March

 

 

 

 

 


1 March

The Artist(Dir.  Michel Hazanavicius, Fr, 2011)  (Screening format – not known, 100  mins) A ‘modern’ black and white silent, the story takes place in Hollywood, between 1927 and 1932. Outside a movie premiere, enthusiastic fan Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) literally bumps into the swashbuckling hero of the silent film, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin). The star reacts graciously and Peppy plants a kiss on his cheek as they are surrounded by photographers. The headlines demand: “Who’s that girl?” and Peppy is inspired to audition for a dancing bit-part at the studio. However as Peppy slowly rises through the industry, the introduction of talking-pictures turns Valentin’s world upside-down.  It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture.  Oh, and Uggie the dog makes a great co-star.  Find out more at  rogerebert.com .  With recorded soundtrack.  Introduced by Steve Murray.  The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant, Hants Link

2 March

Assunta Spina (Dir. Gustavo Serena and Francesca Bertini, It, 1915)  (Screening format –not known, 70 mins) Assunta Spina is one of the great films of Italian silent cinema. Shot in fall 1914 in Naples the picture shows the city’s soul, scrutinizes its every aspect, realistically portraying the serenity and beauty of its most colorful areas, the chaotic frenzy of its neighborhoods and markets, as well as the run-down state of the working class suburbs. The film tells the dramatic  story of laundress Assunta Spina (Francesca Bertini) engaged to a violent butcher Michele (Gustavo Serena) but courted by the handsome Raffaele (Luciano Albertini).  When, in a jealous rage, Michele slashes Assunta’s face with a knife the scene is set for high drama and tragedy.   The film reveals the spirit of Neapolitans, emphasizing their exuberance and passion but also their vengefulness and unrestrained reactions that often degenerate into violence.But Bertini and Serena are not the film’s only main characters: the unlucky laundress’s shawl, in Bertini’s skilled hands, comes to life and acts as a kind of metronome marking the various stages of the tragedy as it unfolds. When approached by the studio to star in the film, Bertini only accepted as long as she was also the film’s writer and director.  But Bertini demonstrated skill and sensitivity in this, her directorial debut.  Find out more atmedium.com/cuny-fashion/film-review-assunta-spina. With live musical accompaniment from six-piece Italian folk band The Badwills.  Eden Court, Inverness.  Link

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 recorded score.  The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant, Hants Link

Silent Comedy Shorts featuring Harold Lloyd’s Number Please? (1920), Buster Keaton’s The High Sign (1921) and Laurel and Hardy’sLiberty (1929) With live piano accompaniment from Neil Brand.  The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant, HantsLink

3 March

Fragment of an Empire(Dir. Fridrikh Ermler, USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 109mins) Arriving home after 10 years, an amnesiac soldier gives out an agonized cry, “Where is Petersburg?”, as he stands lost in the new cityscape of Soviet Leningrad. Fridrikh Ermler’s Fragment of an Empire has been referred to as the most important film in Soviet Cinema. It’s a bold claim, but justified by the synthesis of a powerful personal story and the critique it allows of the revolution as seen by a soldier stuck in a Tsarist past. The film opens in the chaos of a bloody battle in 1914 and follows with an extraordinary evocation of the main protagonist’s returning memory. As played by regular Ermler lead Fiodor Nikitin, his response to the social changes he sees is both moving and politically astute. Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Dublin International Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from Stephen Horne and Frank Bockius.  Light House Cinema, Dublin Link

Assunta Spina (Dir. Gustavo Serena and Francesca Bertini, It, 1915)  (Screening format –not known, 70 mins) Assunta Spina is one of the great films of Italian silent cinema. Shot in fall 1914 in Naples the picture shows the city’s soul, scrutinizes its every aspect, realistically portraying the serenity and beauty of its most colorful areas, the chaotic frenzy of its neighborhoods and markets, as well as the run-down state of the working class suburbs. The film tells the dramatic  story of laundress Assunta Spina (Francesca Bertini) engaged to a violent butcher Michele (Gustavo Serena) but courted by the handsome Raffaele (Luciano Albertini).  When, in a jealous rage, Michele slashes Assunta’s face with a knife the scene is set for high drama and tragedy.   The film reveals the spirit of Neapolitans, emphasizing their exuberance and passion but also their vengefulness and unrestrained reactions that often degenerate into violence.But Bertini and Serena are not the film’s only main characters: the unlucky laundress’s shawl, in Bertini’s skilled hands, comes to life and acts as a kind of metronome marking the various stages of the tragedy as it unfolds. When approached by the studio to star in the film, Bertini only accepted as long as she was also the film’s writer and director.  But Bertini demonstrated skill and sensitivity in this, her directorial debut.  Find out more at medium.com/cuny-fashion/film-review-assunta-spina . With live musical accompaniment from six-piece Italian folk band The Badwills.  DCA Dundee Link

Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927) (Screening format –DCP , 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.orgWith live organ accompaniment by David Grey. Regent Street Cinema, London Link

City Lights (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, US, 1931) (Screening format – DCP, 84mins) 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 Chaplin score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

