March

 


 

 

 

 


 

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 at medium.com/cuny-fashion/film-review-assunta-spina . Presented as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by seven-piece band The Badwills.  St Andrew’s In The Square, Glasgow  Link

Informer  (Dir. Arthur Robison, 1929) (Screening format – DCP, 101mins) A technically and artistically sophisticated drama set in Dublin amongst members of a revolutionary party in the newly independent Ireland of 1922.  The noir-ish story follows the fateful consequences of jealousy and betrayal when fiery Gypo ‘informs’ on his former comrade Francis, out of misguided suspicion over a girl.  With a German/American director, a Hungarian leading lady and a Swedish leading man the international nature of the production was typical of a period in filmmaking unencumbered by dialogue and exhibits hallmarks of a distinctively German style thanks to cinematography by Werner Brandes (‘Piccadilly’) and Lubitsch regular Theodor Sparkuhl. The film was released in both part-talkie and silent versions but this is the superior, silent version, newly restored by the British Film Institute.   Find out more at  screenonline.org .  Presented as part of the New Music Dublin festival.  With live musical accompaniment from composer Garth Knox with a six piece ensemble.  Studio Stage, NCH, Dublin Link

Chicago (Dir. Frank Urson & Cecil B.DeMille (uncredited),  1927) (Screening format – not known,   118mins )  Seventy-five years before Bob Fosse’s Oscar-winning musical version of Maurine Watkins’ successful stage play, Cecil B. DeMille’s production company made this saucy silent film version.  Phyllis Haver is hugely entertaining as the brazen Roxie Hart “Chicago’s most beautiful murderess” – a woman so pathologically shallow she sees notoriety for a murder rap as an opportunity to secure her fortune.  Egged on by her crooked lawyer (“they’ll be naming babies after you”) Roxie neglects her long-suffering loyal husband and sets about milking her celebrity status for all she’s worth.  The sequence in the prison is an absolute delight – particularly the rivalry between Roxie and fellow-murderess Velma (played by DeMille’s mistress), as are the climactic courtroom scenes.  A cracking, satire on fame and the media, this fun-filled tale of adultery, murder and sin (so sinful that DeMille – known for his Biblical epics – was at pains to keep his name off the credits) is as fresh and relevant as ever.  Find out more at wikipedia.org .   Presented by the Flea Pit Cinema.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.  Westerham Hall, Westerham, Kent 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 labelling the film an ‘ultra-fantastic melodrama’ (New York Times), ‘produced on a stupendous scale’ (Moving Picture World) and ‘probably the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened’ (Variety).  The mysterious phantom (Lon Chaney) is a vengeful composer living in the catacombs under the Paris Opera House, determined to promote the career of  the singer he loves (Mary Philbin).  Famed for the phantom’s shock unmasking, incredible set designs and the masked ball sequence, it still packs a punch. Find out more at wikipedia.org. With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed musicians Minima. Tutbury Village Hall, Tutbury, Staffs  Link

3 March

London Symphony (Dir.  Alex Barrett, UK, 2017) (Screening format – not known)  London Symphony  is a brand new silent film – a city symphony – which offers a poetic journey through London, a cosmopolitan city facing a challenge to its identity in the current political climate.  It is an artistic portrait of the city as it stands today, and a celebration of its culture and diversity. Find out more at londonsymphfilm.com . With recorded James McWilliam soundtrack.  Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, Cumbria   Link

4 March

Arcadia (Dir. Paul Wright, UK, 2017) (Screening format – not known, 78mins)  From over 100 years’ worth of astonishing film footage from the BFI National Archive, BAFTA®-winner Paul Wright (For Those in Peril) has crafted a dense poetic essay on Britain’s shifting relationship to the land, drawing on inspiration from The Wicker Man to Winstanley. An unnamed female figure from the future travels through the ‘seasons’: from a fleeting pastoral idyll through dark and earthy Pagan folk rituals to industrialisation, political turmoil, extremism and division, and cataclysmic storms and as such, it’s impossible not to read premonitions of Brexit into Wright’s captivating vision. Find out more at imdb.com    Presented as part of the Borderlines Film Festival.  With recorded soundtrack composed by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).  Musician Adrian Utley and producer Adrian Cooper will introduce the film with a Q&A to follow.  The Courtyard, HerefordLink

Italian Straw Hat (Dir. Rene Clair, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 105mins) A man is on his way to his wedding when his horse eats the hat of a married woman who is having a secret tryst with a soldier, and the hapless groom must replace the chapeau or face the wrath of the lady’s lover. René Clair’s sublime, kinetic farce is set in 1895, at the dawn of the film era, and fondly recalls the techniques of the earliest silents. Pauline Kael called it “one of the funniest films ever made, and one of the most elegant as well.”  For years it has been difficult, if not impossible, to see the original version of René Clair’s masterful The Italian Straw Hat. Instead, viewers have had to be satisfied with either the alternate version that was released in the United States in 1931, or hybrids that supplement the American version with additional footage. This brand new restoration brings Clair’s original French version to modern audiences using the finest original material possible: the film’s original camera negative and original French title negative, both of which are preserved at the Cinémathèque Française.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the Dublin International Film Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by the Guenter Buchwald Ensemble: Matthew Jacobson, Nick Roth, Derek Whyte. Lighthouse One Cinema, Dublin  Link

