14 March 2004 Watershed
The magical special-effects work is by Willis O’Brien – pioneer genius of three-dimensional animation and of the combination of animation and live action, whose subsequent masterwork was to be King Kong.
The story, the romance and the dramatics matter less than the dinosaur action; and compelling though Bessie Love and Wallace Berry are in the human roles, it is Willis O’Brien’s creatures who steal the show.
The story is familiar enough – careful, deliberate build up; journey to a sinister land where prehistoric monsters still thrive, cut off from the rest of the world for millennia; the capture of a dinosaur and the results of bringing in back to civilization (in this case London).
The marvel of the film is the extraordinary spectacle of seeing these pioneering stop-motion creatures eating, bathing and fighting. The sequences of a brontosaurus running amok in London still astonishes.
Previously only seen in it’s abridged 62min version here we will see film historian David Shepherd’s 2001 digital restoration – the most complete version available.
With live improvised piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.
14 March 2004 Watershed
This event will begin with a screening of the father of all dinosaur films, The Lost World (1925), a free adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s science-fiction classic.
The second half of the show will be presented by Peter Lord, founder of Aardman Animations and one of the true heirs of Willis O’Brien.
21 March 2004 Watershed
There was a sell-out house at the Watershed for the second of our three special presentations about three-dimensional stop-motion animation, when the great Old Master of the genre, Ray Harryhausen, was interviewed on stage by Andrew Kelly.
Our Patron, David Robinson, says of Mozhukhin: There is really no “mystery” about Mozhukhin: he was simply the greatest romantic actor the cinema has ever known.
There have been scores of romantic icons and idols – and great ones too – but Ivan Mozhukhin remains the romantic actor supreme, in direct line of descent from the English Edmund Kean, whom he personated triumphantly on stage and screen.
Born to a prosperous central Russian family in 1889, Ivan Mozhukhin abandoned his law studies to go on the stage. Fascinated by the possibilities of the cinema, he made his first film in 1911, and quickly became the unrivalled superstar of Imperial Russia. With the Revolution of 1917, he emigrated to France, where he achieved new stardom in films like La Maison the Mystère, Kean, Michel Strogoff and Casanova.
His decline began with a much-heralded Hollywood contract with Universal, which resulted only in one disastrous picture. Returning to Europe, his career was briefly revived in Germany, but sound films presented an insuperable problem to an artist with a thick Russian accent. Already almost forgotten, Ivan Mozhukhin made his final screen appearance in Nitchevo (1936). He died of tuberculosis in a Paris hospital on 18 January 1939, at the age of 49, and was buried in a pauper’s grave.
19 May 2004 Marlows
Clara Bow was one of the great “Sex Goddesses” of the American cinema and her reputation as the “It Girl” in 1927 has continued down through the years, even with those people who have never seen any of her 58 films.
She was the embodiment of the independent-minded flapper with bobbed hair and cupid bow lips. Bow was Paramount’s biggest star during 1927 and 1928. Eleanor Glyn’s IT (a euphemism for sex appeal) may have been ill defined, but Clara had ‘it’ and many men (and women!) of the roaring twenties wanted it and admired Bow for it.
This evening at Marlows we’ll be screening a classic Clara Bow movie following a brief introduction from fan and Bristol Silents supporter Mark Fuller.
11 June 2004 Marlows
TV presenter and radio show host Chris Serle will introduce us to the world of Mary Pickford. Plus a screening of one of her classic silent features.
29 August 2004 Watershed
Lon Chaney was not simply a horror actor. Best known for his extraordinary ability to use make-up to transform himself into bizarre characters, his familiar roles in Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame are often screened as representative of his work. Here we demonstrate his astonishing acting range and ability screening an excellent recent documentary and an exceptional silent, in celebration of Chaney’s collaboration with legendary director Tod Browning (Director of Freaks).
Films screened included Lon Chaney- A Thousand Faces (UK 2000 Dir Kevin Brownlow, 85mins), The Unknown (US 1927, Dir Todd Browning 65mins) Plus Thunder extracts (USA 1929 Dir William Nigh)
These films all had live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.
15 September 2004 Marlows
Hells Hinges starring William S Hart and a classic John Ford western with John Wayne’s mentor Harry Carey.
With live musical accompaniment from Christine Wright on piano.
24 October 2004 Watershed
Featuring live music composed and performed by Geoff Smith on hammered dulcimers. One of the best known and celebrated silent films of all time.
With its revolutionary German expressionist sets it influenced a legion of directors including Fritz Lang, Orson Wells and Stanley Kubrick. Here presented with the Britsh Film Institute’s colour tinted print with a live accompaniment from world acclaimed master of hammered dulcimer music Geoff Smith.
Geoff Smith’s new score for ‘Caligari’ is a revelation and breaks new ground in the composition and performance of live music for film. His immensely dynamic score intimately relates to the emotional and psychological depth and intensity of the film’s narrative and plot.
Eric Sykes Screentalk
24 October 2004 Watershed
In association with Barbican Screen Talks we are thrilled to welcome Eric Sykes, one of the legendary names in British comedy, to talk about his three decades in film, theatre and television. Eric will discuss his work as writer and director of comedy shorts, and has chosen clips from his own’ silent’ films along with extracts of his comedy heroes.
The evening includes a screening of The Plank, his classic piece featuring a galaxy of British comedy talent (Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Edwards, Roy Castle, Jim Dale) and written almost entirely without dialogue, plus extracts from It’s your Move, Mr H. is Late, The Big Freeze and footage from Laurel and Hardy. A rare opportunity to see this great comedian talking about his life and work.