Archive Of Events: 2006

Paul Merton`s Silent Comedy Mayhem (Featuring Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last)

20 January 2006 Colston Hall

Join Paul Merton for an evening of family entertainment, classic comedy, laughter and entertainment.

The evening includes a rare screening of Harold Lloyd’s classic comedy Safety Last. Here the film will be screened for the very first time accompanied by a new live improvised ‘score’ from THE PRIMA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB a 5-piece band featuring silent film maestro Neil Brand and international friends.

Phantom of The Opera (1925)

11 February 2006 Colston Hall

Not a Bristol Silents event as such, but The Colston Hall have really pulled out the stops to offer a superb silent film title with appropriate accompaniment. Projected on 35mm film using Photoplay Production’s restored print Lon Chaney’s masterpiece comes to life as part of the Colston Hall’s celebration of the venue’s organ.

Finis Terrae

7 May 2006 Watershed

Dir: Jean Epstein 1929 France 80mins

Epstein’s classic documentary-fiction is set on a remote island outcrop where a dramatic story unfolds against the stark beauty of the Brittany landscape. The film is being shown with a brand new score written and performed live by The Curt Collective.

This daring new score is lyrical and dramatic, contemporary and traditional, and is inspired by Celtic melodies and the stark, breathtaking beauty of the Brittany landscape. The line-up is oboe, clarinet, trombone, guitars, percussion, electronics and voices, spoken and sung.

Plus short: St Kilda: Britain’s Loneliest Isle.

Eric Sykes in Person

18 May 2006 Watershed

Eric Sykes returns to Watershed on 18th May 2006 (12.30-1.30). Though not a Bristol Silents event, this is a rare opportunity to see the 82 year old national treasure and acclaimed comedian in conversation with Bristol Silents founder Chris Daniels. He’ll be discussing among other things his recent autobiography IF I DON”T WRITE IT NOBODY ELSE WILL.

This is a Festival Of Idea’s event.

Nanook of the North (1922)

21 May 2006 Watershed

Dir: Robert Flaherty 1922 USA/ France 79mins

In partnership with The Festival Of Idea’s and Watershed, Bristol Silents present Flaherty’s best known classic silent documentary accompanied by the world premiere of a new semi-improvised score.

Sadly due to illness the Shrine Synchrosytem will now not be accompanying this event live. Silent film maestro Neil Brand, one of the finest silent film musicians in the world will now be providing live piano accompaniment.

Nanook of the North is a beautifully filmed, simple account of a few weeks in the life of Nanook, an Inuit living east of the Hudson Bay, and his family. Today the film is hailed as a cinematic milestone of the silent era.
Robert Flaherty distinguishes himself as a gifted documentary filmmaker, capable of capturing effective shots that are both action-packed and educational and a masterful storyteller.

Plus: Melanie McGrath, author of the forthcoming The Long Exile: A True Story of Deception and Survival Amongst The Inuit of The Canadian Arctic tells the chilling story of what happened after the film with the death of Nanook and the story of the illegitimate son of Robert Flaherty, who having grown up Inuit, was forcibly resettled in 1953 to what was falsely described as an Arctic Eden.

The Mitchell and Kenyon Football Shorts

11 June 2006 Watershed

Mitchell & Kenyon was a late Victorian and Edwardian film company based in Blackburn, Lancashire. Now miraculously rediscovered and restored, their films provide an amazing visual record of everyday life at the beginning of the 20th century, including some of the earliest films of football matches. This special programme sheds light on the little known world of Edwardian football, offering a fascinating insight into the sport at a crucial stage of its development.

Accompanied by a talk by Dr Vanessa Toulmin, a leading authority on the collection.

A BFI programme in association with Bristol Silents.

Nanook of the North (With Paul McGann & The Matinee Idles)

11 June 2006 The Rex, Berkhamsted

Bristol Silents are once again collaborating with our friends At THE REX CINEMA.

Nanook Of The North (1922) is a beautifully filmed, simple account of a few weeks in the life of Nanook, an Inuit living east of the Hudson Bay, and his family. Today, the film is hailed as a cinematic milestone of cinema and the director, Robert Flaherty, was widely regarded as ‘the father of documentary’.