The Lost World (Dir. Harry Hoyt, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur adventure is brought to the big screen for the first time in an adventure across continents to the land that time forgot, featuring swooping beasts, the terrifying ‘apeman’ and the odd volcano too! This film used pioneering techniques in stop motion by Willis O’Brien (a forerunner of his work on the original King Kong film) and was one of the first to use a tinting technique that brought colour to film. It also features an introduction from the author himself.  For more than 80 years, only abridged editions of The Lost World remained in existence… until now! South West Silents are thrilled to present this visually stunning 2K restoration by Lobster Films, Paris, incorporating original elements from archives and collections around the world.Find out more at  moviessilently.com.  Presented as part of the Borderlands Festival.  With recorded orchestral score composed by Robert Israel.  Assembly Rooms, Ludlow Link

The Mysterious Lady (Dir. Fred Niblo, US, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 96mins) In turn of the century Vienna,  Captain Karl von Raden (Conrad Nagel)  shares a box at the opera with a gorgeous woman (Greta Garbo). Karl gives her a ride home  and they spend the night together and the following day. But then Karl is assigned to deliver secret plans to the German government. The chief of the Austrian secret service advises Karl the woman with whom he had spent the previous day is the notorious Russian spy Tania Fedorova. On his journey, Tania meets Karl to tell that she is in love with him, but he rejects her telling that he knows who she is. But the next morning he wakes up and the secret papers are gone…. Find out more at garboforever.com .   Also being screened is the single surviving reel from Garbo’s 1928 film The Divine Woman (Dir. Victor Sjostrom),  Find out more at wikipedia.org   With live musical accompaniment from the  Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis.   Royal Festival Hall, London  Link

8 March

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 97mins) Based on a play by Indian author Niranjan Pal, Shiraz tells the fictionalised love story of the 17th-century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.  It was directed by Germany’s Franz Osten, one of at least 17 films he made in India between 1925 and 1939, best known of which are The Light of Asia (1925) and A Throw of Dice (1929).  Shot entirely on location in India with an all-Indian cast, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings – all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive with specially-commisioned score. The film was the brainchild of producer Himansu Rai, who also stars as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she’s sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).Upon its release Shiraz was a considerable critical and popular success and received rave reviews when the restored version was screened at last year’s London Film Festival.  Find out more at silentfilm.orgWith Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Film Theatre, Stoke Link

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 97mins)  For details, see above.  With Anoushka Shankar recorded score. Northern Light Cinema, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.   Link

9 March

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 97mins)  For details, see 8 March above.  With Anoushka Shankar recorded score. Eden Court, Inverness.  Link                                                  This film also screens at this venue on 11th and 15th March

Behind The Door (Dir. Irvin Willat, 1919) (Screening format – not known, 70mins)  With America entering World War I, German-American Oscar Krug (Hobart Bosworth) is thought to be an enemy sympathizer. He fights his foes to prove that they’re wrong, then immediately enlists and is assigned to the merchant marines. The night before boarding, he marries his sweetheart, Alice Morse (Jane Novak), and she sails with him. A German submarine torpedoes the craft and sinks it. Krug and his bride board a lifeboat. The Germans take Alice and leave Krug, who swears revenge to the commander (Wallace Beery)…. Restored from surviving incomplete copies held at the US Library of Congress and at the Gosfilmofond, the Russian national archive so that what Kevin Brownlow called “the most outspoken of all the [WWI] vengeance films,” can now be seen in its most complete form since its release in 1919.  And it is possibly the ‘darkest’ silent film we have ever seen.  Find out more at  silentfilm.org .Presented as part of the Borderlands Festival.  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.  The Courtyard, HerefordLink

10 March

The Night Club (Dir. Paul Iribe/Frank Urson, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 60mins)  Raymond Griffith (previously seen at last year’s KenBio comedy festival in the hilarious Hands Up (1925)) was a supremely talented but now largely forgotten comedian. In The Night Club he plays a man who stands to inherit a million dollars provided he agrees to an arranged marriage. He falls in love with Grace Henderson (Vera Reynolds) but she spurns him.  Still smitten he sees a clause in his inheritance which states that all of his money will go to Vera in the event of his death, if only he could find an effective way of killing himself……… Wallace Beery and Louise Fazenda provide additional interest in a film apparently based upon a story by brothers Cecil B and William C DeMille.  Find out more at silentfilmstillarchive.com.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

