against Kyrilla (James Marcus), a gluttonous and treacherous neighbor who has stolen the family’s estate. Sentenced to death with a reward on his head for shunning the lusty Czarina, Vladimir escapes into the countryside and becomes the Black Eagle, a dashing masked vigilante who seeks to avenge the death of his father. But things get complicated when he falls in love with Mascha Troekouroff (Vilma Banky), Kyrilla’s daughter.  Escaping for once his ‘Latin Lover’ persona, Valentino delivers a charismatic and seductive performance in this full-scale romantic adventure that shines with early Hollywood’s technical advancements and stylish production values.  Find out more at iamhist.net. Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Arnolfini, Bristol  Link

September

26 September

nasty-women-01Nasty Women: A Comic Tribute  –  A selection of shorts celebrating women behaving badly in the silent era.  (Dir. Various) (Screening format – 35mm/digital, 100mins)  Donald Trump’s muttered ‘nasty woman’ insult was a rallying cry for an extensive international programme of funny films featuring appallingly insubordinate and anarchic women. This is a selection from the ‘Nasty Women’ programme by Maggie Hennefeld and Laura Horak with one or two BFI favourites. This much-loved subject of the silent era is just as shocking and hilarious today. Among the pranks are Leontine setting the kitchen on fire while flooding it at the same time, and Texas Guinan proving you can get a man with a gun!   Introduced by Bryony Dixon, the BFI’s curator of silent film.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link