Live Screenings – May-Dec


 

May

1 May

South (Dir. Frank Hurley, UK/Aus, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 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 premier of new (recorded) score by Neil Brand.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’nessLink

 

Filibus  (Dir. Mario Roncoroni, It, 1915) (Screening format – not known, 76mins)   Filibus (the first of thirty films directed by Roncoroni) featured as a protagonist a roguish female lead character, the Baroness Troixmonde, who is a respectable member of society by day, but by night in the guise of “Filibus” she terrorizes Sicily from her zeppelin, which is full of technologically-advanced equipment and weaponry. The zeppelin is manned by a staff of mask-wearing, black-skin-suit-clad male assistants who obey the Baroness’ commands instantly. The airship is her headquarters and her home, and she descends to land only to rob or to hobnob with the socialites and dance with women as the tuxedo-wearing dandy Count de la Brieve ( a full 15 years before Dietrich’s famous cross-dressing scene in Morocco).  But has Filibus met her match with the renowned Detective Hardy on her trail…..  Find out more at  silentsplease.wordpress.com .  With live musical accompaniment from bass/electronic/thremin duo Sam Enthoven and Arkadiusz PotykaArts Cinema, Crouch End Link

 

Oliver Twist (Dir. Frank Lloyd, US, 1922) (Screening format – digital, 74mins) Thought lost for decades, Frank Lloyd’s adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic tale of the boy who asked for more has an all-star cast. Starring the man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney, as Fagin and the wunderkind of 1920s Hollywood, Jackie Coogan (straight after his heartrending debut in Chaplin’s The Kid) in the title role, this spectacular silent film gem was rediscovered in Yugoslavia in the 1970s. Find out more at editoreric.com.Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by Meg Morley Arnolfini, Bristol  Link

 

2 May

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – digital, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at theguardian.com  With recorded Hugo Riesenfeld score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

   4 May

Lupino Lane Lupino Lane came from a family of entertainers. As well as his acting career, he was an expert acrobat, singer and film director. He is remembered today for his association with the song The Lambeth Walk and as the East London character Bill Snibson in the play and film Me And My Girl.  But Lane was also a big international star in he silent era.    Tonight’s SWS Club Event looks at Lane’s life and screens several of his silent films.  Presented by South West Silents.  With recorded score.  The Lansdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol  Link

 

Greater Than Love (Dir. Fred Niblo, US, 1921) (Screening format – film, 70mins) Grace Merrill (Louise Glaum), one of six young girls who idle their lives away staging jazz parties in a New York apartment, advises the youngest, Elsie (Patricia Palmer), who is disillusioned by boyfriend Frank Norwood, that men are worthless creatures.   But when Elsie commits suicide, Grace is forced to reassess her own life.  Louise Glaum appeared in over 110 movies between 1912 to 1925. Known for her roles as a vamp in dramas, she was credited with giving one of the best characterizations of a vamp in her early career.  Before directing Greater Than Love, Fred Niblo had made The Mark of Zorro (1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks. The same year he teamed with Fairbanks in The Three Musketeers and then directed Rudolph Valentino in Blood and Sand. In 1925, Niblo was the principal director of the epic Ben-Hur.       The copy of Greater Than Love to be shown, which is part of the Cinema Museum’s collection, is believed to be the only complete print of this film to survive.  Find out more at silenthollywood.com Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live piano accompaniment.   Cinema Museum, London  Link

 

5 May

South (Dir. Frank Hurley, UK/Aus, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 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 premier of new (recorded) score by Neil Brand.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness. Link

 

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org With recorded soundtrack.  BFI Southbank  Link

 

6 May

Diary Of A Lost Girl (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 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, just 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 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   With live musical accompaniment by WurlitzaBurrell Theatre, Truro Link

 

Metropolis (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 wealthy 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 was 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 as part of the Mayfield Festival.  With live organ accompaniment by Darius BattiwallaMayfield, East Sussex Link

