Live Screenings 2022


January

2 January

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927) (Screening format –digital , 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  With recoeded score.  BFI SouthbankLink

 

3 January

The Great White Silence (Dir. Herbert G. Ponting, UK, 1924) (Screening format – digital 107 mins)  This documentary captured the story of the British Antarctic Expedition, led by Captain Scott, to reach the South Pole. With extraordinary footage of many stages of the exploration: on board the Terra Nova ship; life in the base camp; crew preparations and scientific research; and the local penguins, whales and seals. Still images, maps, miniature model shots, diary entries and recreations illustrate the rest of the journey across the ice. “The alien beauty of the landscape is brought dramatically to life and the world of the expedition revealed in brilliant detail.” – BFI. Find out more at bfi.org.uk.  With recorded score by Simon Fisher TurnerBFI Southbank, London  Link

 

4 January

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927) (Screening format –digital , 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  With recoeded score.  BFI SouthbankLink

6 January

The Fight for the Matterhorn (Dir. Mario Bonnard/Nunzio Malsomma, Ger, 1928) (Screening format – digital, 117mins)  Out of the studio and into the wild: this Alpine thriller (a peculiarly German genre) is based on the true story of English climber Edward Whymper who vies with Jean-Antoine Carrel, an Italian mountain guide, to conquer the Matterhorn. Tyrolean athlete Luis Trenker, later a leading director, cuts a dash as the mean and moody Italian. The breathtaking camerawork creates nail-biting suspense. Find out more at giornatedelcinemamuto.it. Introduced by BFI curator of silent film Bryony Dixon.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

7 January

The Three Musketeers (Dir.Fred Niblo, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 120mins) There have been many screen adaptations of the story of Alexandre Dumas’ musketeer D’Artagnan, going all the way back to 1903  but it is Douglas Fairbanks’ 1921 production that set the bar both for future film versions of The Three Musketeers as well as for the swashbuckler genre itself. In no other role is Douglas Fairbank’s boyish vigour as irresistibly engaging than as D’Artagnan. “When Alexandra Dumas sat down at his desk,” wrote LIFE magazine critic Robert E. Sherwood, “he doubtless had but one object in view; to provide a suitable story for Douglas Fairbanks to act in the movies”.  D’Artagnan is a naïve and ambitious farm boy who yearns to join the Musketeers, the elite regiment of guards under King Louis XIII (Adolphe Menjou). After his arrival in Pairs, he meets three members of the regiment, Athos (Leon Barry), Porthos (George Siegmann) and Aramis (Eugene Pallette) and joins their struggle to defend Queen Anne (Mary MacLaren) against the devious Cardinal Richelieu.More than a thrilling adventure picture, The Three Musketeers is a handsomely-produced, emotionally sensitive telling of Duma’s classic novel, buoyed by Fairbank’s electrifying presence. Find out more at sensesofcinema.com  Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by Meg MorleyArnolfini, Bristol Link

 

8 January

Blinking Buzzards –  Quarterly meeting of the UK Buster Keaton Society, dedicated to the appreciation of the great silent comedian. After a selection of Keaton shorts and a break, the second half will be a screening of Go West (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1925) (68 mins) In an unusual twist on the romantic comedy formula, Buster Keaton stars opposite an affectionate cow in this Western Comedy. Friendless Homer Holiday drifts west eventually finding employment on the Thompson ranch. He soon befriends Brown Eyes, a cow that he bonds with after she saves his life. When Brown Eyes is included in a shipment of cattle bound for the slaughterhouse, Homer goes along in hopes of rescuing her. But when the herd escapes from the cattle cars, causing chaos through downtown L.A.; it is then up to Friendless to round them up and save the day. Look closely during the hilarious stampede scene to see Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle playing a part in drag. The Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

 

