January

 

 

 

 


 

8 January

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache (Dir. Pamela B Green, US, 2018) + Shorts (Screening format – DCP, 105mins) Alice Guy-Blaché was first female pioneer filmmaker of the early days of cinema. She understood the potential of the newly-invented cinematograph as a powerful narrative tool and was one of the first ever filmmakers to make films with a plot. Despite her prolific career (over 1000 films) and invaluable contribution to the history of cinema, Alice Guy-Blaché was largely erased from history…until now. Narrated by Jodie Foster, this fascinating documentary tells her story from the beginnings as Gaumont secretary, to her eclectic 20-year career in the film industry.  Find out more at benaturalthemovie.com.  The screening will be followed by a number of Guy-Blaché’s short films and a panel discussion.   BFI Southbank, London Link

The Narrow Trail (Dir. Lamber Hillyer/William S Hart, US, 1917) (Screening format – 16mm, 68mins) When Ice Harding (William S Hart), leader of a gang of outlaws, captures an attractive wild pony he names it King and the two become fast friends. Single handed he holds up a stage coach and robs its occupants. Among the passengers is Bates (Milton Ross), a notorious San Francisco saloon keeper, and his niece Betty (Sylvia Breamer), a pretty girl, who is used to lure men to the resort. When Ice Harding again meets Betty in Saddle City they become acquainted, she believing him to be a wealthy rancher. When she and Bates return to San Francisco, Ice follows, and that is just the start of his troubles.  Find out more at giornatedelcinemamuto.it.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  Introduced by acclaimed film historian Kevin Brownlow.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

11 January

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.  Contemporary, Nottingham Link

12 January

 The Good Bad Man (Dir. Allan Dwan, US, 1916  ) +  The Fear (Dir. Alan Dwan, US, 1912) (Screening format – 35mm, 50/15 mins )   The Good Bad Man finds Douglas Fairbanks plays a cowboy drifter who calls himself “Passin’ Through.” Orphaned at birth, he becomes a Robin-Hood-like bandit, robbing the rich so that he can finance a home for unwanted children. Passin’ Through has a run-in with the leader of a gang of outlaws called The Wolf, played by Triangle’s regular heavy Sam de Grasse, who it turns out was responsible for his father’s death. He also meets and falls in love with the daughter of one of the outlaws (Bessie Love). The film is is among Fairbanks’s earliest pictures to explore themes and ideas that recurred throughout his work — including issues of identity and a passion for the history of the American West.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  The Fear  is a melodramatic tale of love rivalries set amongst smugglers and cowboys.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

18 January

The Blinking Buzzards Society The UK Buster Keaton Society. Quarterly meeting of the society dedicated to the appreciation of the silent comedian. After a selection of Keaton shorts  the second half will be a screening of Seven Chances (1925).  With recorded score.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

19 January

One A.M. (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1916) + One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920) + Big Business (Dir. James W Horne/Leo McCarey, US, 1928)  (Screening format – DCP, 34/19/19 mins) In One A.M., Charlie Chaplin is the drunken homeowner having a difficult time getting in to his own house after arriving back late at night.  One Week sees Buster and his new bride struggling with a pre-fabricated home unaware that his bride’s former suitor has renumbered all of the boxes.  Find out more at wikipedia.orgBig Business sees Laurel and Hardy as two Christmas tree salesmen (in February!) who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner.  With live accompaniment by Guildhall School Jazz Musicians.  Barbican, London Link

23 January

Slapstick Divas  An evening of rarely seen silent film comedies starring outstanding female stars from this era  Prepare for a mix of celebration, laughter and discovery with a host of shorts featuring the superb Mabel Normand, Louise Fazenda, Dorothy Devore and Gale Henry among others Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from the European Silent Screen Virtuosi (Guenter A. Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Romano Todesco).  Curated by Steve Massa, Author of Slapstick Divas: The Women Of Silent Comedy. Hosted by comedian and writer Shappi Khorsandi.  Bristol Cathedral. Link

Keaton: Restored!  Celebrate the Great Stone Face as you’ve never seen him before in three classic shorts, each newly restored in 4K by Lobster Films of Paris. Titles include Keaton favourites ONE WEEK (1920) and HARD LUCK (1921). Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney.  Introduced by film editor and Keaton specialist Polly Rose (Bristol University).  Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

European Silent Clowns The US was by no means the only producer of silent comedy film in the 1910s and 20s. Europe was also developing its own, more expansive, form of comedy on screen.  Here film finder, preservationist and pianist Serge Bromberg shares some treasures from the archives,  with works by Georges Méliès, Max Linder and rare discoveries among them. Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment.  Introduced by Lobster Films’ Serge Bromberg    Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

Suffragettes in Silent Comedy A fascinating glimpse at a series of early British silent comedies inspired by the Suffragette movement and exploring how those portrayals look to modern audiences. Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney. Hosted by award-winning journalist Samira Ahmed and stand-up comedian Lucy Porter.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

