Live Screenings – Feb-Dec 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

February

4 February

Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein’s greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein’s theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase; his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment of the mass instead of the individual as the protagonist. The film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising.Their mutiny was short-lived, however, as during their attempts to get the population of Odessa to join the uprising, soldiers arrived and laid waste to the insurgents.  Battleship Potemkin is a work of extraordinary pictorial beauty and great elegance of form. The Odessa Steps sequence is unquestionably the most famous sequence of its kind in film history, and Eisenstein displays his legendary ability to convey large-scale action scenes. The shot of the baby carriage tumbling down the long staircase has been re-created in many films.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com   With recorded score.  BFI IMAX, London   Link

 

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1924) +  City Lights (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, US, 1931) (Screening format – digitl, 45/84 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.   Subtitled ‘A Comedy in Pantomime’, City Lights is viewed by many as Chaplin’s greatest film – a ‘silent film’ released three years into the talkie era.  The melodramatic film, a combination of pathos, slapstick and comedy, was a tribute to the art of body language and pantomime – a lone hold-out against the assault of talking film.  The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.  Find out more at rogerebert.com. With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London   Link

 

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + Chess Fever  (Dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky, USSR,1925) + The Cameraman’s Revenge (Dir. Ladislaw Starewicz, Russia, 1912)  (Screening format – not known, 68/28/13mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature The Kid is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  In 1925 Soviet citizens were transfixed by the International Chess Tournament being held at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol in November 1925 and the then up-and-coming director Pudovkin was asked to make a topical comedy about the ‘chess fever’ sweeping the nation. , simply titled Chess Fever.  Find out more at moviessilently.com  Ladislaw Starewicz was a pioneer of stop-motion animation, often using dried insect specimens and The Cameraman’s Revenge features a cast of beetles, dragonfly and grasshopper acting out a marital drama.  Find out more at  wcsu.edu  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. The Tolmen Centre, Constantine . Link

 

An evening of silent cinema Prepare to be transported back to an era when film soundtracks were orchestrated in front of spectators by live musicians. This is an unforgettable evening of early cinema with internationally acclaimed silent film pianist Stephen Horne.  The programme includes: The High Sign (Buster Keaton), Le rêve des Marmitons (Segundo De Chomon), Now you tell One (Charley Bowers), L’écrin du Radjah (Gaston Velle) and The Immigrant(Charlie Chaplin).  The evening will conclude with a Q&A where Stephen Horne will answer questions and chat to Simon Tyler of Creekside Vinyl.  Gulbenkian Cinema, Canterbury  Link

 

5 February

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.  With recorded score.  Picture House Cinemas:   Clapham, Crouch End, East Dulwich, Finsbury, Fulham Road, Greenwich, Hackney, Central, Ritzy, Stratford, West Norwood, Cambridge, Ashford, Edinburgh, Norwich, York, Brighton, Exeter, Liverpool, Bath, Oxford and Henley On Thames.  Link

 

7 February

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.  With recorded score.  Picture House Cinemas:  Nottingham Hill and Southampton   Link

 

8 February

Beverly of Graustark (Dir. Sidney Franklin, US, 1926)  + I Don’t Want to Be a Man  (Dir. Ernst Lubitsch, Ger, 1918)   The question posed in I Don’t Want to Be a Man is ‘Why do men have all the fun?’ Chastised for her lack of ladylike manners, a rebellious young woman (the ever exuberant Ossie Oswalda) dons top hat and tails and heads off to a fashionable Berlin night haunt. This gender-bending romp, made shortly before the end of WWI, is an utter delight  Find out more at sensesofcinema.comIn Beverly of Graustark Marion Davies starred in yet another dual role as the American Beverly Calhoun who masquerades as her cousin Oscar, who happens to be the Prince of Graustark, a small European monarchy. This was the second time that Davies masqueraded as a male (the first being Little Old New York), and critics and audiences applauded the effort. The film is often cited as Davies’ most profitable film because of low production costs and big box office. Beverly of Graustark was the movie that really brought out Davies’ aptitude for physical comedy, establishing the persona later seen to such delicious effect in Show People and The Patsy (both 1928). Find out at moviessilently.com  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope and the Vito Project.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London   Link