 

8 May

Man With a Movie Camera (Dir. Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929) +  30-minute excerpt of Paul Wright’s Arcadia (2017) (Screening format – not known, 68/30mins) “An experiment in the creative communication of visible events without the aid of inter-titles, a scenario or theatre……aiming at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema,” is how the inter-titles describe what is about to be seen. Bold claims indeed, but in its awesome sophistication The Man with a Movie Camera does live up to them, making it one of the most contemporary of silent movies. The subject, the life of a city from dawn to dusk, was not original even for 1928, but its treatment was – the cameraman as voyeur, social commentator and prankster, exploiting every trick permissible with the technology of the day (slow motion, dissolves, split screens, freeze frames, stop motion animation, etc). A young woman stirs in her bed, apparently fighting a nightmare in which a cameraman is about to be crushed by an oncoming train. She wakes up, and the sequence is revealed to be a simple trick shot. As she blinks her weary eyes, the shutters of her window mimic her viewpoint, and the iris of the camera spins open. Self-reflexive wit like this abounds here–there’s even a delicious counterpoint made between the splicing of film and the painting of a woman’s nails.   Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a city throughout the day, from morning to night. Directed by Vertov, and filmed by his equally talented and innovative brother Mikhail Kaufman, the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. Despite the absence of titles or narration, director and cameraman still naturally convey the marvels of the modern city. Find out more at openculture.com .  With live musical accompaniment by The Cabinet of Living Cinema ( jazz pianist, harp and concertina player Gareth Wilkins, and flamenco/electric guitarist, viola player and vocalist, Kieron Chissik).  Catford Mews Cinema, London SE6  Link

 

10 May

A Throw Of Dice (Dir. Franz Osten, In/Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 74mins) After the beautiful Sunita nurses Ranjit back to health following dramatic events during a royal tiger hunt, his wicked rival Sohat persuades him to risk his kingdom and his love in a fateful game of dice. A Throw of Dice (Prapancha Pash) is the third film in a pioneering trilogy of silent films made through a unique partnership between German director Franz Osten and Indian actor-producer Himansu Rai, whose films combined documentary techniques with narratives derived from Indian myths and legends. Shot on location in Rajasthan, the film features over 10,000 extras and an impressive array of horses, elephants and tigers. Its star actors all had major careers in Indian cinema and remain legendary and much-loved figures. Find out more at memsaabstory.com  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by pianist Utsav LalNational Centre for Early Music, York  Link

 

13 May

The 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 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 .  Presenter as part of the Hinterlands Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Haiku Salut. Town Hall, Skipton    Link

 

Diary Of A Lost Girl (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 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, just 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 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   With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth  Link

 

14 May

Diary Of A Lost Girl (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 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, just 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 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   With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Noss Mayo Village Hall,  Link

 

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 97mins) Based on a play by Indian author Niranjan Pal, Shiraz tells the fictionalised love story of the 17th-century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.  It was directed by Germany’s Franz Osten, one of at least 17 films he made in India between 1925 and 1939, best known of which are The Light of Asia (1925) and A Throw of Dice (1929).  Shot entirely on location in India with an all-Indian cast, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings. The film was the brainchild of producer Himansu Rai, who also stars as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she’s sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy). Upon its release Shiraz was a considerable critical and popular success and received rave reviews when the restored version was screened at the 2017 London Film Festival.  Find out more at silentfilm.org   Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by pianist Utsav LalStoller Hall, Manchester  Link

 

15 May

Modern Times (Dir, Charlie Chaplin, US, 1936) (Screening format – digital, 87mins)  Regarded as the last great silent film and made almost a decade into the sound era, Modern Times is Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp.  Here, he puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who fails to cope with the modern equipment he must operate and suffers a breakdown. After being institutionalized, he is freed, only to be mistaken for a communist agitator. He is arrested but eventually released after which he  falls in love with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard).  Chaplin had not been seen on a theatre screen for five years when Modern Times premiered to great acclaim in 1936. Still stubbornly resisting work in “talkies,” he stood alone in his insistence upon preserving the silent film although his voice is heard on the soundtrack he himself composed.  Find out more at www.charliechaplin.com  With Chaplin’s own recorded soundtrack.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