The British Are Coming! A selection of 1920s British comedies, including;   Adrian Brunel’s glorious spoof travelogue Crossing The Great Sagrada (1924), supposedly made at a cost of just £80, Brunel explained its low budget in his book Film Production: ‘[the film] was about thirty per cent titles, fifty percent cut-outs from old travel films and twenty per cent original material – a disgracefully large percentage of titles for an ordinary film, but for this type of picture it is forgivable’ and detailing an expedition by three explorers confusing London and New York with Papua and in the process sending up film effects, censorship and a profusion of other cinema-related targets.  Find out more at colonialfilm.org.uk;   Bookworms (1920) written by A A Milne, made by Leslie Howard’s newly established Minerva Films company and starring Howard and Pauline Johnson.  The film tells of how a young man’s efforts to meet a zealously guarded girl are frustrated until he inserts a love letter in her library book.  Find out more at bfi.org.uk; and finally,  Variety legend Leslie Sarony singing a comic song or two in a rare DeForest Phonofilm, one of the pioneering British-made talkies that predate Hitchcock’s Blackmail Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.  Introduced by Tony Fletcher.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Charley Chase  Silent film writer Matthew Ross (thelostlaugh.com) highlights the career of Charley Chase, a brilliant, influential and – at least until relatively recent years – overlooked comedian and director of the 1920s and 1930s. A master of both the sight gag and situational humour, this selection of prime Chase comedies will conclude with one of his funniest silent shorts.Find out more at  wikipedia.orgPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.   With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

A Perfect Gentleman (Dir. Clyde Bruckman, US,1928)(Screening format – not known).  Monty Banks is perhaps best remembered today for having married (and directed) Gracie Fields, something which has unjustly eclipsed his career as a star comedian in shorts and features.  In this, one of his best starring roles, Banks  a trusted bank employee, is about to be married to Helen Wayne (Ruth Dwyer), the president’s daughter. En route to the wedding he has a flat tire and is accidentally knocked unconscious; his valet, attempting to revive him, gets him hopelessly intoxicated. At the bride’s house, Monty’s dislike for the aunt combined with his drunken behavior result in his expulsion, and  a rival for the hand of Helen, looks to have prevailed.  But all is not lost although Monty’s adventures are only just beginning….    Find out more at imdb.comPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.   With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Keaton Classics  Following the KenBio’s 100th anniversary celebration of Buster Keaton’s film career at their last November comedy day, they now present a programme of yet more classic Keaton material. Noted Keaton authors David Robinson, Kevin Brownlow and David Macleod reveal their favourites and researcher Polly Rose illustrates some of her new discoveries about Buster’s 1924 feature Sherlock Jr. Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.   With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Exit Smiling (Dir. Sam Taylor, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 77mins) Renowned stage comedienne Beatrice Lillie – a Canadian-born British star whose reputation spanned both continents – made regrettably few films. Fortunately one of these is the 1926 MGM feature Exit Smiling, produced and directed by one of Harold Lloyd’s key associates, Sam Taylor. `Bea’ Lillie  plays Violet, the dogsbody for a travelling theatrical troupe who harbours ambitions to act – or, as a title card informs us, has played `Nothing’ in Much Ado About Nothing!         A true classic, it is a joyous example of her comedic skills but also highlights a Chaplin-esq talent for pathos.  Find out more at  silent-volume.blogspot.co.ukPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.   Introduced by Michelle Facey.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

11 March

Lame Brains and Lunatics   American author Steve Massa selects some of the `good, the bad and the forgotten’ silent clowns from his book Lame Brains and Lunatics for your enjoyment, assisted by Britain’s Dave Glass.  Included in these offerings is the likes of Al St.John, Toto, Marcel Perez and Paul Parrott.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.     With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

Seven Years Bad Luck (Dir. Max Linder, US, 1921) (Screening format – not known, 65mins)  After his early successes as a star of Pathé comedies in his native France, Max Linder made two forays into American film-making.  In Seven Years Bad Luck, perhaps the best of these US made films, the fun starts when Max’s butler breaks a full-length mirror. Bad luck seemingly ensues as Max escapes the police, unwittingly hiding in a lion’s cage. Find out more at silentfilm.org    In addition the programme will include a recently discovered Max Linder short from 1910, Les Effects des Pilules.  Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.    Introduced by David Robinson.  With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link   

So You Won’t Talk  (Dir. William Beaudine, UK, 1935)(Screening format – not known, 84mins) Starring Monty Banks in a rarely-shown British talkie – except he doesn’t talk (mostly!) – in what may have been a means of translating his silent comedy methods into the talkie era, the plot sees Banks becoming weary of all the chatter surrounding him and, in order to win a bet, guaranteeing not to talk. Cue lots of silent comedy as complications ensue …Find out more at imdb.comPresented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.      The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link   

Noisy Silents  Some silent comedies have always looked as though they were intended to have soundtracks, even though none were provided at the time; these examples, including films starring Harry Langdon, Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy will be provided with the extra sound accompaniment we feel they need – in the final case, we hope, by the audience. Hosted by musician and composer Neil Brand. Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.      The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link   