6 March

City Lights (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, US, 1931) (Screening format – DCP, 84mins) 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 Chaplin score. With introduction by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson  BFI Southbank, London Link

7 March

The General  (Dir. Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, 1926) + The Goat  (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 .  With live piano accompaniment by Costas Fotopoulos.  Billericay Community Cinema, Billericay Link

8 March

The Blot (Dir. Lois Weber, US, 1921) + Suspense (Dir. Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley, US, 1913)  (Screening format – not known, 91/10 mins) In a time where women played a central role in creating the American cinema, Lois Weber (1881–1939) was the outstanding woman filmmaker, writer and producer of the silent era. She was also one of the highest paid directors — man or woman — of her time! Weber’s films were critically acclaimed financial successes that created huge controversies around the country. The Blot remains the most popular of the more than 100 films she directed. Weber’s two remarkable young discoveries, Claire Windsor and Louis Calhern, rose to stardom with this film, and remained popular Hollywood actors for years. The scholarly and underpaid Professor Griggs and his family live in genteel poverty in a small college town. To help out the family, beautiful young Amelia Griggs (Claire Windsor) works in the public library. Next-door to the Griggs are the Olsens, a large and lively family of immigrants living high on the hog, thanks to a thriving shoemaking business. Amelia attracts the attentions of Phil West, the son of a college trustee and her father’s laziest and naughtiest student. His rival for Amelia’s affection is Reverend Gates, a gentle, sincere and impecunious minister.  When Amelia falls ill from overwork, her mother tries to nurse her back to health. With the cupboards bare, the very proper Mrs. Griggs is sorely tempted to steal a chicken from her neighbor’s kitchen. The ensuing commotion turns out to be a blessing in disguise…Find out more at  silentfilm.org.   The story of Suspense, a one-reel thriller, is a simple one—a tramp threatens a mother and child, while the father races home to their rescue—but the techniques used to tell it are complex. Weber and Smalley employ a dizzying array of formal devices. The approach of an automobile is shown reflected in another car’s side-view mirror. We catch our first glimpse of the menacing burglar from the same angle as the wife does—from directly over him while he glares straight up. Three simultaneous actions are shown, not sequentially but as a triptych within one frame.  Smalley and Weber began their film careers as a husband-and-wife team acting under the direction of Edwin S. Porter at the Rex Company, one of the many early independent film studios established to combat the power of the Motion Picture Patents Company, a conglomeration of the major producers and distributors in the United States. By the time Porter left Rex, in 1912, Smalley and Weber had graduated to directing and were fully responsible for the small studio’s output. Suspense is one of the very few films made at Rex that survives, and its staggering originality raises a tantalizing question: is it a fascinating anomaly or a representative sample of the studio’s overall production? Find out more atmoviessilently.com Presented by South West Silents and the Borderlines Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Lillian Henley.  Introduced by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson.  The Courtyard, Hereford Link

9 March

Assunta Spina (Dir. Gustavo Serena and Francesca Bertini, It, 1915)  (Screening format –not known, 70 mins) Assunta Spina is one of the great films of Italian silent cinema. Shot in fall 1914 in Naples the picture shows the city’s soul, scrutinizes its every aspect, realistically portraying the serenity and beauty of its most colorful areas, the chaotic frenzy of its neighborhoods and markets, as well as the run-down state of the working class suburbs. The film tells the dramatic  story of laundress Assunta Spina (Francesca Bertini) engaged to a violent butcher Michele (Gustavo Serena) but courted by the handsome Raffaele (Luciano Albertini).  When, in a jealous rage, Michele slashes Assunta’s face with a knife the scene is set for high drama and tragedy.   The film reveals the spirit of Neapolitans, emphasizing their exuberance and passion but also their vengefulness and unrestrained reactions that often degenerate into violence.But Bertini and Serena are not the film’s only main characters: the unlucky laundress’s shawl, in Bertini’s skilled hands, comes to life and acts as a kind of metronome marking the various stages of the tragedy as it unfolds. When approached by the studio to star in the film, Bertini only accepted as long as she was also the film’s writer and director.  But Bertini demonstrated skill and sensitivity in this, her directorial debut.  Find out more at medium.com/cuny-fashion/film-review-assunta-spina. With live musical accompaniment from six-piece Italian folk band The Badwills.  West Side Cinema, Stromness Link

10 March

The Blot(Dir. Lois Weber, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 91 mins)In a time where women played a central role in creating the American cinema, Lois Weber (1881–1939) was the outstanding woman filmmaker, writer and producer of the silent era. She was also one of the highest paid directors — man or woman — of her time! Weber’s films were critically acclaimed financial successes that created huge controversies around the country. The Blot remains the most popular of the more than 100 films she directed. Weber’s two remarkable young discoveries, Claire Windsor and Louis Calhern, rose to stardom with this film, and remained popular Hollywood actors for years. The scholarly and underpaid Professor Griggs and his family live in genteel poverty in a small college town. To help out the family, beautiful young Amelia Griggs (Claire Windsor) works in the public library. Next-door to the Griggs are the Olsens, a large and lively family of immigrants living high on the hog, thanks to a thriving shoemaking business. Amelia attracts the attentions of Phil West, the son of a college trustee and her father’s laziest and naughtiest student. His rival for Amelia’s affection is Reverend Gates, a gentle, sincere and impecunious minister.  When Amelia falls ill from overwork, her mother tries to nurse her back to health. With the cupboards bare, the very proper Mrs. Griggs is sorely tempted to steal a chicken from her neighbor’s kitchen. The ensuing commotion turns out to be a blessing in disguise…Find out more at  silentfilm.orgWith live piano accompaniment from Lillian Henley.  Palace Cinema, Broadstairs Link