Crazy Men – A Comedy Trio   In this triple-bill of slapstick comedy, three obsessive men test the patience of everyone around them with their hare-brained schemes. In The Boat (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 18mins) , Buster Keaton is determined to take his family on a trip in his self-built yacht, no matter what the cost. Find out more at  classicsailor.comIn Many a Slip, (Dir. Charley Bowers, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 25mins)  Charley Bowers is an inventor devoted to the creation of a non-slip banana skin. Find out more at imdb.com   And in Soviet director Pudovkin’s Chess Fever (aka Shakhmatnaya Goryachka) (Dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky, USSR,1925)  (Screening format – not known, 30mins) Ninety-five years before the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit gripped  imaginations Soviet citizens were transfixed by the International Chess Tournament being held at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol in November 1925.  Hundreds of spectators followed the games in the Metropol, whilst tens of thousands watched demonstration boards across the city, and the then up-and-coming director Pudovkin was asked to make a topical comedy about the ‘chess fever’ sweeping the nation. Chess competitor at the tournament Capablanca plays himself in this fast-paced comedy about a young couple whose love affair reaches stalemate because of the hero’s obsession with the game.  Find out more at moviessilently.com Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment (musicians to be confirmed).  Abbeydale Picture House,  Sheffield  Link

 

The Freshman (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 76mins)  One of Harold Lloyd’s best feature-length comedies and his biggest hit, The Freshman  features the bespectacled regular guy as Harold Lamb, a naïve young man who heads off to college believing campus life will be just as it is in the movies; he even learns a little dance he saw one of his favorite actors do in a film. However, Harold soon discovers that real life isn’t all that much like the pictures, and he quickly becomes the laughing stock of the university. Determined to prove himself, Harold tries out for the football team, but he serves as water boy and rides the pine until he finally gets a chance to redeem himself at the big game. Along the way, Harold also tries to woo a lovely co-ed, Peggy (Jobyna Ralston).  Find out more at  threemoviebuffs.com.   Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by pianist Jonny Best.  Abbeydale Picture House,  Sheffield  Link

 

Lonesome (Dir. Paul Fejos, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 69mins)  Lonesome is the story of two working-class singles: Jim (Glenn Tryon), who works a punch press at a factory, and Mary (Barbara Kent), a telephone operator. Both Jim and Mary decide independently to head to Coney Island in celebration of the 4th July, where they meet, become better acquainted and spend the day and most of the night together enjoying the amusements.  But a mishap on a roller coaster causes the couple to be separated from one another. Is the relationship between these two lonely people doomed to end before it has really begun? Although based upon the slightest premis, this rarely screened silent-era gem is a classic “boy meets girl” tale, and the director, Paul Fejos, crams each frame with energy and movement, employing all kinds of expressive camera work and visual effects. In a montage depicting the hectic drudgery of Mary’s working day, he superimposes a clock and several tiny faces chattering away as she frantically works the switchboard. The original release of the film glowed with hand-tinted color, and several sound scenes were added later to cash in on the new craze.  Find out more at ithankyouarthur.blogspot.com  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Jonny Best.   Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield Link

 