Roy Hudd  The Kennington Bioscope are delighted to welcome comedian, actor and writer Roy Hudd, who will be in conversation with former News Huddlines writer – and Kennington Bioscope regular – Glenn Mitchell, discussing and screening clips of great comedians from film, theatre and television. This time the emphasis is expected to be on essentially visual humour … but we’ll have to see what they come up with!  Included is a screening of Laurel and Hardy’s custard pie epic, Battle of the Century  (Dir. Clyde Bruckman, US, 1927) Presented as part of the Kennington Bioscope Silent Laughter Weekend 2018.      With live musical accompaniment.  The Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

 The Woman Under Oath (Dir. John H Stahl. US, 1919) (Screening format – 35mm, 75mins) Eleven angry men and one angry woman try a boy for the murder of his employer, a serial abuser of women. The opening titles ask if women are temperamentally suited for jury duty, which tells its own story, but the film is mostly on the side on the angels. This rarely-seen film, specially programmed around International Women’s Day, is directed with the elegant efficiency for which John Stahl became known.  Find out more at silentlondon.co.uk.  With live piano accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.  BFI Southbank, London Link

The Lost World (Dir. Harry Hoyt, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur adventure is brought to the big screen for the first time in an adventure across continents to the land that time forgot, featuring swooping beasts, the terrifying ‘apeman’ and the odd volcano too! This film used pioneering techniques in stop motion by Willis O’Brien (a forerunner of his work on the original King Kong film) and was one of the first to use a tinting technique that brought colour to film. It also features an introduction from the author himself.  For more than 80 years, only abridged editions of The Lost World remained in existence… until now! South West Silents are thrilled to present this visually stunning 2K restoration by Lobster Films, Paris, incorporating original elements from archives and collections around the world.Find out more at  moviessilently.com.  Presented as part of the Borderlands Festival.  With recorded orchestral score composed by Robert Israel.  The Courtyard, Hereford Link

14 March

Another Evening of 9.5mm Films From The Brownlow Collection Renowned film historian Kevin Brownlow introduces another selection of films from his 9.5mm collection.  Included is an edited version of Casanova (aka The Prince of Adventurers (Dir. Alexandre Volkoff, Fr, 1927) starring Ivan Mozzhukhin, Suzanne Bianchetti and Diana Karenne. This spectacular production was shot on location in Venice and was one of the few tinted prints ever released by 9.5mm distributor Pathescope.  Find out more at wikipedia.org.  Presented by the Kennington Bioscope.  With live musical accompaniment.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth, London Link

15 March

Margaret Tait at 100  An evening of silent film, spoken word and live music from some of Scotland’s finest performers as they celebrate the remarkable work of Orcadian filmmaker and poet, Margaret Tait.    Including screenings of three of Tait’s most enthralling silent films (One Is One (1951), My Room Via Ancona 21 (1951) and Three Portrait Sketches (1951)) alongside spoken word sets and  a new composition inspired by Tait’s film poems. Behind The Wall, Falkirk Link

16 March

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP,  97mins) Based on a play by Indian author Niranjan Pal, Shiraz tells the fictionalised love story of the 17th-century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.  It was directed by Germany’s Franz Osten, one of at least 17 films he made in India between 1925 and 1939, best known of which are The Light of Asia (1925) and A Throw of Dice (1929).  Shot entirely on location in India with an all-Indian cast, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings – all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive with specially-commisioned score. The film was the brainchild of producer Himansu Rai, who also stars as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she’s sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).Upon its release Shiraz was a considerable critical and popular success and received rave reviews when the restored version was screened at last year’s London Film Festival.  Find out more at silentfilm.orgWith newly commissioned Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Watershed, Bristol   Link

Old And New (aka The General Line) (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein/Grigori Aleksandrov. USSR, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 121mins)  Begun in 1927, The General Line was to be a a celebration of the collectivization of agriculture, as championed by old-line Bolshevik Leon Trotsky and hoping to reach a wide audience, the director forsook his usual practice of emphasizing groups by concentrating on a single rural heroine. Eisenstein briefly abandoned this project to film October: Ten Days That Shook The World (1928) in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. By the time he was able to return to this film, the Party’s attitudes had changed and Trotsky had fallen from grace. As a result, the film was hastily re-edited and sent out in 1929 under a new title, The Old and the New. In later years, archivists restored the film to an approximation of Eisenstein’s original concept. Much of the director’s montage-like imagery—such as using simple props to trace the progress from the agrarian customs of the 19th-century to the more mechanized procedures of the 20th—was common to both versions of the film. Find out more at edinburghfilmguild.org .  With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Cube Cinema, Bristol  (No link yet)

17 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 piano accompaniment by Meg Morley.  St Mary’s Church, Stafford  Link

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP,  97mins) For details, see 8 March above.  With newly commissioned Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Watershed, Bristol   Link

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

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 97mins)  For details, see 8 March above.  With Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Winter Gardens, Blackpool  Link