12 January

A Soul in Torment (1921) (aka Frau Dorothys Bekenntnis / Mrs. Dane’s Confession) (Dir, Michael Curtiz, Au, 1921) (Screening format – 35mm, 62mins)   Dorothy (Lucy Doraine) awakens next to a body and is immediately arrested. Grilled by the police who accuse her of the murder, she protests that she’s innocent. Bit by bit Dorothy’s memories are pieced together, starting with the death of her parents and how she came under the tutelage of her uncle. But her seemingly safe life is derailed when she is saved from an attempted kidnapping by a dashing man. Unfortunately he is not really after her but her money.   In 1919, director Mihály Kertész (his stage name at the time – he was born Mano Kaminer) moved to Austria from Hungary, where he made nearly 20 films, often with his wife Lucy Doraine (until their divorce in 1923). While in Austria he would make another 21 films before going on to answer the call from Warner Brothers,  changing his name yet again, to Michael Curtiz and enjoying a long and glittering career directing such classics as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Casablanca (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954).  Find out more at imdb.com.   Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link

 

15 January

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) + Un Chien Andalou (Dir. Luis Bunuel/Salvador Dali, Fr, 1928 (Screening format – digital,  77/28 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.    The opening sequence of Un Chien Andalou, Buñuel’s first film, contains one of the most indelible images, and most primal “cuts”, in film history – the chillingly tranquil slicing of an eyeball with a razor blade. From there, Buñuel and collaborator Salvador Dali use a Surrealist version of narrative to thread together sequences involving a heterosexual couple, a disembodied hand and a rotting carcass inside a piano.  Find out more at rogerebert.com  With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

16 January

Silent Cinema: Intrepid Women  Meet the women explorer-filmmakers who blazed their own trail.  Six foot in her socks, the glamorous Aloha Wanderwell bestrides the world in jodhpurs: one of the highly visible female adventurers of the early 20th century and the inspiration for later generations of women through film. Join BFI National Archive curator Bryony Dixon and Dr Sarah Evans (Royal Geographical Society) for this illustrated talk introducing some of the early women explorers and their films, including Rosita Forbes, Hettie Dyhrenfurth, Osa Johnson and aviation legend Amy Johnson.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

17 January

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, 1924) + One Week (1920) & The Blacksmith (1922) (Screening format – not known, 45/20/22 mins) In Sherlock Jr, a kindly movie projectionist (Buster Keaton) longs to be a detective. When his fiancée (Kathryn McGuire) is robbed by a local thief (Ward Crane), the poor projectionist is framed for the crime. Using his amateur detective skills, the projectionist follows the thief to the train station – only to find himself locked in a train car.  Disheartened, he returns to his movie theatre, where he falls asleep and dreams that he is the great Sherlock Holmes.   Although not a popular success on its initial release, the film has come to be recognised as a Keaton classic with its special effects and elaborate stunts making it a landmark in motion picture history.  Find out more at silentfilm.org. Presented by the Lucky Dog Picturehouse.  With live musical accompaniment by The Lucky Dog Picturehouse Quartet.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London E18 Link

 

18 January

The Cameraman (Dir. Edward Sedgwick/Buster Keaton, US, 1928) + comedy shorts  (Screening format – not known, 67mins) Buster (Buster Keaton) meets Sally (Marceline Day), who works as a secretary for the newsreel department at MGM, and falls hard. Trying to win her attention, Buster abandons photography in order to become a news cameraman. In spite of his early failures with a motion camera, Sally takes to him as well. However, veteran cameraman Stagg (Harold Goodwin) also fancies Sally, meaning Buster will need to learn how to film quickly before he loses his job.  Find out more at slantmagazine.com  Presented by the Lucky Dog Picturehouse.  With live piano accompaniment by Sam Watts premiering his new score for the film.  Wilton’s Music Hall, London E18 Link

 

19 January

Safety Last (Dir. Fred C Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 73mins) A boy (Harold Lloyd) moves to New York City to make enough money to support his loving girlfriend (Mildred Davis), but soon discovers that making it in the big city is harder than it looks. When he hears that a store manager will pay $1,000 to anyone who can draw people to his store, he convinces his friend, the “human fly,” (Bill Strother) to climb the building and split the profit with him. But when his pal gets in trouble with the law, he must complete the crazy stunt on his own. The image of Harold Lloyd hanging desperately from the hands of a skyscraper clock during Safety Last!  is one of the great icons of film history (although it was achieved with a certain amount of film trickery) and this remains one of the best and best loved comedies of the silent era.  Find out more at rogerebert.com.   Presented by the Lucky Dog Picturehouse.  With live piano accompaniment by Tom MarlowWilton’s Music Hall, London E18 Link