 

10 February

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 68/19mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature The Kid is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.orgOne Week sees Buster and his new bride struggling with a pre-fabricated home unaware that his bride’s former suitor has renumbered all of the boxes.  Find out more at wikipedia.org  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Plymouth Arts Centre . Link

 

11 February

Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1924) +  City Lights (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, US, 1931) (Screening format – digital, 45/84 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.   Subtitled ‘A Comedy in Pantomime’, City Lights is viewed by many as Chaplin’s greatest film – a ‘silent film’ released three years into the talkie era.  The melodramatic film, a combination of pathos, slapstick and comedy, was a tribute to the art of body language and pantomime – a lone hold-out against the assault of talking film.  The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy.  Find out more at rogerebert.com. With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London   Link

 

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + Chess Fever  (Dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky, USSR,1925) + The Cameraman’s Revenge (Dir. Ladislaw Starewicz, Russia, 1912)  (Screening format – not known, 68/28/13mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature The Kid is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  In 1925 Soviet citizens were transfixed by the International Chess Tournament being held at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol in November 1925 and the then up-and-coming director Pudovkin was asked to make a topical comedy about the ‘chess fever’ sweeping the nation. , simply titled Chess Fever.  Find out more at moviessilently.com  Ladislaw Starewicz was a pioneer of stop-motion animation, often using dried insect specimens and The Cameraman’s Revenge features a cast of beetles, dragonfly and grasshopper acting out a marital drama.  Find out more at  wcsu.edu  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Kingsand Community Hall . Link

 

12 February

Neil Brand presents Laurel and Hardy   Neil Brand, composer, pianist, broadcaster and champion of silent cinema, tells the touching story of what he regards as the world’s greatest comedy team, Laurel and Hardy. Abundantly illustrated with stills, clips (both silent and sound) and Neil’s superlative piano accompaniment, the programme culminates in two of the Boys’ best silents from 1929, Big Business and Liberty. It’s an event that promises gales of laughter throughout.  With live piano accompaniment.  BFI Southbank, London Link

 

15 February

The Cigarette Girl from Mosselprom (Dir. Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky, USSR, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 78mins)  In stark contrast to most films made immediately after the Russian Revolution, this is a delightful and boisterous comedy satirizing Soviet life and the making of movies in the 1920’s. Zina (Yuliya Solntseva) a cigarette girl, is loved by a middle-aged assistant bookkeeper, but before he can declare his affections, a movie company discovers and hires Zina as an actress. On the set, Zina meets the movie’s cameraman and they fall in love. But all seems lost when the studio, an American businessman and fate tear them apart and Zina has to return to her old job.  Director Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky received his early training at the famous Rus Film Studio where he started off as a cameraman eventually working as cinematographer for Soviet SF classic Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924) which also starred Yuliya Solntseva who would herself  go on to become a director, eventually becoming the first woman to win a Best Director award at Cannes.   The Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom, though declared a “bourgeois comedy,” was one of the most successful of all Russian silent films and remains the director’s greatest work of art.  Find out more at moviessilently.com  Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival.  Introduced by comedian and actor Lucy Porter.  With live piano accompaniment from John SweeneyWatershed , Bristol Link

 

Fred Karno: The Legend Behind The Laughter   Without the wit, grit and creativity of Exeter-born Fred Karno, the Slapstick Festival itself might not exist.   Karno was the acrobat, gag deviser and impresario who recruited and trained many of the physical performers who gave Hollywood its slapstick comedy stars, such as Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Will Hay.  The festival is delighted, therefore, to host an illustrated conversation between Andrew Kelly (Bristol ideas) and David Crump – author of a definitive new biography of the man whose mantra “If in doubt, fall on your arse” influences so many of the entertainers Slapstick celebrates.    Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival.    Watershed , Bristol  Link

 