Outside The Law (Dir. Tod Browning, US, 1920 (Screening format – digital, 75mins) Silent Madden (Lon Chaney) and his daughter Molly (Priscilla Dean), both criminals, are persuaded to reform by Confucian Chang Low, but a frame-up by gang leader Black Mike sends Madden to prison. Unaware of Black Mike’s role in the frame-up, an embittered Molly joins his gang and agrees to aid in a jewel robbery, but learning that she likewise is to be framed, she and Dapper Bill Ballard abscond with the jewels and hide out in a tiny apartment. Will the couple escape the pursuing Black Mike and will Molly ever fall for Bill’s charms?  ‘A Tod Browning picture all the way. It starts with action and ends with action. The double double-cross at the opening of the film is worth it alone,’ enthused Variety in 1920. Outside the Law – a crime caper set in the San Francisco underworld – is still a cracker today. You’ll come to see a little-known Lon Chaney film, but you’ll leave a committed Priscilla Dean fan – she plays the moll, as hard-boiled as they come. Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Introduced by the BFI’s Bryony Dixon.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  BFI Southbank, London Link

Assunta Spina (Dir. Gustavo Serena and Francesca Bertini, It, 1915)  (Screening format –not known, 70 mins) Assunta Spina is one of the great films of Italian silent cinema. Shot in fall 1914 in Naples the picture shows the city’s soul, scrutinizes its every aspect, realistically portraying the serenity and beauty of its most colorful areas, the chaotic frenzy of its neighborhoods and markets, as well as the run-down state of the working class suburbs. The film tells the dramatic  story of laundress Assunta Spina (Francesca Bertini) engaged to a violent butcher Michele (Gustavo Serena) but courted by the handsome Raffaele (Luciano Albertini).  When, in a jealous rage, Michele slashes Assunta’s face with a knife the scene is set for high drama and tragedy.   The film reveals the spirit of Neapolitans, emphasizing their exuberance and passion but also their vengefulness and unrestrained reactions that often degenerate into violence.But Bertini and Serena are not the film’s only main characters: the unlucky laundress’s shawl, in Bertini’s skilled hands, comes to life and acts as a kind of metronome marking the various stages of the tragedy as it unfolds. When approached by the studio to star in the film, Bertini only accepted as long as she was also the film’s writer and director.  But Bertini demonstrated skill and sensitivity in this, her directorial debut.  Find out more at medium.com/cuny-fashion/film-review-assunta-spina. With live musical accompaniment from six-piece Italian folk band The Badwills. Lyth Arts Centre, Caithness  Link

13 March

The Cat And The Canary (Dir. Paul Leni, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 82mins) The Cat and the Canary, originally a stage play, weaves a tale now very familiar to lovers of the horror genre. Cyrus West, a millionaire, died a presumed madman. His will is only to be read 20 years following his death. The heir? A 20-something girl by the name of Annabelle West. However, the will has an odd condition – since the greed of West’s family drove him to madness (like cats surrounding a canary), Annabelle must be deemed psychologically sound, or the money turns over to a secret heir named in an envelope held by Mr. Crosby, the lawyer overseeing the will reading. Mr. Crosby soon goes missing, with Annabelle the only witness to his disappearance. Is Annabelle spiraling into insanity? Or is the mystery heir pushing her there? The film takes us on a twisty whodunit, one of the very first of the genre, and indubitably one of the few that withstands the test of time. Directed by German expressionist film-maker Paul Leni, his first Hollywood film after having been recruited by producer Carl Laemmle for Universal, and remade three times in the sound era, this silent version is considered the definitive rendering.  Find out more at silentfilm.orgPresented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live piano accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

14 March

The Man Who Laughs (Dir. Paul Leni, USA, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 110mins) In an effort to top the critical and financial success of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, studio head Carl Laemmle recruited two influential artists of the German Expressionist school: actor Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and director Paul Leni (Waxworks). The shadowy exteriors, the carnival setting, the demonically misshapen “hero” made The Man Who Laughs something entirely new to American cinema-the foundation upon which the classic Universal horror films would be built. Veidt stars as Gwynplaine, a nobleman’s son who is kidnapped by a political enemy, and then is mutilated by a gypsy “surgeon” who carves a monstrous smile upon his face. Finding shelter in a traveling freakshow, he falls in love with a blind girl (The Phantom Of the Opera‘s Mary Philbin), the one person who cannot be repulsed by his appearance. As years pass, the hand of fate draws Gwynplaine back into the world of political intrigue. He becomes the plaything of a jaded duchess (Freaks‘ Olga Baclanova), and his enemies renew their efforts to control him. Find out more at rogerebert.com.  With live musical accompaniment by the Meg Morley Trio.  1901 Arts Club, Waterloo, LondonLink