 

22 January

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) + Un Chien Andalou (Dir. Luis Bunuel/Salvador Dali, Fr, 1928 (Screening format – digital,  77/28 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.    The opening sequence of Un Chien Andalou, Buñuel’s first film, contains one of the most indelible images, and most primal “cuts”, in film history – the chillingly tranquil slicing of an eyeball with a razor blade. From there, Buñuel and collaborator Salvador Dali use a Surrealist version of narrative to thread together sequences involving a heterosexual couple, a disembodied hand and a rotting carcass inside a piano.  Find out more at rogerebert.com  With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

23 January

The Fight for the Matterhorn (Dir. Mario Bonnard/Nunzio Malsomma, Ger, 1928) (Screening format – digital, 117mins)  Out of the studio and into the wild: this Alpine thriller (a peculiarly German genre) is based on the true story of English climber Edward Whymper who vies with Jean-Antoine Carrel, an Italian mountain guide, to conquer the Matterhorn. Tyrolean athlete Luis Trenker, later a leading director, cuts a dash as the mean and moody Italian. The breathtaking camerawork creates nail-biting suspense. Find out more at giornatedelcinemamuto.it.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

The Great White Silence (Dir. Herbert G. Ponting, UK, 1924) (Screening format – digital 107 mins)  This documentary captured the story of the British Antarctic Expedition, led by Captain Scott, to reach the South Pole. With extraordinary footage of many stages of the exploration: on board the Terra Nova ship; life in the base camp; crew preparations and scientific research; and the local penguins, whales and seals. Still images, maps, miniature model shots, diary entries and recreations illustrate the rest of the journey across the ice. “The alien beauty of the landscape is brought dramatically to life and the world of the expedition revealed in brilliant detail.” – BFI. Find out more at bfi.org.uk.  With recorded score by Simon Fisher TurnerBFI Southbank, London  Link

 

25 January

Edward Everett Horton – Silent Comedian? Edward Everett Horton is remembered today for his fussy on-screen character in Hollywood sound films such as Top Hat (1935). While never thought of as a silent slapstick comedian, he actually was! Mr Horton had a substantial career in 1920s silent comedies, culminating in eight starring two-reelers – produced by no less than Harold Lloyd. Undercrank Production’s new DVD Edward Everett Horton: 8 Silent Comedies presents the whole series. This programme features three of the best – Find the King (1927), Scrambled Weddings (1928) and Dad’s Choice (1928). Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Curated and hosted live from New York by silent film musician and historian Ben Model and silent comedy historian Steve Massa. Accompanied by Ben Model on piano.  Watershed, Bristol Link

 

26 January

Days Of Youth (Dir. Yasujirô Ozu, Jap, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 103mins) Ozu’s eighth and his earliest surviving film. Made in the director’s student days, it is his most lighthearted film and although it’s very different to his later work, a keen eye could certainly spot how this film helped shape the incredible career he had ahead of him. .  Two friends at Waseda University (Ichirô Yûki and Tatsuo Saitô.), one a smart guy, the other a bumbler, fall in love with the same girl (Matsui Junko) but postpone courting her until they are through “exam hell.” After their exams are over the two students head off on a ski holiday where they run into the same girl once more.  But have they left it too late…..Find out more at ozu-san.  Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Introduced by renowned film historian David Robinson.  With live piano accompaniment by John SweeneyWatershed, Bristol Link

 

