June

 

 

 

 


 

1 June

Piccadilly (Dir E A Dupont, UK, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 92 mins)  A film noir before the term was in use, uncredited German director E.A. Dupont’s Piccadilly is one of the true greats of British silent films, on a par with the best of Anthony Asquith or Alfred Hitchcock during this period. Valentine Wilmot (Jameson Thomas) owns a nightclub featuring dancers Mabel (Gilda Gray) and Vic (Cyril Ritchard). After a confrontation with Wilmot, Vic quits performing at the club. When the joint starts losing business, a desperate Wilmot hires former dishwasher Shosho (Anna May Wong) as a dancer. She is an instant hit and forms a rapport with Wilmot, which makes both Mabel and Shosho’s friend (King Ho Chang) jealous, leading to a mysterious murder.  A stylish evocation of Jazz Age London, with dazzlingly fluid cinematography and scenes ranging from the opulent West End to the seediness of Limehouse. One of the pinnacles of British silent cinema, Piccadilly is a sumptuous show business melodrama seething with sexual and racial tension – with an original screenplay by Arnold Bennett.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham Link

The Cruise of the Jasper B (Dir. James W. Horne, USA, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 60mins)  Jerry Cleggert (Rod La Rocque) is a good-natured descendant of an 18th-century pirate who resides aboard the rickety ship Jasper B.   Informed that in order to receive a large inheritance, he must marry on his twenty-fifth birthday Jerry soon meets his ideal would-be bride Agatha Fairhaven (Mildred Harris) but complications arise when the dastardly Reginald Maltravers (Snitz Edwards) attempts to cheat them out of their inheritance and a race to the alter is on.  Find out more at moviessilently.com.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

Der Steinerne Reiter (The Stone Rider) (Dir. Fritz Wendhausen, Germany 1923) (Screening format – not known, 86mins) In a distant Teutonic village an elderly man tells the villagers that the valley where they now happily live was once ruled by a cruel despot (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) who demanded the right of the first night with the bride of one of his vassals.  When the bridegroom refuses there is a fight and the bride is accidentally killed. The bride’s sister (Lucie Mannheim) swears revenge on the despot but gradually begins to see him in a new light.  However, the other villagers remain intent upon killing him and a tense chase ensues in this gripping but little known fantasy-horror film based upon an idea suggested by Metropolis script writer Thea van Harbou.  Find out more at wikipedia.org Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

The Price of Pleasure (Dir. Edward Sloman, USA, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 70mins) Linnie Randall, a shopgirl (Virginia Valli), is bored with her humdrum life. Her complaints are overheard by the wealthy Garry Schuyler (Norman Kerry), who is disguised as a mechanic. He asks her out to dinner and, to her delight, he calls in a limousine. The two of them wind up spending a whirlwind week together and marry at the end of it. Their happiness is ruined, however, when Schuyler’s aristocratic mother (Kate Lester) loudly voices her disapproval of her new daughter-in-law. She makes life so miserable for Linnie that she runs away…but that’s just the start of her problems.  Find out more at catalog.afi.com    Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link

35mm Shorts from the David Eve Collection – Programme One  (Screening format – 35mm)  David Eve has kindly allowed the Kennington Bioscope access to his collection of rare short films, all of which derive from unique surviving copies now preserved on 35mm at George Eastman House. This programme will include fiction and nonfiction items from the USA, Great Britain and France, among them comedies and dramas from pioneering companies Selig, Clarendon and Kalem plus a hitherto missing two-reeler from the Mack Sennett studio. Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London  Link.

Beauty’s Worth (Dir. Robert G. Vignola, USA, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 112 mins)   Prudence Cole (Marion Davies), a Quaker brought up by two conservative aunts, Elizabeth (Martha Mattox) and Cynthia Whitney (Aileen Manning), is happy in her demure un-sophistication until Henry Garrison (Hallam Cooley) and his mother (Truly Shattuck), formerly neighbors and friends of her family, visit the Whitneys. Henry, snobbish and flirtatious, trifles with her affections and secretly despises her manner of dress. Mrs. Garrison invites Prudence for a visit to a fashionable seaside resort, and Henry, ashamed of her appearance, neglects her for Amy Tillson (June Elvidge). But when bohemian artist  Cheyne Rovein (Forrest Stanley)  selects Prudence for the leading role in elaborate charades which he stages, opinions begin to change in this romantic comedy-drama.  Find out more at imdb.comPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link.