18 March

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP,  97mins) For details, see 8 March above.  With newly commissioned Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Watershed, Bristol   Link

Little Old New York (Dir. Sidney Olcott, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 110 mins)  This charming and expensively made historical romance was one of Marion Davies better films. Never entirely comfortable in the overblown historical drama roles chosen for her by media baron William Randolph Herst while she was his mistress (her preferred forte being light comedy such as Show People(1928)), this one works better than most.  She spends much of the picture disguised as a boy, something she also did effectively in several other films. A young Irish lad inherits a fortune, providing he travels to New York to claim it within a certain period of time. But the boy is sick and dies en route to New York. In order to get the money, his sister Patricia (Davies) disguises herself as her brother. But this is just the start of her troubles…Find out more at moviessilently.com.  With live musical accompaniment by Morgan Cooke,  Barbican, London  Link

Earth (Dir. Oleksandr Dovzhenko, USSR 1930) (Screening format – not known, 75 mins) Earth, the final part of Dovzhenko’s silent trilogy, is undoubtedly the most famous and controversial movie of the Ukrainian Soviet silent film heritage. Full of lyrical pantheism and utopian exaltation, it demonstrated the ambiguity of Ukrainian geopolitical choice in the late 1920s. The simple plot tells the story of a small Ukrainian village on the eve of collectivisation. Vasyl, the leader of the activist youth, is trying to engage villagers into the collective farm movement while waiting for a technical miracle: a tractor, the forerunner of the new era. Finally, he ploughs a boundary separating the private plots from the collective ones. This enthusiasm costs Vasyl his life, but makes him a martyr – a necessary sacrifice for the new social order.  Although Earth fits the tradition of Soviet propaganda films, Dovzhenko’s interest in the human condition and its bond with nature takes the film beyond the propaganda realm. As told by Dovzhenko, an ordinary tale of a class struggle becomes a universal philosophical parable about life and death.  Criticised severely for its naturalism, the film was banned nine days after its release in the Soviet Union and was given a credit in Ukraine only after Dovzhenko’s death. Earth hit the headlines only in 1958, when the International Referendum in Brussels praised the film as one of the best 12 films in the history of cinema. It has been voted one of the top ten silent films by The Guardian and The Observer.  Find out more at sensesofcinema.com.  With live musical accompaniment by electro-improvisational group GrokGenesis Cinema, London  Link

20 March

The Lost World (Dir. Harry Hoyt, US, 1925) (Screening format – not known, 106mins) Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur adventure is brought to the big screen for the first time in an adventure across continents to the land that time forgot, featuring swooping beasts, the terrifying ‘apeman’ and the odd volcano too! This film used pioneering techniques in stop motion by Willis O’Brien (a forerunner of his work on the original King Kong film) and was one of the first to use a tinting technique that brought colour to film. It also features an introduction from the author himself.  Find out more at  moviessilently.com.  With live piano accompaniment by Jonny Best.    Hull Truck, Hull Link

21 March

In Search of the Modern Marriage: Chinese Silent Cinema in the 1920s (Dir. Various) By the 1920s the custom of arranged marriage was under assault in China. Young urbanites insisted modern citizens should find their own marriage partners, free of parental control. New European ideas about modern romance were intoxicating but no-one knew exactly what modern marriage was, leaving anxious youngsters to experiment!  In this lively talk Prof. Pickowicz will show how the Shanghai-based, silent film industry engaged passionately with the debate, using fascinating clips of controversial 1920s Chinese films that tackled the marriage issue head on.  Prof. Paul Pickowicz (University of California, San Diego) is a true interdisciplinary scholar and one of the country’s leading historians of modern China with fifteen books to his credit.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

Dorothy Davenport Film NightVery much a forgotten name now but throughout the 1910s and 1920s Dorothy Davenport (1895 – 1977) was one of the key women stars of Hollywood. Coming from the Davenport stage acting dynasty (very much as popular as the other stage dynasty that was the Barrymore family), she moved to Southern California as an actress with the Nestor Film Company in late 1911, becoming one of the first members of the early film colony soon to be known as Hollywood.  Having initially worked primarily as an actress, after the tragic death of her morphine addicted husband Wallace Reid in 1923, Davenport turned to writing/directing with the film Human Wreckage (1923),  about the tragic consequences of the illegal trade in narcotics.  She followed this with  several other films with strong social messages.  Find out more at cdrs.columbia.edu.  Presented by South West Silents.  Introduced by Norman Taylor.  Landsdown Public House, Clifton, Bristol Link

Last of the Mohicans (Dir. Maurice Tourneur/Clarence Brown, US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 73mins)   This is the second film adaption of James Fenimore Cooper’s classic adventure novel,  the story of two English sisters (Barbara Bedford and Lillian Hall) meeting danger on the frontier of the American colonies, in and around the fort commanded by their father.  Help comes in the form of hunter and scout Hawkeye (Harry Lorraine) together with  Chingachgook (Theodore Lorch) and his son Uncas (Alan Roscoe), the last of the Mohicans.  Wallace Beery is suitably menacing as the evil Magua.  Oh, and look out for Boris Karloff (supposedly) in an un-credited bit-part as an Indian. Find out more at  imdb.com .  Presented as the opening night premier of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest18).  With live musical accompaniment from David Allison.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