Women Amateur Film-makers in the Silent Era  Since 2015, the Women Amateur Filmmakers in Britain project has uncovered and digitised over 100 films made by women amateurs between 1928 and 1988, to identify and celebrate the historical role that such women pioneers played in the British amateur film movement. Tonight, the WAF project presents three of the earliest silent films in its collection –  Sally Sallies Forth (1928), directed by Frances Lascot : heralded as the first amateur film produced entirely by women. Chaos ensues when Sally (Sadie Andrews) becomes a maid for a day at an upper class garden party; The Polite Burglar (1929), directed by Sadie Andrews : a comedy produced as a competition for the London Amateur Cinematographers Association – can you spot the 30 deliberate errors in the film? Doomsday (1932), directed by Ruth Stuart : an early amateur science fiction film about the end of the world, strongly influenced by European art cinema.  With newly recorded  soundtracks composed by Laura Rossi. Followed by a Q&A session with members of the WAF project.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

15 March

Cottage on Dartmoor (Dir. Anthony Asquith, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 84mins) Joe (Uno Henning) works as a barber in a shop in a Devon town, alongside a manicurist called Sally (Norah Baring). He becomes infatuated with her and asks her out but  it is clear that Sally does not reciprocate Joe’s feelings.  Joe’s infatuation with her develops into obsession. Meanwhile a young  farmer Harry (Hans Schlettow), begins to woo Sally and the couple begin seeing each other which leaves Joe in despair. After a fight with Harry, Joe is jailed but swears revenge on Harry and Sally.  A Cottage on Dartmoor is a tale of love and revenge set in the bleak landscape of Dartmoor and a thoughtful distillation of the best of European silent film techniques from a director steeped in the work of the Soviet avant-garde and German expressionism. One of the last films of the silent era and a virtuoso piece of film-making, A Cottage on Dartmoor was a final passionate cry in defence of an art form soon to be obsolete. Find out more at  silentfilm.org. With live musical accompaniment by Wurlitza. Plymouth University, Plymouth Link

16 March

Hound of the Baskervilles (Dir. Richard Oswald,  Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 65mins)  The world’s most popular detective brought thrillingly to life in this most famous of all Conan Doyle’s stories, now restored and given its UK premiere at HippFest. An atmosphere of Saturday matinee entertainment runs throughout, with secret passages, spooky suits of armour, and a dastardly villain creeping about the shadowy ancestral Baskerville home and foggy moors. This, the last Sherlock Holmes film of the silent era, has itself been the subject of mystery and intrigue, the nitrate original being stored (some say hidden) in a Polish priest’s basement for decades.  In this enjoyable incarnation Holmes bears some of the hallmarks we have come to expect: arrogance, a deerstalker hat and a disdainful but fond relationship with his Watson.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment by Mike Nolan.  Barony Theatre, Bo’Ness Link

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.  Screened as part of the Bristol Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment from organist David Bednall.  Bristol Cathedral, Bristol 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 and the Borderlines Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Meg Morley.  Malvern Theatres, Malvern  Link

17 March

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 atsilentfilm.org  With live musical accompaniment by The Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand.  Broadway Cinema, Nottingham Link

18 March

City Lights (Dir. Charlie Chaplin, US, 1931) (Screening format – DCP, 84mins)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 Chaplin score.  BFI Southbank, London Link

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 Technicolor, 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  With live orchestral accompaniment by the Docklands Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Spencer Down performing for only the second time a score specially composed for the film by renowned jazz musician and composer Roy Budd.  Budd composed scores for films such as Soldier Blue (1970), Get Carter (1971), Man at the Top (1973), Wild Geese (1978) and many more but died suddenly in 1993 before his score for Phantom of the Opera could ever be performed.    Barbican, London  Link

19 March

Blackmail (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 84mins) Made at the tail-end of the silent era, this is a very rare screening of the silent version of Blackmail, rather than the re-shot ‘talkie’ vesionm made at the same time.   Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920’s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes Alice out one night, but she has secretly arranged to meet another man. Later that night Alice agrees to go back to his flat to see his studio. The man has other ideas and as he tries to rape Alice, she defends herself and kills him with a bread knife. When the body is discovered, Frank is assigned to the case, he quickly determines that Alice is the killer, but so has someone else and blackmail is threatened. Alfred Hitchcock’s sinister, suspenseful tale of crime and romance is one of the last British silent films to be made. With his traditional cameo appearance in the first reel, to a spectacular moonlit chase through the British Museum in the final reel, Blackmail is a classic thriller from the Master of Suspense.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk With live improvised musical accompaniment  by Jonny Best (piano) and James Hedgecock (percussion). Truk Theatre, Hull  Link