Laila (Dir. George Schnéevoigt, Nor, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 146mins) Without doubt one of the highlights of this year’s Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest), this epic-scaled romantic drama tells the story of Laila, separated as a baby from her Norwegian parents and raised amongst the nomadic Sami people. Returned to her birth family Laila grows to maturity, torn between the Christian settlers and the reindeer-herding community who raised her as one of their own.  Director Schnéevoigt (cinematographer on a number of Carl Dreyer films), captures the imposing vastness of the stunning snow and ice landscape, the fascinating way of life of a still beleaguered minority people, and the intimate narrative of a father who sacrifices his own happiness for that of his daughter. Find out more at parallax-view.org.   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link.

Angora Love (Dir. Lewis R Foster, US, 1929) + You’re Darn Tootin’ (Dir. E L Kennedy, US, 1928)  (Screening format – not known, 21/20 mins)   In Angora Love, Laurel and Hardy are adopted by a runaway goat, whose noise and aroma in turn get the goat of their suspicious landlord. Attempts to bathe the smelly animal result in a waterlogged free-for-all.  Find out more at  laurelandhardycentral.com.  In You’re Darn Tootin’, Members of a municipal band, Stan and Ollie seem to be always following someone else’s lead, rather than that of the temperamental conductor. Soon they’re out of a job, as well as their lodgings when the landlady finds out they’ve been fired. The boys try their luck at being street musicians, but the tiffs they get into with each other soon spread to passersby in general, until the street is filled with men pulling each other’s pants off.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented as part of the Herne Hill Free Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment from Neil Brand.  Station Square, Herne Hill Link

2 June

Souls For Sale (Dir. Rupert Hughes, USA, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 90mins) The wonderfully named Remember ‘Mem’ Steddon (Eleanor Boardman) is a wide-eyed girl from a rural town who literally leaps off the train on her honeymoon to escape her new husband (Lew Cody). He swept her off her feet in a whirlwind courtship but now he fills her with loathing; and no wonder, because he’s a sneaky operator with a skinny mustache and a history of marrying women and killing them for their insurance money.  But what is a girl to do? Stranded in the desert Remember staggers under the burning sun and is close to death when she’s rescued by a sheik on horseback. Is he a mirage? Not at all. He’s an actor making a film. Poking fun at Valentino, a title card notes: “The usual sheik led the usual captive across the usual desert.” The girl is nursed back to life by the filmmakers and taken to Los Angeles. But that’s when her troubles start in this comedy-drama with guest appearances by numerous Hollywood notables including Charlie Chaplin and Erich von Stroheim.  Find out more at moviessilently.com   Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

The Old Swimmin’ Hole (Dir. Joe De Grasse, USA, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 60mins) Based on the poem by James Whitcomb Riley, this is one of the few silent features to tell its story in entirely visual terms, without the aid of intertitles. Ezra (Charles Ray) is the prototypical rural youth — he’s frequently late for school and would just as soon skip it altogether in favor of fishing at the “old swimmin’ hole” with his pals. Ezra and a fat boy named Skinny (Lincoln Stedman) are rivals for Myrtle (Laura LaPlante, in one of her first notable roles). Myrtle favors Skinny, which results in various battles between the two boys. But will Ezra’s chances with Myrtle improve at the annual farmers’ picnic? Find out more at imdb.com Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Common Ground (Dir. William C. de Mille, USA, 1916) (Screening format – not known, 50mins)  This was the sixth of Thomas Meighan’s eight starring films of 1916. Top billing, however, was bestowed upon Marie Doro here cast as a feisty little factory girl known as the Kid. When he tries to expose corrupt politician Mordant (Theodore Roberts) young Judge Evans (Meighan) is framed on a trumped-up criminal charge. His career in ruins, Evans finds himself persona non grata in the better social circles, thanks in great part to the machinations of his ex-fiancée, Doris (Mary Mersch)  who happens to be Mordant’s daughter. Looks like it will fall to The Kid to save the day.  Find out more at wikipedia.org Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

35mm Shorts from the David Eve CollectionA second programme of unique surviving copies of rare shorts by kind permission of collector David Eve. This selection will include examples of Pathé stencil colour alongside comedies and dramas from Edison, Vitagraph, Selig, Clarendon and Hepworth. Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