Passion of Joan of Arc (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 82 mins)  In 1926 Danish film director Dreyer was invited to make a film in France by the Societe Generale des Films and chose to direct a film about Joan of Arc, due to her renewed popularity in France (having been canonised as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1920 and subsequently adopted as one of the patron saints of France).  Apparently discarding a script provided by the Societe, Dreyer spent over a year researching Joan of Arc including study of the actual transcripts of her trial before producing a script of his own.  In the title role Dreyer cast the little-known stage actress Renee Jeanne Falconnetti who had previously acted in just two previous, inconsequential films, both back in 1917.  The film focuses upon the trial and eventual execution of Joan of Arc after she is captured by the English.  Although not a popular success at the time, the film attracted immediate critical praise.  The New York Times critic wrote “…as a film work of art, this takes precedence over anything so far produced.  It makes worthy pictures of the past look like tinsel shams.  It fills one with such intense admiration that other pictures appear but trivial in comparison.” Falconnetti’s performance has been widely lauded with critic Pauline Kael writing in 1982 that her portrayal “…may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.”  The film was subsequently re-edited against Dreyer’s wishes and his original version was long thought lost.  But in 1981 a near perfect copy was found in the attic of a psychiatric hospital in Oslo.  The Passion of Joan of Arc now regularly appears in ‘Top Ten’ lists not just of silent films but best films of all time.  Find out more at rogerebert.com . Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by pianist Utsav Lal.   Abbeydale Picture House, Sheffield  Link

 

20 May – 31 May

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org Nationwide screenings to mark the 90th anniversary of the film’s original release.  With recorded soundtrack.  BFI Southbank – 20 screenings, Rio, Dalston – multiple screenings, Prince Charles, London – 3 screenings, IFI, Dublin – multiple screenings, Edinburgh Film House – multiple screenings, Glasgow Film Theatre –  4 screenings, Home, Manchester – multiple screenings, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle – multiple screenings, King Street Cinema, Ipswich – one screening  Link

 

21 May

A 1911 Night At The Movies, An evening to celebrate the re-opening of the Electric Palace cinema in Harwich, featuring a programme of early comedies, trick films, dramas, news footage of the Titanic, and even a film about the battle of Trafalgar that was shown at the Palace’s original opening night way back in 1911.  And all projected using a restored 1913 hand-cranked Gaumont projector, on the cinema’s original screen, exactly as it was 111 years ago.   Curated by award-winning film editor and director Christopher Bird  and who has had a lifelong interest in early cinema, and by David Cleveland, the founder of the East Anglian Film Archive.  With live improvised musical accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Electric Palace Cinema, Harwich   Link

 

22 May

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org Nationwide screenings to mark the 90th anniversary of the film’s original release.  With recorded soundtrack.  Picturehouses Bromley, Central, Clapham, Crouch End, East Dulwich, Finsbury Park, Fulham Road, Gate Notting Hill, Greenwich,  Hackney, Ritzy, Stratford, West Norwood, Ashford, Little Theatre Bath, Duke Of York’s Brighton, Art’s Cambridge, Cameo Edinburgh, Exeter, Regal Henley, FACT Liverpool, Cinema City Norwich, Phoenix Oxford, Showroom Sheffield, Harbour Lights Southampto, and City Screen York   Link

 

People on Sunday (Dir. Robert Siodmak/Edgar G Ulmer, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 74mins)  Famously, Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann worked with Siodmak on this landmark of realist film making, a magical blend of documentary and fiction which takes us back to a glorious summer Sunday in late-1920s Berlin where five young workers take a day off to spend a flirtatious afternoon together at a lake on the edge of the city.. While they enjoy freedoms undreamt of by their parents, sexual rivalry soon lends an edge to their flirtations.  The people portraying the characters were all amateurs belonging to a Berlin collective who, the opening credits inform us, had returned to their normal jobs by the time of the film’s release. They included a taxi driver, a record seller and a wine merchant. But together, the cast and crew produced a  classic of silent film and one which still feels remarkably modern. Find out more at archive.org  Presented as part of the Flatpack Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Haiku Salut and Meg MorleyThe Crossing, Birmingham Link

 

23 – 30 May

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org Nationwide screenings to mark the 90th anniversary of the film’s original release.  With recorded soundtrack.  Triskel Arts Centre, Cork (23-26 May, 4 screenings);  Watershed, Bristol (27-29 may, 3 screenings); King Street Cinema, Ipswich (28 May,1 screening); The Playhouse, Cheltenham (28 May, 1 screening); Filmhouse, Northampton (28 May, 1 screening); Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax (29 May, 1 screening); Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), Dundee (29-30 May, 2 screenings)    Link