Be My Wife (Dir. Max Linder, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 57mins)  French-born Max Linder writes, directs and stars in the second of his three American films. In it, he plays a man determined to wed his fiancée but there’s a challenge: his sweetheart’s aunt doesn’t approve of the match and is equally determined to set her niece up with another. Although he had just recently returned to the United States and formed his own studio, comedian Max Linder’s career was nearing an end, his popularity increasingly overshadowed by that of Charlie Chaplin, upon whom Linder had been such an influence and inspiration.  After just one more film, Linder would return to France where he would eventually take his own life.  Find out more at theguardian.com Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  With an online introduction from silent film champion and Lobster Films co-founder Serge Bromberg. With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Watershed, Bristol Link

 

My Grandmother (Dir. Kote Mikaberidze, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) This gem of early avant-garde Soviet Union filmmaking was banned for almost 50 years because of its less than subtle political criticism. But what stands out more is the sophisticated blending by director Kote Mikaberidze of real action, animated sequences, modern editing techniques, bold satire and absurdist set designs as he unfolds the story of a notoriously lazy bureaucrat who is fired from his comfortable job. On the advice of his ex-colleague, the unemployed pen-pusher sets out to find himself a “grandmother” – an influential bureaucratic patron who will provide him with a letter of recommendation in order to get his job back. But life never goes that smoothly! Find out more at obskura.co.uk.  Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalWith an introduction from actor and admirer of early Russian cinema Paul McGann. With live piano accompaniment by John SweeneyWatershed, Bristol Link

 

The Circus (Dir. Charles Chaplin US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 81mins) Charlie Chaplin once again dons his iconic ‘Tramp’ character in his film ‘The Circus’. Released in 1928, Chaplin was already a household name and one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and his newest film would continue to cement his legacy. The iconic tightrope scene permanently etched Chaplin into the minds of everyone who saw it. Nothing can make you forget seeing Chaplin’s tramp walk a tightrope with such grace, all with a group of monkeys on his back. Find out more at rogerebert.com   Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalWith an introduction from renowned film historian and director Kevin Brownlow.  With live musical accompaniment.   Watershed, Bristol Link

 

27 January

South (Dir. Frank Hurley, UK/Aus, 1919) (Screening format – digital, 81mins). 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.  Now digitally restored with its original tinting and toning by the BFI National Archive  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 a newly commissioned score by Neil Brand, performed live by the Covent Garden Sinfonia.  BFI IMAX, London   (No link as yet)

 

An Old Gangster’s Molls (Dir. Svatopluk Innemann, CZ, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 108mins) This Czechoslovakian silent comedy  stars Anny Ondra, who later became one of Hitchcock’s leads in his classic silent thriller Blackmail (1929). She plays alongside Czech greats like Vlasta Burian and Jan W. Speerger in this screwball comedy about a factory owner and his uncle, who swap their identities and invent incredible stories to escape marriage in this classic, filled with perfectly timed physical comedy and exquisitely observed situational humour.Find out more at silentfilmcalendar.org  Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalWith an introduction from comedian and presenter Lucy Porter.  With live accompaniment by John Sweeney on the piano and Frank Bockius on percussion.  Watershed, Bristol Link

 

First Women in Comedy   Lucy Porter and Sian Norris present a series of short films celebrating pioneering women in film comedy. Between 1914 and 1919, Universal
Studios alone released 170 movies from women directors.
By comparison, between 2007-2017, only 53 films directed by women were among the 1,223 which made it into each year’s chart of top 100 movies at the box office.  Featuring films from pioneering directors Alice Guy Blache, Mabel Normand, Lois Weber and more, Lucy and Sian discuss the films, the culture of the period and take
a look at women in comedy today.   Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Hosted by stand-up comedian, writer and actor Lucy Porter  and writer and journalist Sian Norris. With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney  Watershed, Bristol  
Link

 

The Kid Brother (Dir. Ted Wilde & Harold Lloyd, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 82mins)  Slapstick legend Harold Lloyd stars in one of the greatest ever silent comedies ‘The Kid Brother’. Lloyd is undoubtedly an icon of the silent era, and this film is an incredible testament to his talent. Perfectly paced, it balances humour and action into a beautifully crafted story of a sheriff’s timid son (Lloyd, of course), someone who has a chance not only to prove himself when a medicine show run by con artists comes into town but also to win the affections of his sweetheart, Mary (Jobyna Ralston).  Find out more at  silentfilm.org . Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalWith an introduction from renowned film historian and director Kevin Brownlow with a personal message from Suzanne Lloyd, Harold’s grand-daughter. With live piano accompaniment by John SweeneyWatershed, Bristol Link