On to Reno (Dir. James Cruze, USA, 1928) (Screening format – not known, c60mins) 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 the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Monsieur Beaucaire (Dir. Sidney Olcott, USA, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) The Duke of Chartres (Rudolf Valentino)  is in love with Princess Henriette (Bebe Daniels), but she seemingly wants nothing to do with him. Eventually he grows tired of her insults and flees to England when the King insists that the two marry. He goes undercover as Monsieur Beaucaire, the barber of the French Ambassador, and finds that he enjoys the freedom of a commoner’s life. After catching the Duke of Winterset cheating at cards, he forces him to introduce him as a nobleman to Lady Mary, with whom he has become infatuated. But will his infatuation last or will Princess Henriette come round to returning his affections.  Find out more atimdb.com Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope’s fifth annual Silent Film Weekend.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

3 June

The Ancient Law (aka Das Alte Gesetz) (Dir. E A Dupont, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – DCP, 135 mins) In the mid 1800s in Galicia, Baruch Mayer (Ernst Deutsch), yearns to become an actor. Despite the expectation to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an orthodox rabbi, he breaks from tradition and leaves the shtetl in pursuit of his dream. Whilst performing in a traveling theatre troupe he meets the Austrian archduchess, Elisabeth Theresia (Henny Porten), who falls in love with the young man. With her support he joins the renowned Vienna’s Burg Theatre company where he soon rises to fame.  “With its complex portrayal of orthodoxy and emancipation, E. A. Dupont’s period film marks a highpoint of Jewish filmmaking in Germany. This new restoration marks the first time that a version corresponding to the lost 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colourisation digitally restored.” – Berlinale 68.   Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With recorded Philippe Schoeller score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

4 June

The Cat’s Bridge (aka Betrayal aka Der Katzensteg) (Dir. Gerhard Lamprecht, Ger, 1927) (Screening format – 16mm, 124mins)  This superbly realised action film, set during the Napoleonic Wars, centres on a family divided by politics. While the son, a staunch Prussian, is horrified by his father’s treacherous support for the French, he equally condemns the local patriots’ mindless spirit of revenge. The ‘Prussian film’ was a conservative genre, but Lamprecht’s take is intriguingly nuanced.  Based on the book by Hermann Sudermann, it portrays a post-war society roiled by internal strife. With his historical melodrama, Gerhard Lamprecht was advocating for thoughtfulness in place of a nationalist upsurge, and for additional fealty besides loyalty to country.  Find out more at berlinale.de.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

6 June

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 from musicians of the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival. Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate  Link

7 June

Different from the Others (aka Anders als die Andern) (Dir. Richard Oswald, Ger, 1919) (Screening format – DCP, 50mins)  Released in 1919, and banned in 1920, Different From The Others explores a doomed relationship between a master violinist (Conrad Veidt) and his male student (Fritz Schulz) as their relationship is uncovered and they become a target for blackmailers.   One of the first gay-themed films in the history of cinema, this powerful plea for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, co-written by pioneering sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, sparked riots and censorship. With a fearless performance from Veidt, it packs an emotional and intellectual punch – revealing both Weimar Berlin’s flourishing gay subculture and the devastating consequences of mainstream intolerance.  Banned by Weimar and burned by the Nazis, only an incomplete version of  the original film survives.  Find out more at nytimes.com .  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

10 June

Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness (aka Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück ) (Dir. Phil Jutzi, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 133mins)  Living precariously in a crowded Berlin tenement, old Mother Krause works hard to support her unemployed son and her daughter who has a communist boyfriend. This outstanding example of left-wing Weimar realism was inspired by Soviet cinema and the proletarian art of Heinrich Zille and Käthe Kollwitz. The performances feel fresh and modern, while Jutzi’s camera – out on location – captures rarely seen aspects of working-class life. Find out more at  silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With recorded Joachim Bärenz score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

11 June

Blu-ray Launch Event: Early Women Filmmakers Collection  An evening to celebrate the work of women filmmaker pioneers, including Alice Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber, Germaine Dulac and many more. This special event will include screenings of selected short films and extracts illustrating the innovative and boundary-pushing nature of their work, plus a discussion with guest speakers who will explore their individual approaches to filmmaking and their contributions to the history of cinema.  BFI Southbank, London Link

13 June

Diary Of A Lost Girl (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 106mins) A masterpiece of the German silent era, Diary of a Lost Girl was the second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst a mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box (1929). Brooks plays Thymian Henning, a beautiful young woman raped by an unscrupulous character employed at her father’s pharmacy (played with gusto by Fritz Rasp, the degenerate villain of such Fritz Lang classics as Metropolis, Spione, and Frau im Mond). After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectations of marriage, the baby is torn from her care, and Thymian enters a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic sexual fantasies. Find out more at rogerebert.com.   Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With recorded Javier Pérez de Azpeitia score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