“When the film was released, it got rave reviews and no- one called it a documentary. It simply seemed to be in a class by itself. It still is.” Derek Malcolm, The Guardian

The film is accompanied by a live semi-improvised score from THE SHRINE SYNCHROSYSTEM featuring Max Reinhardt and world music kora master Tunde Jegede plus Ben Mandelson.

Also featured (and back by popular demand following their appearance at Paul Mertons’s Silent Clowns event last year) are The Matinee Idles. Paul McGann, ex-DARTS members Den Hegarty, Griff Fender and Pikey Butler plus Debbie Charles from The Mint Julips, have joined forces to create a unique brand of acapella vocal – a truly stunning display of close-part harmonies.

Plus: Laurel and Hardy in Big Business (1929). A marvellous tit for tat short from the masters of comedy with live piano accompaniment.

Rin Tin Tin in CLASH OF THE WOLVES (Classic Silent Matinee show at Watershed)

24 June 2006 Watershed

Long before Lassie was a glint in the eye Rin-Tin-Tin was one of the biggest box office stars of the twenties starring in countless action features as the fearless, loveable and heroic canine. This is a rare opportunity to see the legendary Rinty‚ doing what he does best in his ninth feature film: saving hapless humans from natural disasters and conniving villains. Classic Family entertainment at it’s best.

Screening Stars: The Fetish of the Face (with Norman Taylor)

24 June 2006 Watershed

Early Hollywood was built on stars, but stars grew out of an age-old fascination with the face. This Study Day celebrates the power of the face on the big screen and will be hosted by Norman Taylor, Film Studies Lecturer at City of Bristol College. Featured extracts include Sunset Boulevard, Woody Allen’s classic Purple Rose of Cairo and Lon Chaney in The Unknown.

Also featuring….Clash Of The Wolves

Dir: Noel M Smith USA 1925

Rin-Tin-Tin, Heroic Canine comes to the rescue.

Included live musical accompaniment from Stephen Horne.

Buster Keaton in ‘One Week’

7 July 2006 Arnolfini

Summerhill TV and One Week (U)
A mix of video, humour and experiment, this performance of Summerhill TV is led by children from Summerhill Junior School. Working with artists and performers Kim Noble and Stuart Silver, the children have developed this work which explores television, its methods and genres in a playful representation of live studio TV. Kim and Stuart also perform as (nobleandsilver) and their trademark style of comedy, slapstick and video trickery has informed much of the work in this collaboration.

The performance will be followed by One Week, a movie ahead of its time with great gags, slapstick and special effects. The screening will be accompanied by live piano music by John Sweeney. Presented by Bristol Silents – http://www.bristolsilents.org.uk

One Week is the perfect film to show with Summerhill TV, a mix of video, humour and experiment, led by children from Summerhill Junior School. Working with artists and performers Kim Noble and Stuart Silver, the children have developed this work which explores television, its methods and genres in a playful representation of live studio TV. Kim and Stuart also perform as (nobleandsilver) and their trademark style of comedy, slapstick and video trickery has informed much of the work in this collaboration.

CBSO Silent Movie Weekend

13 October 2006 Symphony Hall, Birmingham

The esteemed conductor and composer Carl Davis has chosen to celebrate his 70th birthday in the form of a special weekend starring the three geniuses of silent comedy. Symphony Hall will turn into Birmingham’s largest cinema for the weekend for these spectacular screenings with live soundtracks provided by the CBSO.

Friday 13 October, 7.30pm
SILENT HEROES: BUSTER KEATON
Carl Davis – composer/conductor
Buster Keaton: One Week 22’
Buster Keaton: Our Hospitality 74’
Set in 1830s Kentucky, Our Hospitality charts a bitter feud between warring
clans, the McKays and the Canfields. When John McKay is killed, his widow
sends their one-year old son Willie to her sister in New York to be raised.
Twenty years later, Willie is returning to Kentucky by train when he meets a
young lady and falls in love. On accepting her invitation to meet her family
he soon realises that she is a Canfield. Virginia’s family wants to kill Willie,
but their rigid social code prevents them from doing it while he’s a guest in
their home. Once he steps outside, however, it’s a different story! The main
feature is preceded by one of Keaton’s best ‘shorts’, his first independent
film following his artistic split from Fatty Arbuckle.