Onscreen Wonder Women   Comedian and Slapstick favourite Lucy Porter and Jane Duffus, author of the ‘What The Frock Book of Funny Women’, present and discuss their picks from a new collection of rarely-seen silent comedy films in collaboration with Kino Lober.  The films, made between 1898 to 1926, feature slapstick high jinks, swipes at authority, gender swaps, feminist protests, and rebellions against the behaviour generally expected or demanded of women in those times.   The collection is drawn from international film archives.  Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival in partnership with Bristol Ideas..  With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney. The former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium Link

 

16 February

Charlie’s London: A Success Story   Join Ayşe Behçet for insights into how the discovery that she, her mother and grandmother were all born in the same part of London as Charlie Chaplin led to her becoming an internationally respected authority on the star’s early years, a blogger with many thousands of social media followers and to gaining enough support from crowd-funders to publish Charlie’s London: From East Lane to the Limelight – a Chaplin Estate-blessed biography in full-colour graphic comic format. In conversation with Andrew Kelly (Bristol Ideas).   Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival in partnership with Bristol Ideas. Followed by a book signing with Ayse and illustrator Karl Stephan.  Watershed, Bristol Link

 

I Kiss Your Hand, Madam   (Dir. Richard Land, Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 66mins)  A rare chance to see Marlene Dietrich in one of the last films she made in Germany before she was spotted by actor/director Josef von Sternberg and taken to the States to star as Lola in The Blue Angel (1930), thus beginning her stratospheric Hollywood career.  In this, her only silent comedy, she plays  Laurence Gerard – her character was retitled Lucille for the film’s US release – who is newly divorced and switches her affections from the obese Percy Talandier (a scene-stealing performance from Károly Huszár, credited in the US as Charles Puffy) to someone she thinks is a rich Russian count ( Harry Liedtke), disbelieving her ex’s claims that the man is penniless and working as a waiter.. The introduction of class issues comes when she discovers that he really is a waiter and, thinking that he has been taking advantage of her, has him fired from his restaurant job. Find out more at imdb.com    Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival.  Introduced by renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow.  With live piano accompaniment from John SweeneyWatershed , Bristol   Link

 

Paths To Paradise (Dir. Clarence Badger, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 67mins)   Paths to Paradise is one of the few surviving works of the almost-forgotten Raymond Griffith, a suave comic figure of the silent film genre. Without more of his films coming to light, there seems to be little to rescue Griffith & place him in the front ranks of silent film comedy even though in his day, he was as popular as Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd & Langdon.  Paths To Paradise is a terrific screwball-type tale of two rival cat-burglars. Griffith and Betty Compson are both wonderful in this witty and stylish comedy, constantly playing a game of one-upmanship before deciding to join forces to steal a diamond. The film shows exactly what made Griffith special; it’s hard to imagine any of the other major clowns playing a role on the wrong side of the law like this in their mature work. That Griffith plays a rogue and gets away with it speaks volume for his skill at creating a character. The film also benefits from snappy direction by Clarence Badger, and some excellent comic support (as always) from Edgar Kennedy.  Find out more at nitratediva.wordpress.com   Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival.  Introduced live from New York by Silent Comedy Watch Party hosts Steve Massa & Ben Model   Watershed , Bristol Link

 

Silent Comedy Gala:  1924 – Buster Keaton At The Double  Two of Buster Keatons finest comedies;    The Navigator (Dir. Donald Crisp/Buster Keaton, US, 1924)+  Sherlock Jnr (Dir. Buster Keaton, US, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 59/45 mins)  In The Navigator, when  wealthy and impulsive Rollo Treadway (Buster Keaton) decides to propose to his beautiful socialite neighbor, Betsy O’Brien (Kathryn McGuire), things don’t go as planned. Alhough Betsy turns Rollo down, he still opts go on the cruise that he intended as their honeymoon. When circumstances find both Rollo and Betsy on the wrong ship, with no one else on board, they end up with some hilarious high adventures on the high seas, which allows Keaton plenty of opportunities to display his trademark agility. Find out more at busterkeaton.com    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 as part of the Slapstick Festival. Introduced by comedian Graeme Garden and Keaton aficionado Polly Rose.  With live musical accompaniment from the Ensemble ImproCinema, featuring Slapstick’s musical director Günter A. Buchwald and on percussion Frank BockiusThe former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium  Link