 

24 May

Grass: A Nation’s Battle For Life (Dir. Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 71 mins)  Before they went on to make King Kong, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack told the jaw-dropping true story of a tribe of nomads in Iran known as the Bakhtiari and their epic annual  48 day trek across inhospitable terrain from Turkey to Iran to their flock’s summer pastures.  Venturing through deserts, mountains, rivers and snowy wastelands in search of the life-sustaining grasslands, the Bakhtiari’s 50,000 strong caravan – complete with 500,000 cattle and goats – becomes the sole focus of the camera’s gaze.  A spectacular ethnographic record, this film was intended for the lecture circuit but was snapped up by Paramount for theatrical distribution on the strength of its powerful dramatic punch. It’s easy to see how the character of Denham in King Kong was modeled after the adventurer Cooper, whose daredevil real-life exploits were the stuff of Hollywood adventure films. Find out more at wikipedia.org .  Presented by the Sands Films Cinema Club  With recorded score.  Sands Films, Rotherhithe. Link

 

 

25 May

Neil Brand Presents Laurel & Hardy Composer/writer/broadcaster/musician Neil Brand returns with an all-new show about the immortal comedy duo so recently portrayed in the hit film Stan and Ollie.  From their earliest days on opposite sides of the Atlantic in music hall and on the stage, to their individual comedy films before they were paired up by Hal Roach, and on to their silent masterpieces before the arrival of sound, Neil will tell the touching 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 accompanied live on the piano by Neil the show ends with 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.  The Theatre, Chipping Norton  Link

 

The Parson’s Widow (Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, Swe,  1920) (Screening format – not known, 94mins) A small but perfectly formed masterpiece that confounds all expectations: a comedy from the famously dour director Dreyer (Passion of Joan of Arc)… a light-hearted romantic froth about young love that will take you by surprise and break your heart.  In 17th century Norway a young theology student determines to secure the position of minister so that he can have the means to marry his sweetheart. But his jubilation at triumphing over his rivals for the role is short-lived when he learns that the position is conditional upon marrying his predecessor’s widow. An affecting and beautiful drama from one of the acknowledged great artists of cinema.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.   Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London Link

 

28 May

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 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  With recorded original Hans Erdmann score.  Playhouse, Cheltenham  Link

29 May

Another Fine Mess  A trio of great Laurel and Hardy comedies.   In Angora Love (Dir. Lewis R Foster, US, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 21 mins)   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 From Soup To Nuts (Dir. Edgar Kennedy, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 18mins) they are inept waiters catering a posh dinner party, having only previously worked in a railroad canteen.  Needless to say, all does not go well.  Find out more at laurel-and-hardy-blog.com.  Lastly, in  Liberty (Dir. Leo McCarey, US, 1929)     (Screening format – not known, 20 mins) the boys are making a successful prison break but mixed up trousers and an escaped crab somehow leads them to the top a partially completed skyscraper!  Find out more at laurel-and-hardy.com.   Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by YSFF musicians.   Winter Gardens, Morecambe Link

 

The 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 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 .   Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by pianist Jonny Best and percussionist Trevor Bartlett.   Winter Gardens, Morecambe Link

 

30 May

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – digital, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at theguardian.com  With recorded Hugo Riesenfeld score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

June

1 – 3 June 

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org Nationwide screenings to mark the 90th anniversary of the film’s original release.  With recorded soundtrack.   Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), Dundee (1-2 June, 2 screenings), Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen (3 June 2022, 3 screenings)  Link    BFI Southbank, London  (1-3 June, 5 screenings)  Link

 