Saturday 14 October, 7pm
SILENT HEROES: CHARLIE CHAPLIN
Carl Davis – composer/conductor
Charlie Chaplin: The Rink 26’
Charlie Chaplin: Modern Times 87’
Modern Times – Chaplin’s last silent film, produced when everyone else was
making ‘talkies’ – sees the Little Tramp turning against modern society and
‘progress’. Set during the depression of the 1930s, the film picks up on the
pressing issues of the day – hunger, unemployment and poverty – but remains
one of the most poignant romantic comedy films ever made. It’s preceded by
a ‘short’, The Rink, which was reputedly one of Chaplin’s favourite films, and
whose wonderful slapstick moments have rarely been surpassed.

Sunday 15 October, 3pm
SILENT HEROES: HAROLD LLOYD
Carl Davis – composer/conductor
Harold Lloyd: An Eastern Westerner 20’
Harold Lloyd: Safety Last! 74’
Harold Lloyd made his reputation as the ‘King of Dare-Devil Comedy’ in this
1923 film where he plays a young man hoping to rise to the top of the
department store business – a dream which comes true all too soon when
Harold is forced to climb the outside of the building! The shot of Lloyd
dangling from a clock face is surely the most famous image in silent comedy.
The preceding short – An Eastern Westerner – is packed with gags,
perfectly-paced and full of intelligent humour. This afternoon’s screenings
will be a unique movie matinée for all the family.

CBSO Silent Movie Weekend

18 October 2006 Symphony Hall, Birmingham

The esteemed conductor and composer Carl Davis has chosen to celebrate his 70th birthday in the form of a special weekend starring the three geniuses of silent comedy. Symphony Hall will turn into Birmingham’s largest cinema for the weekend for these spectacular screenings with live soundtracks provided by the CBSO.

A Throw of Dice

24 October 2006 Watershed

Dir: Franz Osten India/Germany 1929

This spectacular silent epic is described by composer Nitin Sawhney as ‘a cross between Chaplin, Cecil B de Mille and an early Bollywood movie’. It tells the tale of two neighbouring kings, both addicted to gambling and in love with the same woman, Sunita. The evil king Sohan wins the woman and the servitude of the good king Ranjit in a crooked game of dice, but, through a twist of fate, Sohan is overthrown and Sunita and Ranjit are reunited. A rare screening of the bfi’s new restoration featuring Sawhney’s ravishing score, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.

F.W.Murnaus Nosferatu (The Classic with Live Orchestral Score)

28 October 2006 Arnolfini

Nosferatu- A Symphony of Horrors

“Is this your wife? What a lovely throat”.

Murnau’s extraordinary symphony of evil brought to life in this special Halloween screening of the first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. With lives musical accompaniment from musical accompaniment by COMA, a contemporary music group specialising in the creation of original composition.

The event will be hosted by BAFTA award winning film editor and author Don Fairservice.

Bristol Silents presents: Louise Brooks at 100
Sun 5 Nov Watershed

To celebrate the centenary of iconic silent screen legend Louise Brooks’ birth, Brooks fan and actor Paul McGann joins film historian Kevin Brownlow to showcase the life and work of this extraordinary actress.

Plus Prix de Beauté

Dir: Augusto Genina France 1930
The silent version of Brooks’ neglected classic and final silent film. She stars as a Parisian secretary who, despite the protestations of her fiancé Andre (Georges Charlia), enters and wins the Miss Europe beauty pageant, and so is forced to choose between him and the career of her dreams. With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.

Dickensian Silent Christmas

17 December 2006 Watershed

Dickens and Christmas go together like a slice of plum pudding and a glass of fine port.

Michael Eaton, compiler of new bfi Dickens Before Sound DVD, presents a seasonal selection of silent delights based upon Dickens’ greatest works.

This yuletide programme contains not only the earliest existing cinematic version of A Christmas Carol, made in 1901, but an even older animated Magic Lantern treat: Gabriel Grub, Or The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton and D.W. Griffiths’ sole Dickens adaptation, Cricket On The Hearth. The perfect Silent Christmas treat!

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