20 March

The Birth of Horror  This illustrated talk will trace the love affair between silent film and the macabre, from Thomas Edison’s graphic 1895 Execution of Mary Queen of Scots to the collective Post Traumatic Stress in the aftermath of WWI that gave rise to German Expressionist nightmares like Dr Caligari (1920) and the vampire Nosferatu (1922).  In Britain the 1910s saw a growing fascination with Egyptian curses and spiritualism whilst the 1920s heralded the so called ‘spook era’ and uncovered the dark genius of the master himself: Alfred Hitchcock. Using an international selection of film clips we will examine the birth of Horror from the earliest films in 1895 to the coming of sound in 1929.  Screened as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest).  Presented by Laraine Porter, Senior Lecturer in Film at De Montford University and Director of the British Silent Film Festival.  With live piano accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

Rob Roy (Dir. William Kellino, UK, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 80mins) Rarely screened, this impressive biopic of one of Scotland’s best-known outlaws stars David Hawthorne in full tartan kilt and tammy and tells the story of the MacGregors in the early 18th century.  Shot entirely on location in the Trossachs and nearby Stirling Castle, whilst the 10th Duke of Argyll gave permission to the production to film on his estates, the film makes liberal use of Scots for the intertitles (“dinnae fash yersel”) and includes epic fight scenes, with over 800 men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders enlisted as extras in a dramatic battle.  Find out more atimdb.com The opening night premier of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival 2019.  Accompanied live by a world premiere of a new commission from composer and musician David Allison.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

21 March

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 .  With live musical accompaniment by instrumental trio Haiku Salut.  Quad Cinema, Derby Link

Oscar Wilde goes to Hollywood: Dorian Gray against the Censors, 1915-1945  Had he lived, Oscar Wilde would have gone to Hollywood. He always loved the glitz of America, and lucrative contracts for scenario writers in the Hollywood boom from 1915 would quite possibly have offered an irresistible income. In reality, of course, Oscar never made it to the Dream Factories of LA. However, his stories did. This illustrated talk traces how and why his 1891 novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, became a popular and subversive text for film adaptations in Hollywood between 1915 and 1945. It explores the cultural capital and cache of Wilde in the US in this period and argues that the films use this as a mask, behind which they dare to gesture beyond the strict confines of censorship to the unshowable and unsayable. Presented by Dr Kate Hext, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter. Goldsmith’s College, University of London, New Cross, London  Link

 

Holmes of the Movies An illustrated talk on Conan Doyle’s enigmatic detective character Sherlock Holmes, who became a film star with the birth of the movies. His first cinematic outing was as early as 1901 in a bit of nonsense entitled Sherlock Holmes Baffled. His film career is a fascinating one and this talk takes you into the foggy environs of Baker Street, presenting an overview of Sherlock’s celluloid adventures with illustrative film clips Screened as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest).  Presented by David Stuart Davies, a writer and performer who has written extensively about Holmes. With live piano accompaniment from Mike Nolan.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

Hound of the Baskervilles (Dir. Richard Oswald,  Ger, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 65mins)  The world’s most popular detective brought thrillingly to life in this most famous of all Conan Doyle’s stories, now restored and given its UK premiere at HippFest. An atmosphere of Saturday matinee entertainment runs throughout, with secret passages, spooky suits of armour, and a dastardly villain creeping about the shadowy ancestral Baskerville home and foggy moors. This, the last Sherlock Holmes film of the silent era, has itself been the subject of mystery and intrigue, the nitrate original being stored (some say hidden) in a Polish priest’s basement for decades.  In this enjoyable incarnation Holmes bears some of the hallmarks we have come to expect: arrogance, a deerstalker hat and a disdainful but fond relationship with his Watson.  Find out more atsilentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). Introduced by Rob Byrne, President, Board of Directors at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival   With live piano accompaniment by Mike Nolan.  Hippodrome Cinema. Bo’Ness Link

Laila (Dir. George Schnéevoigt, Nor, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 146mins) This epic-scaled romantic drama tells the story of Laila, separated as a baby from her Norwegian parents and raised amongst the nomadic Sami people. Returned to her birth family Laila grows to maturity, torn between the Christian settlers and the reindeer-herding community who raised her as one of their own.  Director Schnéevoigt (cinematographer on a number of Carl Dreyer films including The Parson’s Widow), captures the imposing vastness of the stunning snow and ice landscape, the fascinating way of life of a still beleaguered minority people, and the intimate narrative of a father who sacrifices his own happiness for that of his daughter. Find out more at parallax-view.orgPresented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest).  With the world premiere of a new commission for award-winning Norwegian/Scottish folk duo Marit and Rona who have created a new score marrying the music of the remote landscapes and indigenous peoples of their respective homes. Hippodrome Cinema. Bo’Ness Link

22 March

Master of the House (Dir. C T Dreyer, Den, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 105mins) Carl Theodor Dreyer’s richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners is by turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting. The failure of his small business turns Victor (Johannes Meyer) into a household tyrant, constantly complaining and criticising his long-suffering family and eventually driving out his saintly wife Ida (Astrid Holm) to stay with relatives. His elderly Nanny Mads (Mathilde Nielsen) assumes control and, under her firm tutelage, he comes to fully appreciate the value of his wife.  For this charming, richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners, Dreyer compressed and clarified the stage play by Svend Rindom on which it was based, making it a definitively cinematic rather than theatrical work. Master of the House was particularly successful in France where it was widely admired. It resulted in Dreyer being invited to work there and in the eventual commission of his first large-budget film, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Find out more at silentfilm.org.  With recorded soundtrack.  Goethe Institute, London Link