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Slapstick Divas  An evening of brilliant, rarely seen silent comedies  as Slapstick celebrates the outstanding leading women in some of the funniest on-screen comedies from the golden age of silents. Highlights include shorts from Mabel Normand and the first female director Alice Guy-Blaché plus a rare screening of Show People (Dir. King Vidor, US, 1928) (79mins) This delightful comedy  features Marion Davies as Peggy Pepper, an aspiring young actress fascinated by the allure of Hollywood. After meeting Billy Boone, the slapstick comedy actor played by William Haines, Peggy begins her journey through the strange world of the dream factory.  Davies is a knockout as the aspiring actress, but will her emerging ego destroy her career or will she realize who her real friends are? Look out for cameo appearances by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and King Vidor himself… as well as the real Marion Davies!! Find out more at moviessilently.com Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival. Introduced by actor and comedian Sally Phillips and actor and impressionist Ronni Ancona.  With live musical accompaniment from the European Silent Screen Virtuosi featuring Günter A. Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Romano Todesco.   Bristol Cathedral  Link

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28 January – 31 January (10 screenings)

South (Dir. Frank Hurley, UK/Aus, 1919) (Screening format – digital, 81mins). 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.  Now digitally restored with its original tinting and toning by the BFI National Archive  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 a newly commissioned recorded score by Neil Brand.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

28 January

Sally of the Sawdust (Dir. D.W Griffith, US, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 104mins) This rare example of a D.W Griffiths comedy pairs silent film darling Carol Dempster with W.C Fields playing the suitably cantankerous role of a juggler and small time conman who is left, literally, holding the baby when the child’s mother dies, having been cut off by her high-born family. Together they form a double act but trouble follows when Sally, now grown up, becomes romantically involved with the son of one of her estranged grandfather’s friends.Find out more at imdb.com  Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalWith an introduction from  presenter Chris Serle and a personal message from Dr Harriet Fields (Fields’ granddaughter). With live piano accompaniment by John SweeneyWatershed, Bristol  Link

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The Patsy  (Dir. King Vidor, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 88mins )  Legendary Hollywood director King Vidor recognised Marion Davies’ hitherto underused talent for comedy, hailing her as a “darn good comedienne” and casting her as the gloriously impudent Patricia.  Patsy by name and Patsy by nature she is the black sheep of the family, in thrall to her glamorous and favoured older sister Grace and hopelessly in love with her sister’s beau.  Davies will win your heart with her hilarious clowning and impersonations and the effortless charm of her performance.  Find out more at silentfilm.org .   Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalWith an introduction by Ronni Ancona and Sally Phillips. With live piano accompaniment by John SweeneyWatershed, Bristol  Link

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Slapstick Conversations: Buster Keaton James Curtis, admired biographer of Preston Sturges, W.C.Fields and Spencer Tracy, gives us the richest, most comprehensive life story to date of the legendary actor, stunt artist, screenwriter, director and comedic master Keaton, in his latest biography Buster Keaton: A Filmmakers’ Life. Buster transformed movie-making by elevating physical comedy on film to the highest of art forms. His silent shorts and features remain as startling, innovative, and irresistible today as they were when they first beguiled audiences almost a century ago. Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival in partnership with Festival of Ideas.   Slapstick is proud to present a special ‘in conversation’ with James Curtis on Zoom, live from California, hosted by Bristol Ideas director Andrew Kelly.  Watershed, Bristol  Link