The Cat’s Bridge (aka Betrayal aka Der Katzensteg) (Dir. Gerhard Lamprecht, Ger, 1927) (Screening format – 16mm, 124mins)  This superbly realised action film, set during the Napoleonic Wars, centres on a family divided by politics. While the son, a staunch Prussian, is horrified by his father’s treacherous support for the French, he equally condemns the local patriots’ mindless spirit of revenge. The ‘Prussian film’ was a conservative genre, but Lamprecht’s take is intriguingly nuanced.  Based on the book by Hermann Sudermann, it portrays a post-war society roiled by internal strife. With his historical melodrama, Gerhard Lamprecht was advocating for thoughtfulness in place of a nationalist upsurge, and for additional fealty besides loyalty to country.  Find out more at berlinale.de.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

15 June

People on Sunday (Dir. Robert Siodmak/Edgar G Ulmer, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 74mins)  Famously, Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann worked with Siodmak on this landmark of realist filmmaking, in which non-professionals act out an ‘everyday’, uneventful story of several young Berliners using their Sunday to spend a flirtatious day together at a lake on the edge of the city. With its massive cast of unpaid extras enjoying the summer sun, this classic silent film feels remarkably modern. Find out more at archive.org.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With recorded Donald Sosin score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

Diary Of A Lost Girl (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 106mins) A masterpiece of the German silent era, Diary of a Lost Girl was the second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst a mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box (1929). Brooks plays Thymian Henning, a beautiful young woman raped by an unscrupulous character employed at her father’s pharmacy (played with gusto by Fritz Rasp, the degenerate villain of such Fritz Lang classics as Metropolis, Spione, and Frau im Mond). After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectations of marriage, the baby is torn from her care, and Thymian enters a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic sexual fantasies. Find out more at rogerebert.com.   Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live iano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

16 June

Hell’s Hinges (Dir. Charles Swickard, US, 1916) (Screening format – not known, 64mins) The Reverend Robert Henley is sent out to the Wild West town of Placer Center, better known as “Hell’s Hinges”, with his sister Faith (Clara Williams) accompanying him. Rev. Henley was strong-armed into becoming a man of the cloth by his mother and has little interest in his job, but Faith is a true believer. Hell’s Hinges  is an out-of-control center of crime and violence ruled by Silk Miller (Alfred Hollingsworth), who owns the dance hall and has no interest whatsoever in any moral reform in his seedy town. Gunfighter Blaze Tracy (William S Hart) has been called into town by Miller to help throw the do-gooders out. Tracy sums up his philosophy as “shoot first and do your disputin’ afterward”, but one look at pretty Faith and he falls in love. One talk from Faith and Tracy finds religion, too.  Unfortunately, Rev. Henley goes in exactly the opposite direction….. Hell’s Hinges has a cynical take on the Wild West that was well ahead of its time in 1916 and was one of Hart’s most popular films.  Find out more at filmpreservation.org.  With live musical accompaniment by The Dodge Brothers.  The Electric Palace, Bridport, Dorset Link

The Street (aka Die Strasse) (Dir. Karl Grune, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – 35mm, 90mins)  This was the first of the famous Weimar ‘street films’ with their ambivalent take on the modern metropolis. A middle-aged man, bored with domesticity, takes a sudden plunge into the nocturnal wilderness of chaotic crowds, dazzling shopfronts and sexual temptations. This urban jungle was co-designed by Expressionist painter Ludwig Meidner: its enticements are a mirage – its dangers all too real…Find out more at acinemahistory.com.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness (aka Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück ) (Dir. Phil Jutzi, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 133mins)  Living precariously in a crowded Berlin tenement, old Mother Krause works hard to support her unemployed son and her daughter who has a communist boyfriend. This outstanding example of left-wing Weimar realism was inspired by Soviet cinema and the proletarian art of Heinrich Zille and Käthe Kollwitz. The performances feel fresh and modern, while Jutzi’s camera – out on location – captures rarely seen aspects of working-class life. Find out more at  silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