4 June

The Live Ghost Tent – Quarterly meeting of The Laurel and Hardy SocietyThe films to be shown are: Leave ’em Laughing (1928), silent short directed by Clyde Bruckman and Leo McCarey; They Go Boom (1929), short directed by James Parrott; Perfect Day (1929), short directed by James Parrott; County Hospital (1932), short directed by James Parrott; and Sons of the Desert (1933), directed by William A. Seiter.  With recorded score.  Cinema Museum, London Link

 

5 June

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 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  With live harp accompaniment by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry Campus Cinema, University of Exeter   Link

 

Oliver Twist (Dir. Frank Lloyd, US, 1922) (Screening format – digital, 74mins) Thought lost for decades, Frank Lloyd’s adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic tale of the boy who asked for more has an all-star cast. Starring the man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney, as Fagin and the wunderkind of 1920s Hollywood, Jackie Coogan (straight after his heartrending debut in Chaplin’s The Kid) in the title role, this spectacular silent film gem was rediscovered in Yugoslavia in the 1970s. Find out more at editoreric.com.     With live piano accompaniment by Lillian Henley.   Palace Cinema, Broadstairs Link

 

When Knighthood Was In Flower (Dir. Robert Vignola, US,1922) (Screening format – not known, 120mins) This was a super-production for Cosmopolitan Pictures, and its huge commercial success established Marion Davies as a Hollywood movie star.  Davies plays Mary Tudor, sister of King Henry VIII, whom the king aims to use for political gain by offering her hand in marriage to King Louis XII of France. Look out for a young William Powell in his second movie role, playing one of the story’s villains. For period authenticity, no expense was spared on the production’s costumes, armour and tapestries, or on Joseph Urban’s huge, lavish sets. When Knighthood Was In Flower is presented here in a brand new restoration, with a new theatre organ score by Ben Model. The film was scanned from an original 35mm nitrate print preserved by the Library of Congress, its colour tints have been reinstated and the hand-coloured sequence has been digitally replicated Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented by South West Silents.  With recorded musical accompaniment by Ben ModelArnolfini, Bristol Link

 

8 June

Beggars of Life (Dir. William Wellman, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 100 mins) Nancy (Louise Brooks), is a young woman on a farm who kills her foster father when he attempts to rape her. She is assisted in escaping from the farm by Jim (Richard Arlen), a young hobo who has stopped to ask for food. By dressing in rough men’s clothing, Nancy, with the assistance of Jim, eludes the police. They hop a freight train and, when thrown off by the brakeman, they wander into a hobo camp. The  hobo camp is run by Oklahoma Red (Wallace Beery), a villain….or maybe not! Beggars of Life is based on the 1924 novelistic memoir of the same name by Jim Tully, a celebrated “hobo author”. Directed by William Wellman the year after he made Wings (the first film to win an Academy Award), the location shooting for Beggars of Life was awash with hair-raising stunts, hard-drinking nights and countless fights, apparently the norm for a William Wellman picture, and nicely detailed in Louise Brooks’ own words in her book ‘Lulu In Hollywood’.   Find out more at silentfilm.org .   Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.  Hull Truck Theatre, Hull Link

 

12 June

Miss Lulu Bett (Dir William C de Mille, US, 1921) (Screening format – digital, 71mins) Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel and play by Zona Gale, William deMille produced and directed this social drama about a timid spinster, Miss Lulu Bett (Lois Wilson), who lives an unhappy life of drudgery working in the home of her married sister. Treated poorly by her brother-in-law Dwight Deacon, she jumps at the chance to escape her miserable life only to have things go wrong. She is forced to take on suspicion and disgrace in order to protect her sister’s family. Only the kindness and attention shown her by schoolteacher Neil Cornish (Milton Sills) give her strength. Critically well received at the time ( “…it is a well-wrought, closely-knit, straightaway, cumulative domestic drama of rural life, well acted throughout, carefully produced and vividly atmospheric…”  VARIETY, December 23, 1921), this ultimately uplifting story of a put-upon woman beginning to assert her independence in order to escape a life of oppression and drudgery is as relevant today as it was when first released.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org  Introduced by Bryony Dixon, BFI curator of silent film.  With live musical accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