24 January

Forgotten Clowns: Douglas Maclean  One A Minute  (Dir: Jack Nelson,  US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 72 mins) Douglas Maclean was one of the biggest stars of light comedies in American silent film but most of his 23 features are now lost, incomplete or inaccessible and so his name, face and work are virtually unknown today.  But One A Minute has been preserved by the US’s Library of Congress and is showing here in a new restoration by Undercrank Productions. In it Maclean plays a young lawyer who returns to his home town determined to save the family drug store. His plan includes marketing what he thinks is a fake cure-all only to discover his secret formula is more effective than expected.   Find out more at wikipedia.org  Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney. Introduced by acclaimed film historian Kevin Brownlow.   Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

Rediscoveries and Revelations More discoveries by the indefatigable film collector and Slapstick stalwart Anthony Saffrey, including rarities from the brief but brilliant career of America’s first international comedy star, John Bunny and Dane Lau Lauritzen Sr’s 1921 Chicken Chaser plus new insights about the forgotten British star of French theatre and film comedy, Aimée Campton.    Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment from Daan van den Hurk. Introduced by acclaimed film historian David Robinson.   Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

So This is Paris (Dir: Ernst Lubitsch, US,  1926) (Screening format – not known, 80mins)  A clever American silent comedy from Germany’s master director Ernst Lubitsch starring Monte Blue and Patsy Ruth Miller. Paul is happily married to Suzanna, living together in a quiet suburb.  Then Suzanna discovers their new neighbours are expressive dancers with revealing outfits and demands that Paul complain to them about their lack of morality. But when Paul knocks on their door, he meets an old flame. Four-way complications result and are only resolved finally in an astounding Charleston sequence!  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.   Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

Stan or Ollie: Restored!   Serge Bromberg and his company Lobster Films have been championing the restoration of rare and lost solo Laurel & Hardy films for the past decade. Here, he shares newly restored shorts from before ‘the boys’ formed their world beloved double act and stories of how these gems were found and brought back to screen life. Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol Link

 Serge Bromberg’s Retour de Flamme (Saved from the Flames) Lobster Films’ boss Serge Bromberg is a legend among early film fans – a dedicated film historian who scours attics, flea markets, and other serendipitous places searching for lost cinema classics and curiosities; an expert conservator who collaborates worldwide on film restorations; and a born showman who, through his now-famous Retour de Flamme (saved from the flames) presentations makes movie-going a thing of wonder and excitement again.  In this event , Serge introduces some of his network’s most recent and exciting discoveries, including a special Laurel & Hardy surprise!  Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live piano accompaniment.  Watershed Cinema, Bristol Link

Silent Comedy Gala At The Cathedral A gala night of movies and music showcasing the talents of some of the all-time silent comedy greats: Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Highlights of the night will include a complete screening of Keaton’s comedy masterpiece OUR HOSPITALITY (1923) in lovingly restored 4K glory plus shorts from Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin.   Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from the European Silent Screen Virtuosi conducted by Guenter A. Buchwald. Introduced by actor and silent film enthusiast Paul McGann.  Bristol Cathedral  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.  Contemporary Arts, Dundee Link

25 January

Forgotten Clowns:  Marie Prevost   On to Reno (Dir. James Cruze, USA, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 70mins) When Vera and Bud (Marie Prevost and Cullen Landis), a young married couple, become financially hardpressed, Vera accepts an offer from Mrs. Holmes, a rich matron who wishes Vera to impersonate her in Reno to fulfill the residence requirements for her divorce. When Bud finds she has gone to Reno, he immediately suspects that she plans to divorce him. Mr. Holmes goes to Reno, hoping to effect a last-minute reconciliation with his wife and when Bud and Mrs Holmes arrive the comedic chaos is complete.  Find out more at wikipedia.org  Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live musical accompaniment from Guenter A. Buchwald, Romano Todesco and Frank Bockius.. Introduced by the Kennington Bioscope’s own Michelle Facey .   Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

Chaplin at First National   Film historian and Chaplin biographer David Robinson introduces two of the films made by Charlie during the time when he was signed to First National (1918 to 1923) and progressing from two-reelers to films of short feature length, culminating with THE KID.  In THE IDLE CLASS (1921), Chaplin plays both a rich, neglectful and alcoholic husband and the double his wife mistakes him for, the Tramp.  In PAYDAY (1922) after a difficult day at work, Charlie tries to enjoy his pay day but can he do so without his wife knowing? Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.   With live musical accompaniment.   Watershed Cinema, Bristol   Link

Stephen Merchant’s Laurel & Hardy Classics   Bristol-born actor, comedian, director and writer Stephen Merchant explains why he ranks Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as cinema’s all-time greatest double act and discusses the secrets of the duo’s timeless appeal, with stand-up, broadcaster and fellow fan, Robin Ince, with the aid of their clips.  With an audience Q&A session to follow.   Presented as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival.     Redgrave Theatre, Clifton, Bristol    Link

26 January

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. Celtic Connections Festival, Tron Theatre, Glasgow  Link

29 January

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

South West Silents Club Night  SWS’ first event of the year is a rescheduled look at the career of legendary ‘It’ girl Clara Bow with  screening of one of her most iconic films Presented by South West Silents.  With recorded score.  Lansdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol Link

 31 January

Nosferatu (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 masterwork 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   With live piano accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Festival Theatre Edinburgh Link