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The Cameraman (Dir. Edward Sedgwick/Buster Keaton, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 67mins + shorts) Buster (Buster Keaton) meets Sally (Marceline Day), who works as a secretary for the newsreel department at MGM, and falls hard. Trying to win her attention, Buster abandons photography in order to become a news cameraman. In spite of his early failures with a motion camera, Sally takes to him as well. However, veteran cameraman Stagg (Harold Goodwin) also fancies Sally, meaning Buster will need to learn how to film quickly before he loses his job.  Find out more at slantmagazine.com   Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalIntroduced by actor, comedian, presenter and writer, Steven Mangan.  With live improvised musical accompaniment from The European Silent Screen Virtuosi featuring Günter A. Buchwald, Frank Bockius and Romano Todesco. Bristol Cathedral   Link

 

  29 January

The Epic of Everest (Dir. J B L Noel, UK, 1924) (Screening format – digital, 85mins) A real adventure captured on film! The Epic of Everest is the official record of the fateful 1924 expedition to reach the summit. This third attempt to climb Everest culminated in the deaths of two of the finest climbers of their generation, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, and sparked an on-going debate over whether or not they did indeed reach the summit. Filming in brutally harsh conditions with a specially adapted camera, Captain John Noel captured images of breathtaking beauty and considerable historic significance. This is the very earliest footage of the Himalayas and beautifully captures its untouched landscape in colour (tinted) film, while displaying the bravery of this group of British mountaineers and their Nepalese team.   The film is also among the earliest filmed records of life in Tibet and features sequences at Phari Dzong (Pagri), Shekar Dzong (Xegar) and Rongbuk monastery. But what resonates so deeply is Noel’s ability to frame the vulnerability, isolation and courage of people persevering in one of the world’s harshest landscapes.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk  With live musical accompaniment by Simon Fisher TurnerBFI Southbank, London  Link

 

The Slapstick Lecture with Peter Krämer A New Beginning: Buster Keaton and The Cameraman The Cameraman (1928) was the first film Buster Keaton made as an employee at Hollywood’s most glamorous studio, MGM, after years of making films at a company named after but neither owned nor managed by him. This presentation explores the reasons for Keaton’s move to MGM and the difficult conditions under which he worked there; the long-drawn-out process of story development for, and the style and themes of, The Cameraman; as well as the film’s limited success with reviewers and audiences. Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick FestivalFilm writer and academic Peter Krämer is the author of the BFI Film Classic on Buster Keaton’s The General.’  Watershed, Bristol Link


The Real Charlie Chaplin (Dir. Peter Middleton & James Spinney, US, 2021) (104mins)  Slapstick is honoured to be hosting a screening of the brand new documentary ‘The Real Charlie Chaplin’ fresh off its debut at The London Film festival. A look at the life and work of the one and only Charlie Chaplin in his own words, featuring an in-depth interview he gave to Life Magazine in 1966. With unprecedented access to archive footage, as well as talking heads from surviving family members, this documentary reveals never-before-seen insights into the Hollywood star.   Presented as part of the Bristol Slapstick Festival.  Introduced by renowned film historian David RobinsonWatershed, Bristol Link

 

30 January

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927) (Screening format –digital , 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  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank. Link

 

February

 

March

 

April

29 April

Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (Dir. John S. Robertson ,US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 79mins) Not the first cinematic version of Stevenson’s famous story but one of the most memorable with John Barrymore’s classic transformation scenes, a mixture of facial and bodily contortions as well as makeup. He tends to be hammy as the leering beast of a thug but brings a tortured struggle to the repressed doctor, horrified at the demon he’s unleashed, guilty that he enjoys Hyde’s unrestrained life of drinking and whoring and terrified that he can no longer control the transformations. Martha Mansfield co-stars as his pure and innocent sweetheart, and Nita Naldi (the vamp of Blood and Sand) has a small but memorable role as the world-weary dance-hall darling who first “wakens” Jekyll’s “baser nature”. The film uses elements from a 1887 stage version of Stevenson’s original novella by Thomas Russell Sullivan. A huge box office success on its release.  Find out more at moviessilently.com  With live musical accompaniment and the world premiere of a brand new live score by Stephen Horne and Meg MorleyCoventry Cathedral, Coventry Link