The Ancient Law (aka Das Alte Gesetz) (Dir. E A Dupont, Ger, 1923) (Screening format – DCP, 135 mins) In the mid 1800s in Galicia, Baruch Mayer (Ernst Deutsch), yearns to become an actor. Despite the expectation to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an orthodox rabbi, he breaks from tradition and leaves the shtetl in pursuit of his dream. Whilst performing in a traveling theatre troupe he meets the Austrian archduchess, Elisabeth Theresia (Henny Porten), who falls in love with the young man. With her support he joins the renowned Vienna’s Burg Theatre company where he soon rises to fame.  “With its complex portrayal of orthodoxy and emancipation, E. A. Dupont’s period film marks a highpoint of Jewish filmmaking in Germany. This new restoration marks the first time that a version corresponding to the lost 1920s German theatrical release will be shown, both in its original length, and with the colourisation digitally restored.” – Berlinale 68.   Find out more at silentfilm.org Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

19 June

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Groβtadt) (Dir. Walter Ruttman, Ger, 1927) + Accident (Dir. Ernö Metzner, Ger, 1929)  (Screening format – DCP,   65/21mins)  Berlin is a visual symphony in five movements celebrating the Berlin of 1927: the people, the place, the everyday details of life on the streets. Director Walter Ruttman, an experimental filmmaker, approached cinema in similar ways to his Russian contemporary Dziga Vertoz, mixing documentary, abstract, and expressionist modes for a nonnarrative style that captured the life of his countrymen. But where Vertov mixed his observations with examples of the communist dream in action, Ruttman re-creates documentary as, in his own words, “a melody of pictures.” Within the loose structure of a day in the life of the city (with a prologue that travels from the country into the city on a barreling train), the film takes us from dawn to dusk, observing the silent city as it awakens with a bustle of activity, then the action builds and calms until the city settles back into sleep. But the city is as much the architecture, the streets, and the machinery of industry as it is people, and Ruttman weaves all these elements together to create a portrait in montage, the poetic document of a great European city captured in action. Held together by rhythm, movement, and theme, Ruttman creates a documentary that is both involving and beautiful to behold. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com . In Accident, an ordinary guy finds a coin in the street, but it really isn’t his lucky day. This radical satirical short portrays the city and its inhabitants as violent, anarchic and devoid of glamour. It was promptly banned. Find out more at imdb.com. Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  Berlin features the recorded Edmund Meisel score while Accident comes with live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Lady Windermere’s Fan (Dir. Ernst Lubitsch, US, 1925) (Screening Format – not known, 89mins)    Ronald Colman has one of his first important screen roles as the slightly caddish Lord Darlington, who is in love with the very pretty–and very married–Lady Windermere (May McAvoy). The lady is rescued from disgrace at the hands of Darlington by the notorious Mrs. Erlynne (Irene Rich), who unbeknownst to everyone is Lady Windemere’s long-lost mother. Unable to rely upon Oscar Wilde’s epigrammatic dialogue to carry the day (this was, after all, the silent-film era), director Ernst Lubitsch substitutes visual wit for the verbal variety in his 1925 interpretation of Lady Windermere’s Fan.  The film was an enormous hit, and an instant candidate for the many “Ten Best” lists tabulated by the fan magazines of the era, and viewed nearly a hundred years later it remains a superb adaption. The characters and the story are Wilde’s, while the acting and the style are pure Lubitsch.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live piano accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

23 June

The Joyless Street (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 151mins) The Joyless Street, based on the novel by Hugo Bettauer, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in Germany, and starring Greta Garbo in her second major role, is not only one of the most important films of the Weimar Republic, it is also one of the most spectacular censorship cases of the era. The story from the inflationary period in Vienna in the years immediately after World War I was considered too much of a provocation: nouveau riches currency and stock market speculators who wallow in Babylonian luxury, homeless and unemployed Lumpen-proletariat living in barns, women who sell their souls for a bit of fresh meat at the butcher’s, sexual orgies, bordellos and murders.  The film is often described as a morality story in which the ‘fallen woman’ suffers for her sins, while the more virtuous is rewarded. Pabst is especially sensitive to the plight of women in a world where exploitation is rife. Greta Garbo, as a wretchedly respectable middle-class daughter, radiates courage and vulnerability, but Asta Nielsen, playing a kept woman, devours the screen with her haunting despair. Find out more atsilentfilm.org . Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

People on Sunday (Dir. Robert Siodmak/Edgar G Ulmer, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 74mins)  Famously, Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann worked with Siodmak on this landmark of realist filmmaking, in which non-professionals act out an ‘everyday’, uneventful story of several young Berliners using their Sunday to spend a flirtatious day together at a lake on the edge of the city. With its massive cast of unpaid extras enjoying the summer sun, this classic silent film feels remarkably modern. Find out more at archive.org.  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