22 March

Lost Girls and Goddesses Austrian director GW Pabst worked with many of the most talented, glamorous and notorious women of silent cinema. They included Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo, Brigitte Helm, Asta Nielsen, Lucie Mannheim and Leni Riefenstahl. This talk will introduce some of the most fascinating actresses who starred in Pabst’s silent films, and also explore the stories that he told about female lives, from tales of fallen women to encounters with dazzling seductresses.  Pamela Hutchinson is a freelance writer, critic and film historian, specialising in silent and classic cinema. She is the founder and editor of SilentLondon.co.uk and the author of the BFI Film Classic Pandora’s Box (1929).  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment by Mike Nolan.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

Call Of The North A celebration of the work of the amazing Isobel Wylie Hutchison (1889–1982) – a Scottish filmmaker, botanist and writer, as well as an intrepid Arctic explorer. Hutchison travelled to Alaska and Greenland, filming the things she saw around her, the landscape and the wildflowers growing there, uniquely dwelling on domestic details and the daily lives of the indigenous people she met. Multi-talented Scottish singer-songwriter Gerda Stevenson will introduce the life of this extraordinary and pioneering woman, and perform song settings of Hutchison’s own poetry. For the second part of the evening Scotland-based Japanese composer Atzi Muramatsu will perform his powerful contemporary composition, inspired by three Hutchison films Kayak Rolling,  The Great Jakobshavn Iceberg Bank and Flowers and Coffee Party at Umanak (score commissioned by Yasmin Al-Hadithi for Highlight Arts).  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).    Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1927) + The Scarecrow (Dir.Edward F Cline/Buster Keaton, US, 1920)  (Screening format – DVD, 91/19 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. In The Scarecrow, farmhands Buster Keaton and Joe Roberts are both in love with the same girl (Sybil Seely) but the girl’s father (Joe Keaton, Buster’s dad) is none too impressed with either of them. After being pursued by a supposedly mad dog and disguising himself as a scarecrow, Buster wins the girl in spite of himself but they then have to elude both Buster’s rival and the girl’s father in a madcap final chase.  Find out more at allmovie.com .   With live musical accompaniment by the Meg Morley Trio.  1901 Arts Club, Waterloo, London  Link

23 March

Billie Ritchie: The Man Who Made the World Laugh  Silent comedian Billie Ritchie, born in Glasgow, entered the movies in late 1914, making some 70 films in Hollywood, and was, for a time during WW1, recognised as a star with international box-office appeal, appearing on the front page of ‘Variety’ and billed as “The Man Who Makes the World Laugh”. Using a range of illustrative materials, Trevor Griffiths traces the little-known story of this world-wide Scottish star.  Trevor Griffiths is based at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on aspects of Scottish cinema history and was co-investigator on the recently completed AHRC-funded project on ‘Early Cinema in Scotland’, the book of which is out shortly.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment by Forrester Pyke.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Dir. Ernst Lubitsch/John M. Stahl, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 105mins)  Crown Prince Karl Heinrich (Phillippe de Lacy/Ramon Navorro) , nephew of the king of a small domain, has a joyless existence in the pretentious formalism of the moribund court until his tutor, Dr. Juttner (Jean Hersholt) , arrives. After several years, Juttner takes Karl Heinrich to Heidelberg to study at the university. Here the prince falls in love with Kathi (Norma Shearer) , the niece of the owner of an inn where the tutor and the prince have taken rooms. But when the King dies and Karl is called home will things ever be the same? An utterly delightful romantic drama directed by the maestro of subtlety and wit – Ernst Lubitsch. The film is pure movie magic – Novarro’s performance as the young prince is thoroughly charming and he wins our hearts from his first moments on screen. Shearer is his perfect match as the gutsy gal who can down a stein of beer as well as any man but whose heart is liable to be broken by loving unwisely.  Find out more at silentfilm.org  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

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 from Wurlitza. The Old Bakery, Truro, Cornwall.  Link

24 March

Saving Sister Susie (Dir. Scott Sidney, US, 1921) + The Kid Reporter (Dir. Alfred J Goulding, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known)  The family friendly jeely jar double-bill begins with a rare find produced by the Christie Film Company who launched the careers of dozens of comedy greats including Harold Lloyd and Fatty Arbuckle. In Saving Sister Susie Dorothy Devore is reluctantly forced to pose as a child to leave the field clear for her older sister who is trying to catch a fiance. Cue a comedy of errors as little sis refuses to play the game and confounds everyone in her path, including children looking for a play-mate. Then, in The Kid Reporter, lovable child superstar Baby Peggy plays the secretary in a busy newsroom who steps up to crack the case of a stolen pearl necklace. Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