13 June

Gender Rebels  What’s the World Coming To?  (Dir. Richard Wallace, 1926) +  Rowdy Ann (Dir. Al Christie, US, 1919) (Screening format – not known,  21/21mins)  Whats the World Coming To? , co-written by Stan Laurel, takes place “one hundred years from now—when men have become more like women and women more like men.” Clyde Cook plays the “blushing groom” whilst Katherine Grant is his caddish tuxedoed bride and the pair have tremendous fun in their cross-dressed roles, sending up gender stereotypes with glee.  Find out more at imdb.com .  Cow-girl Ann (Fay Tincher) is Rowdy by name and rowdy by nature, so her father packs her off to college hoping she will ‘larn to be a lady’. The tutors try to smooth Ann’s ‘rough corners’ but you can’t keep a good woman down and it’s not long before she is putting the men in their place. Find out more at imdb.com  Presented by the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.   Harrogate TheatreHarrogate Link

 

13 – 15 June 

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org Nationwide screenings to mark the 90th anniversary of the film’s original release.  With recorded soundtrack.  Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick  (3 screenings)  Link

17 June

Sunrise; A Song of Two Humans (Dir. F W Murnau, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 94mins) F W Murnau’s debut American film, made at the technical zenith of the silent era  but already heralding the arrival of the talkies being one of the first silents made with synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.  The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, Sunrise moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. Explored in elaborate tracking shots by Charles Rocher and Karl Struss’s pioneering camerawork, the city set was one of the most costly yet produced.  The result was a commercial flop, though the achievement did not go unheralded: Sunrise was awarded a special Oscar for unique and artistic production at the first ever Academy Awards and Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The film’s legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece with many calling it the greatest film of the silent era. Find out more at theguardian.com  Presented by the First Light Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen HorneScreen on the Sand, Lowestoft South Beach, Lowestoft Link

 

July

6 July

Vampyr (Dir. Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1932)  (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Technically, Dryer’s first sound film ( but with very little dialogue and extensive use made of inter-titles) Staying at a country inn, Allan Grey scoffs at the notion of supernatural death before being forced to believe that there may be things beyond his understanding. The skills of director and cameraman induce a similar confusion on the part of those watching, as we encounter one of cinema’s great nightmares. Dreyer offers few explanations for the phenomena on screen:  strange and frightening things may just happen. Vampyr  opened to a generally negative reception from audiences and critics. Dreyer edited the film after its German premiere and it opened to more mixed opinions at its French debut. The film was long considered a low point in Dreyer’s career, but modern critical reception to the film has become much more favourable with critics praising the film’s disorienting visual effects and atmosphere. Find out more at wikipedia.org Nationwide screenings to mark the 90th anniversary of the film’s original release.  With recorded soundtrack.   Genesis Cinema, London  Link

9  July

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 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  With live musical accompaniment by MinimaRiverside Studios, Hammersmith  Link

 

10  July

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 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  With live musical accompaniment by Minima. Village Hall, Kingston on Soar    Link

 

13 July

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.orgWith live musical accompaniment by Minima Deal Festival Of Music And Arts, Deal  Link

 

15  July

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 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 Hitchin Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Minima. Hitchin    Link

 

22  July

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 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 King’s Lynn Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Minima. St. George’s Guildhall, King’s Lynn  Link

 

27  July

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 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 With live piano accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

 

28  July

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 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 With live piano accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

 

August

 

1 August

Underground (Dir. Anthony Asquith, GB, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 84 mins) In 1920s London, during a normal hectic day on the Underground, mild mannered Northern Line porter Bill (Brian Aherne) falls for shop worker Nell (Elissa Landi). But their relationship is threatened by power station worker Burt (Cyril McLaglan) who also has eyes for Nell.  Consumed by jealousy, Burt plots to discredit Bill with a plan that results in a daring chase through London’s underground and across rooftops of the city.  Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film  he handles the melodramatic story with confidence and great sophistication.  Underground is a rare study of 1920s working-class London, and offers a fascinating and historically interesting glimpse of its public transport system.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House. With live musical accompaniment by  Peter Coldham and Christopher Eldred with a world premiere of new piano scores.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