 

17 February

 

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 South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by Meg MorleyPound Arts, Corsham   Link

 

You’d Be Surprised (Dir. Arthur Rosson, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 65 mins)  A diamond is stolen at a houseboat party given by the district attorney. He gives the thief a chance to return it by putting an empty box on a table and turning out the lights. When the lights are turned back on the box is gone, and the district attorney has a knife in his back and is quite dead. The police and the coroner arrive. There are several attempts made on the life of the coroner. Ruth Whitman is found hiding in a grandfather-clock, holding the gem box. She claims the box was pushed into her hands and she was pushed into the clock. The district attorney’s butler/valet tells the coroner he saw who killed his employer and a few minutes later he is also murdered. The mystery deepens. Newly restored and re-issued on DVD/Blu-Ray thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign from Ben Model,  a contemporary critic described it as “One of the very best or very worst comedies I ever saw” but when shown recently at Cinecon, Hollywood, it was judged the undisputed hit of the weekend.  Find out more at  moviessilently.com  Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival. Introduced by renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow.  With live piano accompaniment from John SweeneyWatershed , Bristol Link

 

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (Dir. Harry Edwards, US, 1926 ) ( Screening format – not known, 62mins)    When baby-faced comedian Harry Langdon left Mack Sennett Studios to make features for First National, he wisely brought along the two Sennett staffers who helped make him a star: gag writer Frank Capra and director Harry Edwards. Langdon’s first feature-length comedy at his new studio was Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, which not only ranks as one of Harry’s best efforts, but also one of the funniest comedies ever made. Our hero plays a bumbling cobbler’s son who enters a cross-country walking race sponsored by shoe manufacturer John Burton (Edwards Davis). This he does partly to save his dad’s business, but mainly out of love for Burton’s daughter Betty (Joan Crawford), whom Harry knows only from her appearances on the Burton Shoe advertising billboards. As our hero tramp, tramp, tramps along, one mishap after another befalls him. At one point he is arrested and placed on a chain gang, leading to pantomimic tour de force in which the hapless Harry tries his best to make little rocks out of big ones. He also runs afoul of a belligerent herd of sheep, nearly plummeting off a cliff as a result. The climax finds Harry being literally swept off his feet by an outsized cyclone — a surprisingly convincing special-effects sequence staged entirely within the studio! Find out more at threemoviebuffs.com     Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival. Introduced by renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow.  With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney Watershed , Bristol    Link

 

Speedy (Dir. Ted Wilde, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 86mins) Harold Lloyd’s final silent film sees him reprise his ‘glasses character’ as a baseball-obsessed New Yorker (the film features a cameo by baseball legend Babe Ruth, evocative scenes shot at Coney Island and – pay attention – the first known use of the middle finger gesture, later banned under Hays Code rules) who becomes determined to save the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar, motivated in no small part by its owner being the grandfather of his love interest. Filled with Lloyd’s trademark rapid-fire visual humour and elaborate set-ups, it’s a fine example of his innovative approach to comedy. Find out more at allmovie.com.   Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival. Introduced by renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow.  With live musical accompaniment from the Ensemble ImproCinema.. The former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium   Link

 

18 February

Battleship Potemkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein’s greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein’s theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase; his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment of the mass instead of the individual as the protagonist. The film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising.Their mutiny was short-lived, however, as during their attempts to get the population of Odessa to join the uprising, soldiers arrived and laid waste to the insurgents.  Battleship Potemkin is a work of extraordinary pictorial beauty and great elegance of form. The Odessa Steps sequence is unquestionably the most famous sequence of its kind in film history, and Eisenstein displays his legendary ability to convey large-scale action scenes. The shot of the baby carriage tumbling down the long staircase has been re-created in many films.  Find out more at classicartfilms.com   With recorded score.  BFI Southbank, London  Link