Striving (Fen Dou) (NB  Chinese title may better translate as Struggling) (Dir.  Shi Dongshan, China, 1932) (Screening format – not known, 85mins)  A first opportunity to see this new restoration from the China Film Archive, directed by one of pre-Communist China’s most notable filmmakers and never before screened in the UK.  The popular Chinese film star Chen Yanyan plays Swallow – a young woman living unhappily with her bullying ‘adoptive father’. Next door are two brothers – bookish and sensitive Xiao Zheng and belligerent and unruly Xiao Yuan. The pair attempt a rescue of their beautiful neighbour but soon quarrel over her affections.  This is a film which clearly signals its moral messages about standing up for what is right and the perils of indifference but rises gloriously above a proselytising attitude thanks to charming performances, striking set pieces and remarkably fresh camerawork.  Find out more at  imdb.com.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne (piano, accordion, flute) & Frank Bockius (percussion).  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

The Treasure (Der Schatz) (Dir. G W Pabst, Ger, 1923)  (Screening format – not known, 79mins) An expressionistic and deeply symbolic tale about the corrupting power of greed, The Treasure was the first film by one of Germany’s greatest directors – G.W. Pabst.  A bell-founder lives with his wife and daughter in a solitary house with Svetelenz – a grotesque figure portrayed by Werner Krauss (famed for his role three years earlier as Dr Caligari). The trio are joined by young Arno and the two men soon become rivals… for the heart of Beate and for the unearthing of treasure supposedly buried for a hundred years. Thanks to stylish cinematography and production design the crushing interior of the house seems to have its own part to play in this darkly poetic fantasy.  Find out more at acinemahistory.com.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by Alois Kott performing a world premier of a new score commissioned by HippFest.    Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

The Great K&A Train Robbery (Dir. Lewis Seiler, US, 1926) (Screening format – not known, 53mins)   Saddle up for a thrilling western in the company of “the king of cowboys”: Tom Mix. Tom has been hired by the Railroad President to put a stop to a series of train robberies. With his trusty steed Tony the Wonder Horse, our hero goes undercover to bring the criminal gang to justice and unmask the dastardly double-crossing company secretary. Along the way he performs some death-defying, train-top stunts and captures the heart of the beautiful gal Madge (Dorothy Dwan). This is a thrill-a-minute cowboy pic starring one of the silent era’s biggest box office draws who made a staggering 291 movies of which only a fraction survive today. Find out more at  wikipedia.orgPresented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney.  Bo’Ness Railway Station, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

The Penalty  (Dir. Wallace Worsley, US, 1920) (Screening format – not known, 89mins) The great American actor Lon Chaney demonstrates his unparalleled flair for on-screen transformation with his macabre characterisation of ‘Blizzard’ – a tortured, criminal mastermind. A young boy has both his legs needlessly amputated by an inexperienced surgeon and grows up to become “master of the underworld”, driven to terrible deeds by his passion for sadistic revenge. The film is considered Chaney’s break-out role, cementing his reputation as master of the gruesome and grotesque, ahead of his defining performance as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The actor famously refused the use of trick camera angles to simulate his ‘deformity’, forcing his legs into leather stumps in a tightly bent position that was so painful he could only wear them for ten minutes at a time. The effect is astounding, as is Chaney’s nimble manoeuvring across the set of ropes, ladders and poles showing a technical ability that makes his character utterly believable.  Find out more at silentfilm.org.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by Graeme Stephen performing a world premier of a new score commissioned by HippFest.    Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

Seven Footprints to Satan  (Dir. Benjamin Christensen, US, 1929) (Screening format – not known, 70mins) In this long-lost scare flick, debonair man of leisure James Kirkham (Creighton Hale) is keen to travel the world before settling down with his fiancée Eve (Thelma Todd). On the eve of his departure the couple are kidnapped from a society ball and taken to a mansion populated by strange freaks and monsters, held prisoner by the mysterious master of the house… none other than Satan himself! This riotous – and on occasion salacious – movie is bags of fun. Think Carry On Devil Worship crossed with The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and you get the general idea. The film’s subject matter was clearly a favourite of the director Benjamin Christensen who was already a veteran of the genre having achieved great success and notoriety with Haxan (1922), an unsettling and unique history of witchcraft and demonology.  Find out more at aycyas.com .  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by Jane Gardner (piano) and Roddy Long (violin)  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

 

25 March

New Found Sound This unique schools initiative invites talented young people to respond musically to silent film. The 2018 project has been mentored by Colin Broom (Composer, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), and leading folk musician John Somerville alongside Marc Duff (Capercaillie co-founder) and Laura Beth Salter (The Shee), tutors with Falkirk Schools’ Traditional Music Groups.  Students from St Mungo’s High School compose and conduct the premiere of their new score to Holidays, Hurrah, directed by prolific Scottish amateur filmmaker Frank Marshall. The new score will be performed by Falkirk Schools Senior Orchestra. This will be followed by two shorts from the NLS Moving Image Archive, Winter In Scotland (Templar Film Studios) and How Not to Bath A Baby (directed by Dr. Iain Dunnachie), accompanied by the Traditional bands.  The event concludes with a new silent film created by local young filmmakers who have worked with Screen Education Edinburgh.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).      Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland  Link