Peace on the Western Front (Dir. Fred Swann/Hans Nieter, UK, 1931) (Screening format – DCP) Towards the end of 1930, two veterans of the First World War, one German and the other British, came together to shoot a film pilgrimage of the Western Front battlefields to impress upon younger generations that war, “is not a childish game, a glorious adventure”, but “a hideous ugly thing”. Released in 1931 the film gained a following among the burgeoning peace movement and became an unofficial film for the League of Nations Union. The soundtrack was recorded on discs, now sadly lost, so a script has been created from the synopsis in the original press brochure and accounts of the battlefields and war-ravaged towns written at the time.Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment from Stephen Horne and live narration from Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Imperial war Museum and the researcher on the project.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

The Blot(Dir. Lois Weber, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 91 mins) In a time where women played a central role in creating the American cinema, Lois Weber (1881–1939) was the outstanding woman filmmaker, writer and producer of the silent era. She was also one of the highest paid directors — man or woman — of her time! Weber’s films were critically acclaimed financial successes that created huge controversies around the country. The Blot remains the most popular of the more than 100 films she directed. Weber’s two remarkable young discoveries, Claire Windsor and Louis Calhern, rose to stardom with this film, and remained popular Hollywood actors for years. The scholarly and underpaid Professor Griggs and his family live in genteel poverty in a small college town. To help out the family, beautiful young Amelia Griggs (Claire Windsor) works in the public library. Next-door to the Griggs are the Olsens, a large and lively family of immigrants living high on the hog, thanks to a thriving shoemaking business. Amelia attracts the attentions of Phil West, the son of a college trustee and her father’s laziest and naughtiest student. His rival for Amelia’s affection is Reverend Gates, a gentle, sincere and impecunious minister.  When Amelia falls ill from overwork, her mother tries to nurse her back to health. With the cupboards bare, the very proper Mrs. Griggs is sorely tempted to steal a chicken from her neighbor’s kitchen. The ensuing commotion turns out to be a blessing in disguise…Find out more at silentfilm.org.   Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment from Lillian Henley.  Introduced by Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness   Link

Forbidden Paradise  (Dir. Ernst Lubitsch, US, 1924) (Screening format – not known, 73mins) Prepare to enter a world of court intrigue and military derring-do, where men twirl their moustaches in thrall to a woman with “the greatest heart in all of Europe”. Pola Negri, one of Hollywood’s most alluring and vampish stars, delights in the role of Czarina Catherine, flamboyantly presiding over her subjects and her enthusiastic succession of male conquests.  When rescued from revolutionaries by the dashing Captain Alexis, Catherine ‘repays’ him in the boudoir only to find him tiresomely smitten, causing upset in the royal palace and beyond. Ernst Lubitsch’s eighth and final film with screen-diva Negri displays all the director’s witty sophistication and sauciness and bubbles over with Negri’s sensational screen charisma.  Find out more at giornatedelcinemamuto.it.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live music accompaniment from the Jane Gardner Ensemble.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness  Link

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

23 March

Passion of Jon 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 as part of the Tyne Valley Film Festival.  With live improvised organ accompaniment by Jonathan Eyre.  Hexham Abbey, Hexham  Link

The Freshman (Dir. Fred C. Newmeyer/Sam Taylor, US,1925) (Screening format – not known, 76mins) Harold Lloyd here plays a wide-eyed innocent, newly arrived on campus and eager to win friends and the heart of sweet-natured Peggy. If only he could secure a place on the college football team then perhaps his dreams of popularity would come true… but he hasn’t counted on the back-stabbing mean boys or quite how rough a football game can actually be.  Find out more at theretroset.com.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’NessLink

Au Bonheur des Dames  (Dir. Julien Duvivier, Fr, 1930) (Screening format – not known, 85mins)  A stunning evocation of the glitz and glamour of a Parisian department store and at the same time a damning portrait of the rampant consumerism enshrined in that gleaming “temple” dedicated to women’s pleasure. A young woman comes to Paris following the death of her father to work at her uncle’s haberdashery but finds the family business is being crushed by the newly-opened mega-smart ‘Ladies Paradise’ store opposite. With soaring camerawork, dazzling location shooting and stylish settings this modern parable is a triumph of the final days of French silent cinema.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). The world premiere of a new restoration by Lobster Films Paris with specially commissioned live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Frank Bockius Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

The Red Heroine  (Dir. Wen Yimin, China,1929) (Screening format – not known, 94mins)  The oldest surviving Chinese martial arts film, featuring Fan Xuepeng – one of the first stars of the genre and an influential figure in the Chinese film industry who went on to establish her own production company.  The ever-popular sword-and-sorcery’s classic story structure of an innocent wronged by a villain, trained by a master, and returning to seek vengeance is all here. The occasionally clunky contemporary English translation of the intertitles, the fantastically pronounced teeth of the pantomime villain and the low-rent harem are all part of the fun, but the pay-off is a satisfying finale in which the Red Heroine shows everyone who’s boss.  Find out more at commentarytrack.com.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney & Frank Bockius Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness Link