 

The Extraordinary World Of Charley Bowers.   Even heroes have heroes and for the internationally-admired animator, director, producer and Aardman Animations co-founder Peter Lord, one is Charles R (Charley) Bowers (1877 – 1946) – not only an accomplished cartoonist, creator of hundreds of the Mutt & Jeff animations beloved by audiences in the 1920s and a popular comedy actor, but also the inventor of a process enabling him to insert jaw-dropping stop-motion-based special effects into live action sequences.  Presented as part of the Slapstick Festival. Introduced by Peter Lord.   With live musical accompaniment Guenter A. Buchwald.   Watershed, Bristol  Link

 

19 February

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   With recorded score.  Picturehouse Cinemas:  Bromley, Clapham, Crouch End, East Dulwich, Finsbury Park, Fulham Road, Greenwich, Hackney, Central, Ritzy, Stratford, West Norwood, Cambridge, Ashford, Edinburgh, Norwich, York, Brighton, Exeter, Liverpool, Bath, Oxford and Henley on Thames Link

 

21 February

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   With recorded score.  Picturehouse Cinemas:  Notting Hill and Southampton   Link

 

26 February

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  With live piano accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Palace Cinema, Broadstairs   Link

 

 March

1 March

Oliver Twist (Dir. Frank Lloyd, US, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 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 the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London Link

 

3 March

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 Mill Arts Centre, Banbury  Link

 

4 March

The Live Ghost TentQuarterly meeting of the Laurel and Hardy Society.  Screenings will include the silent short Do Detectives Think? (Dir. Fred Guiol, US, 1927).    With recorded score(?)  Cinema Museum, Lambeth  Link

 

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.   With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Riverside Studios, London Link

 

  10 March

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.   With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  Village Hall, Kirk Langley Link

 

March 17

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1927)  (Screening format – not known, 91 mins ) In The Lodger, a serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose in London, murdering blonde women. A mysterious man (Ivor Novello)  arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting looking for a room to rent. The Bunting’s daughter (June Tripp)  is a blonde model and is seeing one of the detectives (Malcolm Keen) assigned to the case. The detective becomes jealous of the lodger and begins to suspect he may be the avenger.  Based on a best-selling novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, first published in 1913, loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders,  The Lodger was Hitchcock’s first thriller, and his first critical and commercial success. Made shortly after his return from Germany, the film betrays the influence of the German expressionist tradition established in such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922). Find out more at silentfilm.org   With live musical accompaniment from MinimaBedales, Petersfield   Link

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dir.Wallace Worsley, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 117mins) A classic silent film, full of drama, frights, romance, and excitement – Quasimodo’s story is told with the thrilling addition of a live score – bringing this extraordinary movie to life like never before.  Quasimodo is ordered to kidnap a gypsy girl, Esmerelda, by his wicked master, and an unlikely friendship forms between them. However, the reclusive hunchback is tested to his limits when Esmerelda is framed for attempted murder, and must fight back against the powers that have subjugated him. Victor Hugo’s tragic tale of the deformed bellringer and his love for Esmeralda, a doomed gypsy girl, has been filmed so many times and it’s not hard to see the film’s ageless appeal. While some movie lovers who cite the 1939 Charles Laughton version as their favorite interpretation, the general consensus  is that Chaney remains the definitive Quasimodo. Find out more at  wikipedia.org.   With live organ accompaniment by Jonathan Eyre at the Wurlitzer.   Victoria Hall, Saltaire   Link

 

18 March

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + Chess Fever  (Dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky, USSR,1925) + The Cameraman’s Revenge (Dir. Ladislaw Starewicz, Russia, 1912)  (Screening format – not known, 68/28/13mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature The Kid is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .  In 1925 Soviet citizens were transfixed by the International Chess Tournament being held at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol in November 1925 and the then up-and-coming director Pudovkin was asked to make a topical comedy about the ‘chess fever’ sweeping the nation. , simply titled Chess Fever.  Find out more at moviessilently.com  Ladislaw Starewicz was a pioneer of stop-motion animation, often using dried insect specimens and The Cameraman’s Revenge features a cast of beetles, dragonfly and grasshopper acting out a marital drama.  Find out more at  wcsu.edu  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Drewsteignton Church . Link

