London & South East

 


 

 

 

 


2 March

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

4 March

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

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 BlackmailPresented 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.org.  Presented 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

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

18 March

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

22 March

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

29 March

The Call Of The Sea (aka Zew Morza) (Dir. Henryk Szaro, Pol, 1927) (Screening format – 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)  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. With Anoushka Shankar recorded score.  Chichester Cinema, Chichester Link

 


NB. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these listings is accurate, silentfilmcalendar.org can take no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies. You are strongly advised to confirm with the venue that the event remains as detailed, particularly if traveling any distance to attend.