The Railroad Stowaways (Dir. Del Lord, US,1926)  + The Railway of Death( Dir. Jean Durand, Fr, 1912 ) (Screening format – not known, 20/19 mins) Join HippFest on a railroad roller-coaster ride across continents and genres with this double-bill of train-inspired rarities.  Take your seat for a station-side view of hi-jinks, hijacked engines, shoot-outs and death-defying stunt-work.  First a typically loopy Mack Sennett slapstick starring Perthshire-born Andy Clyde playing opposite Billy Bevan as a pair of hobos aboard a train and on the trail of a stolen ruby. Followed by a boisterous French (!) western in which two friends, driven apart by greed, race each other down the rail-tracks to find a stash of gold. Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment by Jonny Best. Bo’Ness Railway StationLink

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 as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

Cat And The Canary (Dir. Paul Leni, US, 1927) (Screening format – not known, 82mins) The Cat and the Canary, originally a stage play, weaves a tale now very familiar to lovers of the horror genre. Cyrus West, a millionaire, died a presumed madman. His will is only to be read 20 years following his death. The heir? A 20-something girl by the name of Annabelle West. However, the will has an odd condition – since the greed of West’s family drove him to madness (like cats surrounding a canary), Annabelle must be deemed psychologically sound, or the money turns over to a secret heir named in an envelope held by Mr. Crosby, the lawyer overseeing the will reading. Mr. Crosby soon goes missing, with Annabelle the only witness to his disappearance. Is Annabelle spiraling into insanity? Or is the mystery heir pushing her there? The film takes us on a twisty whodunit, one of the very first of the genre, and indubitably one of the few that withstands the test of time. Directed by German expressionist film-maker Paul Leni, his first Hollywood film after having been recruited by producer Carl Laemmle for Universal, and remade three times in the sound era, this silent version is considered the definitive rendering.  Find out more at silentfilm.orgPresented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment by Guenter Buchwald & Frank Bockius.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

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 musical accompaniment by the Philomusica symphony orchestra conducted by David Russell Hulme performing Neil Brand’s acclaimed score.  The Arts Centre, AberystwythLink

Britain on Film: LGBT Britain (Dir. Various, 1909-1994) With films spanning 1909 to 1994, including some of the earliest known representations of LGBT people on screen, LGBT Britain documents a century in which homosexuality went from crime to Pride, via decades of profoundly courageous activism. Screening as part of the Tyne Valley Film Festival. With recorded soundtrack.  Forum Cinema, Hexham, Northumberland Link

24 March

Steamboat Bill Jr  (Dir. Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner, US, 1928)   (Screening format – not known,  71  mins) In Steamboat Bill Jr a crusty river boat captain hopes that his long departed son’s return will help him compete with a business rival.  Unfortunately, William Canfield Jnr (Buster Keaton) is an effete college boy.  Worse still, he has fallen for the business rival’s daughter (Marion Byron).     Featuring some of Buster’s finest and most dangerous stunts, it’s a health and safety nightmare maybe but it’s entertainment that will live forever.  The final storm sequence is still as breathtaking today as it was on first release. Not a commercial success at the time, this is now rightly regarded as a Keaton classic. Find out more at Wikipedia.  Introduced and accompanied live by Neil Brand who also details the life and work of Keaton with a range of clips.  Arts Centre, Aberystwyth  Link

Laurel & Hardy Triple BillFirst up is an early pairing of The Boys: With Love and Hisses in which Stan plays a hapless army private, expert only at infuriating his pompous drill sergeant Ollie and the formidable Captain Finlayson. Next up Wrong Again which finds Laurel and Hardy as stable boys who overhear news of a $5,000 reward for the return of the stolen painting Blue Boy… which they naturally mistake for the horse of the same name in their care. Finally, one of the pair’s best-loved shorts You’re Darn Tootin. Having lost their jobs in a band and their room in a boarding house Stan and Ollie try working as street musicians. But their relationship is far from harmonious (geddit!) and matters quickly descend into magnificent anarchy. Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment by Jane Gardner and Frank Bockius.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

Moulin Rouge (Dir. E A Dupont, UK/Germany, 1928 ) (Screening format – not known, 137mins)In the “city of temptation”, at the world’s most decadent cabaret, the most alluring of all the artistes is Parysia. Everyone worships at her feet… including André, the fickle fiancé of Parysia’s daughter Margaret, who has just returned from finishing school whose misplaced obsession has devastating consequences.  One of the most lavish films of the era this British-German co-production is directed by German Expressionist pioneer E.A. Dupont (Piccadilly , Variété ), features Werner Brandes’ stylish, distinctively European cinematography and art direction by Oscar winner Alfred Junge. Find out more at  imdb.com.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). With live musical accompaniment by Günter Buchwald, Johnny Best and Frank Bockius performing the world premiere of their new joint accompaniment, co-commissioned by the Goethe Institute Glasgow and HippFest.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