 

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 Crich Live, Derbyshire    Link

 

March 19

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.   With live organ accompaniment by Donald MacKenzie.   Paramount Cinema, Penistone  Link

 

23 March

I Was Born, But…… (Dir. Yasujiro Ozu, Jap, 1932) (Screening format, not known, 90mins)  This early comedy from Yasujirô Ozu focuses on the Yoshii family – dad Kennosuke, his homemaker wife, and two sons Keiji and Ryoichi – who have just moved from Tokyo’s crowded city centre to a suburban development. Straight away the two boys start slugging it out to find a place in the pecking order among the neighbourhood kids. One of those deposed by their wily antics is Taro, son of Mr Iwasaki, the owner of the company where Kennosuke works as a humble salaryman. Then one night the Yoshii family are invited round to the Iwasaki’s, where the boys are mortified to see their dad dutifully kowtowing to his boss: “You tell us to become somebody, but you’re nobody. Why do you have to bow so much to Taro’s father?” Kennosuke’s attempts to explain the realities of the adult world to his sons leads to some soul-searching of his own.  One of the few surviving examples of Ozu’s silent period filmmaking, like his later films this one focuses on the internal dynamics of a single family unit as a way of drawing out broader generalisations about contemporary Japanese society, and uses the low-angle camera shots of domestic interiors that would become his stylistic trademark. Find out more at silentfilm.org .  Presented by South West Silents.  With live piano accompaniment by Meg Morley.  Pound Arts, Corsham Link

29 March

The Love Expert (Dir. David Kirkland, US, 1920)  (Screening format – 35mm/ 72mins)  With a screenplay by John Emerson and Anita Loos (who appeared as an uncredited extra in several scenes) this romantic comedy stars Constance Talmadge as Babs, a girl who is thrown out of boarding school because she’s more interested in studying romance than she is in studying books. The object of her affections is Jim Winthrop, but before they can wed, he has to find suitable mates for his two plain sisters, Dorcas and Matilda – and Winthrop’s elderly aunt, too. To speed things up, Babs takes it upon herself to find them all men.  The film also stars Constance’s sister Natalie as the ‘plain’ aunt Dorcas.  Find out more at catalog.afi.com  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live piano accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, London Link

 

April

1 April

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.   This screening will be extra special – showing here exactly 100 years to the day of its first release, introduced by a special guest (TBA) and with live musical accompaniment by a trio of stellar musicians, The Stephen Horne Trio.   St George’s Bristol  Link

 

The Kid (Dir. Charles Chaplin, US, 1921) + One Week (Dir. Buster Keaton/Eddie Cline, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 68/19mins) Chaplin’s first full-length feature The Kid is a silent masterpiece about a little tramp who discovers a little orphan and brings him up but is left desolate when the orphanage reclaims him. Beneath the comedy, there are definitely some more serious thematic elements at work and and the film is noted for its pathos. In that regard, the opening inter-title proves to be true: “A picture with a smile — and perhaps, a tear.”Chaplin directed, produced and starred in the film, as well as composed the score.  Find out more at wikipedia.orgOne Week sees Buster and his new bride struggling with a pre-fabricated home unaware that his bride’s former suitor has renumbered all of the boxes.  Find out more at wikipedia.org  With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. St Dominick Church . Link

 

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920) (Screening format – not known,  77 mins) In the village of Holstenwall, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty three years.  At night, Cesare walks the streets murdering people on the doctor’s orders.  A student (Friedrich Feher) suspects Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum.  Fueled by the pessimism and gloom of post-war Germany, the sets by Hermann Warm stand unequaled as a shining example of Expressionist design.  Find out more at  wikipedia.org.   With live musical accompaniment by Minima.  St Leonard’s Spital, Chesterfield  Link

 

22 April

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 MinimaBramwell Memorial Institute, Buxton     Link