24 June

The Devious Path (aka Abwege) (Dir. GW Pabst, Ger, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 98mins) An affluent lawyer (Gustav Diessl) neglects his wife (Brigitte Helm) and disapproves of her fashionable friends. Bored and sexually frustrated, she retaliates by abandoning herself to the pleasures of jazz-age Berlin. Featuring one of the most extraordinary, decadent nightclub scenes in all of Weimar cinema, this lesser-known film, now newly restored and ripe for rediscovery, sees Pabst on top form.  Find out more at cinetext.wordpress.comPresented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

29 June

The Joyless Street (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1925) (Screening format – DCP, 151mins) The Joyless Street, based on the novel by Hugo Bettauer, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in Germany, and starring Greta Garbo in her second major role, is not only one of the most important films of the Weimar Republic, it is also one of the most spectacular censorship cases of the era. The story from the inflationary period in Vienna in the years immediately after World War I was considered too much of a provocation: nouveau riches currency and stock market speculators who wallow in Babylonian luxury, homeless and unemployed Lumpen-proletariat living in barns, women who sell their souls for a bit of fresh meat at the butcher’s, sexual orgies, bordellos and murders.  The film is often described as a morality story in which the ‘fallen woman’ suffers for her sins, while the more virtuous is rewarded. Pabst is especially sensitive to the plight of women in a world where exploitation is rife. Greta Garbo, as a wretchedly respectable middle-class daughter, radiates courage and vulnerability, but Asta Nielsen, playing a kept woman, devours the screen with her haunting despair. Find out more at silentfilm.org . Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Groβtadt) (Dir. Walter Ruttman, Ger, 1927) + Accident (Dir. Ernö Metzner, Ger, 1929)  (Screening format – DCP,   65/21mins)  Berlin is a visual symphony in five movements celebrating the Berlin of 1927: the people, the place, the everyday details of life on the streets. Director Walter Ruttman, an experimental filmmaker, approached cinema in similar ways to his Russian contemporary Dziga Vertoz, mixing documentary, abstract, and expressionist modes for a nonnarrative style that captured the life of his countrymen. But where Vertov mixed his observations with examples of the communist dream in action, Ruttman re-creates documentary as, in his own words, “a melody of pictures.” Within the loose structure of a day in the life of the city (with a prologue that travels from the country into the city on a barreling train), the film takes us from dawn to dusk, observing the silent city as it awakens with a bustle of activity, then the action builds and calms until the city settles back into sleep. But the city is as much the architecture, the streets, and the machinery of industry as it is people, and Ruttman weaves all these elements together to create a portrait in montage, the poetic document of a great European city captured in action. Held together by rhythm, movement, and theme, Ruttman creates a documentary that is both involving and beautiful to behold. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com . In Accident, an ordinary guy finds a coin in the street, but it really isn’t his lucky day. This radical satirical short portrays the city and its inhabitants as violent, anarchic and devoid of glamour. It was promptly banned. Find out more at imdb.com. Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  Berlin features the recorded Edmund Meisel score while Accident comes with live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

30 June

The Devious Path (aka Abwege) (Dir. GW Pabst, Ger, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 98mins) An affluent lawyer (Gustav Diessl) neglects his wife (Brigitte Helm) and disapproves of her fashionable friends. Bored and sexually frustrated, she retaliates by abandoning herself to the pleasures of jazz-age Berlin. Featuring one of the most extraordinary, decadent nightclub scenes in all of Weimar cinema, this lesser-known film, now newly restored and ripe for rediscovery, sees Pabst on top form.  Find out more at cinetext.wordpress.comPresented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Different from the Others (aka Anders als die Andern) (Dir. Richard Oswald, Ger, 1919) (Screening format – DCP, 50mins)  Released in 1919, and banned in 1920, Different From The Others explores a doomed relationship between a master violinist (Conrad Veidt) and his male student (Fritz Schulz) as their relationship is uncovered and they become a target for blackmailers.   One of the first gay-themed films in the history of cinema, this powerful plea for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, co-written by pioneering sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, sparked riots and censorship. With a fearless performance from Veidt, it packs an emotional and intellectual punch – revealing both Weimar Berlin’s flourishing gay subculture and the devastating consequences of mainstream intolerance.  Banned by Weimar and burned by the Nazis, only an incomplete version of  the original film survives.  Find out more at nytimes.com .  Presented as part of the BFI’s Weimar Cinema Season.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

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