‘Kitty the Telephone Girl’ and Working Women in Early Cinema An illustrated talk focusing on the changing role of women and the expectations of society upon them, in the workplace and at home. Adapted from the 1910 play of the same name Hindle Wakes was controversial in its portrayal of a young working woman who rejects family and societal expectations. This talk will include clips from British films of this period which show independent working women, and which showcase the expansion of opportunities for women outside of traditional domestic roles.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest). Presented by Dr Lawrence Napper, senior lecturer at King’s College London.  With live piano accompaniment by Mike Nolan.   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness Link

Hindle Wakes  (Dir. Maurice Elvey, UK, 1927)  A rousing drama about a strong-minded young woman who challenges Edwardian society’s sexual double-standards.  Two Lancashire factory girls take their ‘wakes week’ break from work with an exciting trip to Blackpool where one of them, Fanny, enjoys a casual dalliance with the mill-owner’s son. Rocked by the so-called scandal the wealthy family is persuaded that the couple must marry, but Fanny has different ideas…! Aside from its revolutionary message the film is remarkable for its performances and exhilarating location shooting, most notably in the Lancashire textile factories and amongst the swirling crowds of Blackpool’s funfair and Tower Ballroom.  Find out more atsilentlondon.co.uk.  Presented as part of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film (HippFest).   With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness  Link

The Marvelous Mabel Normand Mabel Normand was the irrepressible spirit of early Hollywood, an extraordinary performer from the anarchic days of Mack Sennett’s Keystone company to the refined comedies of the 1920s. She directed her own films, ran her own production company and worked with the best: in this selection of short films we see her with Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and a young Oliver Hardy – but make no mistake, Normand’s the star here. The Marvelous Mabel Normand: Leading Lady of Film Comedy is a package of short films from the BFI National Archive, including Mabel’s Blunder (1914), Mabel’s Dramatic Career (1913), His Trysting Place (1914) and Should Men Walk Home? (1927). Screening as part of the Tyne Valley Film Festival.  The films will be accompanied by a newly commissioned recorded score from The Meg Morley Trio.  Forum Cinema, Hexham, Northumberland Link

Shoes(Dir. Lois Weber, US, 1916) (Screening format – not known, 60mins) Having directed several films in tandem with her husband Phillips Smalley, Lois Weber went solo with the 1916 production Shoes. The film was based on a Collier’s Magazine story by Stella Wynne Herron, which in turn was inspired by a quote from a book by 19th-century humanitarian Jane Addams. The heroine, working-girl Eve Meyer (Mary McLaren), is unable to afford a new pair of shoes on her meager wages. After several frustrating weeks of trying to scrimp and save, Eve is reduced to selling herself sexually for the sake of the shoes. She comes to regret this decision, bitterly ruminating over “what might have been” during the film’s somber closing scenes. Rarely seen, this forgotten classic has recently been beautifully restored by Eye Film Institute Netherlands and gives a sense of Weber’s talent behind the camera. Find out more at wikipedia.orgScreening as part of the Tyne Valley Film Festival. With recorded soundtrack.  Preceded by an illustrated lecture on director Lois Weber from silent film critic and expert, Pamela Hutchinson.  Forum Cinema, Hexham, Northumberland  Link

27 March

John Gilbert Silent Film Night Gilbert (1897 – 1936) was one of the greatest of actors during the silent era and became a popular leading man known as “The Great Lover”. At the height of his career, Gilbert rivaled Rudolph Valentino as a box office draw. Gilbert’s popularity began to wane when silent films gave way to talkies. Though Gilbert was often cited as one of the high-profile examples of an actor who was unsuccessful in making the transition to sound films, his decline as a star had far more to do with studio politics and money than with the sound of his screen voice, which was rich and distinctive. Presented by South West Silents, this club screening will celebrate the work of John Gilbert with a screening of one of his rarer films and one of his most odd collaborations; working with the film director Tod Browning (Freaks, The Unknown, Dracula, London After Midnight). Introduced by James Harrison. Lansdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol Link

30 March

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 piano accompaniment by Darius Battiwalla.  Thornhill Parish Church, Dewsbury Link

Couple of Down and Outs (Walter Summers , 1923) (Screening format – not known, 64mins) Despite his distinguished war record at the Somme and Flanders, ex-Royal Horse Artillery serviceman Daniel is down on his luck on civvy street.  Turned away from yet another casual job at the docks, he comes across ex-war horses on their way to the slaughter, and amongst them his loyal battle-companion ‘Jack’. Daniel rescues his beloved horse and the pair go on the run… A charming and moving film made just a few years after the events depicted and reflecting the indignation in some quarters of both the treatment of soldiers returning from the Western Front and the fate of equine heroes being sold off fast and cheap, mistreated or slaughtered for meat.  This original ‘War Horse’ film was missing-believed-lost until its discovery and restoration in the Netherlands and at the BFI National Archive.Find out more atimdb.com .  Screening as part of the Tyne Valley Film Festival. This screening will be introduced by former Bafta chairman Sir Sydney Samuelson, son of the film’s producer G B Samuelson and accompanied live by pianist Mike Nolan. Forum Cinema, Hexham, Northumberland  Link