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Alongside the marvelous Chaplin restorations now playing at the BFI Southbank in London there is yet another exciting season coming up next month.

Playing over 3 days (and therefore mimicking the festival itself) The Best of the British Silent Film Festival brings together a hand-picked selection of films screened since the festival began in 1998. The festival was sparked by growing concern over the lacklustre worldwide interest in British silent film. 

As an attendant of the festival earlier this year, I can tell you that the films shown were a revelation. Varied in their style and scope, an entirely refreshed perspective on cinema can be gleaned from a festival such as this. It proves that British silent cinema is as vital and fascinating as any other.

I would particularly recommend the enthralling presentation on the Olympic Games, presented by Luke McKernan who also runs the definitive blog on silent film: The Bioscope.

I will certainly be attending The Battle of the Somme, The Lure of Crooning Water and Triumph of the Rat. But I also hope to revisit the crime movies I saw earlier this year which will be re-screened. In fact I hope to take all three days in. See you there!

The Battle of the Somme

  • Sat 27 Sep 18:45 NFT1 book

Special preview of this ground-breaking propaganda film from 1916.

The First Born

  • Sun 28 Sep 20:40 NFT2 book

Miles Manders adaption about jealousy among the upper classes.

The Lure of Crooning Water

  • Sat 27 Sep 20:40 NFT2 book

One of the finest examples of the British pastoral film.

The Olympic Games on Film 1900-1924

  • Fri 26 Sep 18:20 NFT2 book

The early Olympics Games on film, including London 1908.

Triumph of the Rat

  • Sun 28 Sep 18:20 NFT2 book

Lavish, passionate silent sequel with Ivor Novello.

True Crime on Film

  • Sun 28 Sep 16:00 NFT2 book

Sensationalist illustrated history of true crime in film.

The Ware Case

  • Fri 26 Sep 20:40 NFT2 book

1920s murder mystery with a fabulous twist.

When All Films Were Short

  • Sat 27 Sep 16:00 NFT2 book

Lucky-dip programme of shorts favourites.

Fashion In Film Festival

The 2nd Fashion in Film Festival kicks off tomorrow in London, spreading itself across the BFI Southbank, ICA,  Ciné Lumière and Tate Modern.

The scope is large and imaginative. Below are some highlights for me (from the online catalogue), though there is a lot of more recent titles which also look very interesting including a remake of The Red Shoes from South Korea.

Note in particular the illustrated lecture by the brilliant academic writer Tom Gunning and the UK Premiere of a Czech silent, The Kidnapping of Fux Banker (1923). It also includes one of my particular favourites, Leave Her to Heaven (1945) starring the exquisite Gene Tierney. It’s also great to see silents make such a prominent appearance.

         
 
  The Colour of Nothingness: costumes of invisibility and transformation in early detective films and literature 
An illustrated lecture by Guest Curator Tom Gunning, with live musical accompaniment.
.Saturday 24 May 15:50, BFI Southbank NFT2
         
  Follow Me Quietly 
USA 1949. Dir. Richard Fleischer. 
With William Lundigan, Dorothy Patrick. 60 min. 35mm.
Wednesday 21 May 18.20, 
BFI Southbank NFT2 Introduced by Roger Sabin.
Saturday 31 May, 20.30, BFI Southbank NFT3
 

 

 
  Silent Film’s Thieves, Jewel Robberies and Cases of the Lost Glove
Introduced by Christel Tsilibaris.
Sunday 18 May, 17.00, Ciné lumière    

A Man With White Gloves (L’homme aux gants blancs
France 1908. Dir Albert Capellani. 
With Henri Desfontaines, Marguerite Brésil. 35mm.

The Gentleman Thief (aka Max Leads Them a Novel Chase ; Le voleur mondain
France 1909. Dir Louis Gasnier. 
With Max Linder. 16mm.

Nick Winter and the Case of the Famous Hotel (Nick Winter et l’affaire du Célébric Hôtel ) 
France 1911, Dir Gérard Bourgeois. 
With Georges Vinter. 35mm.

The Pearl (La Perle
Belgium 1929. Dir Henri d’Ursel. 
With Georges Hugnet, Kissa Kouprine. 35mm.

         
  The Kidnapping of Fux Banker (Únos bankére Fuxe
Czech Republic 1923. Dir Karl Anton. 
With Anny Ondra, Karel Lamac. 75 min. 35mm.
UK PREMIERE 
New musical accompaniment by DJ Charles Kriel and “funny face”. 
Introduced by Marketa Uhlirova.
Sunday 25 May, 18.20, BFI Southbank NFT1
         
  The Rat 
UK 1925. Dir Graham Cutts. 
With Ivor Novello, Isabel Jeans. 80min. 35mm.
Saturday 24 May 17:45, BFI Southbank NFT1
         
  Asphalt (Der Polizeiwachtmeister und die Diamantenelse)
Germany 1929. Dir Joe May. 
With Betty Amann, Gustav Fröhlich. 94 min. 35mm.
With live piano accompaniment.
Sunday 25 May, 15.30, BFI Southbank NFT1
         
  Desire OASIS Gala screening
USA 1936. Dir Frank Borzage. 
With Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper. 89 min. 35mm. 
Saturday 17 May, 20:30, Ciné lumière
         
         
  The Lodger : A Story of the London Fog
UK 1927. Dir Alfred Hitchcock. 
With Ivor Novello, June. 98 min. 35mm. 
Introduced by Alice Rawsthorn.
With live musical accompaniment.
Tuesday 13 May, 18.30, BFI Southbank NFT1
         
  Leave Her to Heaven 
USA 1945. Dir John M. Stahl. 
With Gene Tierney. 105 min. 35mm.
Monday 19 May, 18.20, 
BFI Southbank NFT2

 

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