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
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
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