Laurel & Hardy Triple Bill    Beginning with Flying Elephants’(Dir. Frank Butler, US, 1927) in which the boys are transplanted to pre-historic times and their bowler hats are substituted for Hollywood-issue caveman outfits. Next up is their final silent Unaccustomed as We Are (Dir. Lewis Foster, US, 1929, re-made as their first talkie) in which Ollie brings Stan home for dinner, much to the disgust of Mrs. Hardy who storms out leaving the coast clear for the pair to try their charms on beautiful neighbour Mrs. Kennedy (Thelma Todd). Finally,  one of Laurel and Hardy’s best-loved shorts: Big Business (Dir. James Horne, US, 1928) which sees the duo gain-lessly occupied as door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen falling foul of short-tempered James Finlayson (Larbert-born local celebrity) with predictably but oh-so-satisfyingly destructive results.  Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by Jane Gardner (piano) and Hazel Morrison (percussion).  Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – not known, 97mins) Based on a play by Indian author Niranjan Pal, Shiraz tells the fictionalised love story of the 17th-century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.  It was directed by Germany’s Franz Osten, one of at least 17 films he made in India between 1925 and 1939, best known of which are The Light of Asia (1925) and A Throw of Dice (1929).  Shot entirely on location in India with an all-Indian cast, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings – all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive with specially-commisioned score. The film was the brainchild of producer Himansu Rai, who also stars as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she’s sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).Upon its release Shiraz was a considerable critical and popular success and received rave reviews when the restored version was screened at last year’s London Film Festival.  Find out more at silentfilm.org   Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by  John Sweeney (piano) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland  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 Lndi). But their relationship is threatened by power station worker Burt (Cyril McLaglan) who also has eyes for Nell.  Consumed by jealousy, Burt plots to discredit Bill with a plan that results in a daring chase through London’s underground and across rooftops of the city.  Although Underground was only Asquith‘s second film  he handles the melodramatic story with confidence and great sophistication.  Underground is a rare study of 1920s working-class London, and offers a fascinating and historically interesting glimpse of its public transport system.  Find out more at screenonline.org.uk   Presented as part of the 2018 Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest).  With live musical accompaniment by  Stephen Horne (piano, accordion, flute) & Frank Bockius (percussion) Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’Ness, Scotland Link

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dir.Wallace Worsley, US, 1923) (Screening format – not known, 110mins) A classic silent film, full of drama, frights, romance, and excitement .  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 bell-ringer and his love for Esmeralda, a doomed gypsy girl, has been filmed so many times but for many this Chaney adaption remains the definitive Quasimodo. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was filmed over the course of six months on a specially built set depicting 15th-century Paris, a set which spanned 19 acres of Universal Pictures’ back lot and included a full scale façade of Notre Dame Cathedral. The version to be screened is a brand new restoration thanks to Flicker Alley and Lobster Films, Paris and is the edition mastered from a multi-tinted 16mm print struck in 1926 from the original camera negative. (The film apparently does not survive in 35mm). Visible wear in the source material is diminished with a moderate amount of digital restoration. It is pictorially superior to any past releases and represents the best condition in which this landmark film survives today. Find out more at  wikipedia.org. Presented by South West Silents in association with Curzon Cinema and Arts.  With live musical accompaniment by Andy Quinn on the Curzon’s cinema organ.  Curzon Cinema, Clevedon, North Somerset  Link

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 from Wurlitza. Regal Cinema, Wadebridge, Cornwall.  Link

29 March

The Call Of The Sea (aka Zew Morza) (Dir. Henryk Szaro, Pol, 1927) (Screeningformat – DCP, 126mins)  The Barbican and the Polish Cultural Institute in London presents the Closing Gala event of the 2018 Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, featuring a screening of the digitally restored 1927 film The Call of the Sea, directed by Henryk Szaro and based on a novel by Stefan Kiedrzyński. Immensely popular in Poland in the 1920s due to its complex scenery and cinematography, this epic love story with a turbulent plot combines maritime cinema and romance, featuring many stars of the silent film era as well as officers and gunmen of the Polish navy and air force. Find out more at  letsceefilmfestival.com With live musical accompaniment from pianist and composer Taz Modi, Matthew Bourne on piano and synthesizers, Duncan Bellamy on drums and live sampling, Chris Hargreaves on bass and Simon Beddoe on trumpet.  Barbican, London  Link

31 March

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

Shiraz (Dir. Franz Osten, 1928) (Screening format – DCP, 97mins)  For details, see 8 March above With Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Chichester Cinema, Chichester Link

 


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