 

2 August

Metropolis (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 wealthy 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 was 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 the Lucky Dog Picture House. With live musical accompaniment by  Sam Watts and Nicholas Ball with a world premiere of new score for piano and percussion.   Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

 

3 August

Metropolis (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 wealthy 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 was 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 the Lucky Dog Picture House. With live musical accompaniment by  Sam Watts and Nicholas Ball with a world premiere of new score for piano and percussion.   Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

 

4 August

Underground (Dir. Anthony Asquith, GB, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 84 mins) In 1920s London, during a normal hectic day on the Underground, mild mannered Northern Line porter Bill (Brian Aherne) falls for shop worker Nell (Elissa Landi). But their relationship is threatened by power station worker Burt (Cyril McLaglan) who also has eyes for Nell.  Consumed by jealousy, Burt plots to discredit Bill with a plan that results in a daring chase through London’s underground and across rooftops of the city.  Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film  he handles the melodramatic story with confidence and great sophistication.  Underground is a rare study of 1920s working-class London, and offers a fascinating and historically interesting glimpse of its public transport system.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picture House. With live musical accompaniment by  Peter Coldham and Christopher Eldred with a world premiere of new piano scores.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London Link

 

6 August

Blinking BuzzardsThe UK Buster Keaton Society quarterly meeting After a selection of Keaton shorts and a break, the second half will be a screening of Battling Butler (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 74mins) Buster Keaton found rich possibilities for physical comedy in this tale of a wealthy milquetoast who is forced, through a series of outlandish coincidences and misunderstandings, to train as a boxer. Based on a popular Broadway musical comedy, the story revolves around two Alfred Butlers – one (Keaton) a timid, mild-mannered millionaire, the other a boxing world champion. When Butler-the-fop finds love with a mountain girl (Sally O’Neil), he assumes the identity and arouses the wrath of Butler-the-Brute, leading to a dramatic showdown in which the brawl is very much on. Keaton always selected Battling Butler as one of his favourite features and the picture proved Keaton’s biggest success, outgrossing Douglas Fairbanks’s Black Pirate in its first week on Broadway, encouraging Joe Schenck to give the go-ahead for Keaton’s most ambitious production, The General, with a budget set at half a million dollars. Find out more at silentfilm.org.   With recorded soundtrack.  Cinema Museum, London  Link

September

 

October

26 October

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 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  With live musical accompaniment with a newly commissioned score composed and performed by Chris GreenWhitby Abbey, Whitby   Link

 

29 October

Nosferatu (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – digital , 96mins) To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its original release, Nosferatu gets a nationwide re-release.  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.  With recorded soundtrack.   Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal   Link

 

November

12 November

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 Minima.  Tamworth Castle, Staffs Link

 

21 November

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (Dir. F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – digital, 96mins) To mark its 100th anniversary, this is a very special screening of the recently fully restored version of  F W Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), one of the most iconic films of the German expressionist era, let alone cinema itself.  In this first-ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok (portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck, in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology) who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land… and establish his ambiguous dominion.  The film was an unauthorised adaption of  Stoker’s ‘novel with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the story.  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.  Brilliantly eerie, with imaginative touches which later adaptions never achieved and featuring some of the most iconic images in cinema history,  Nosferatu continues to haunt modern audiences with its unshakable power of gothic imagery and blood curdling suspense..  Find out more at www.rogerebert.com   Presented by South West Silents and Bristol Ideas.  Introduced by author and film historian Sir Christopher Frayling (plus Q&A).  With live musical accompaniment by Neil BrandSt George’s, Bristol Link

 

December