Lillian Gish Film Festival

Lillian Gish

Doubtless making up a little for having missed out on hosting The Simpson Movie premiere, Springfield, Ohio plays host to The Lillian Gish Film Festival over 5-8 September. Films to be featured include Broken Blossoms, The Wind (with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra), The Night of the Hunter and The Whales of August. There are lectures, a Gish Wine Tasting (!) with Roundtable discussion, and a Gish Sisters Walking Tour. The Gish family came from Springfield: the father, James Leigh Gish, ran a confectionery business there, though they moved away soon after Lillian was born (1896), to Dayton, where Dorothy was born (1898). And then, of course, they experienced a peripatetic life as child stage performers.

More details from the festival site.

Summer of British Film

Summer of British Film

Today the BBC begins its summer-long season of over 100 British films, divided into seven themes (Thriller, Love & Romance, Social Realism, Costume Drama, Horror, War and Comedy), with seven acompanying documentaries. The selection of films is really quite imaginative – there’s a full list on the BBC site. If I can veer away from silents just for a bit, I strongly recommend Edmond Greville’s Noose (1948), showing this Sunday morning, a corking crime thriller set in Soho, with Nigel Patrick having the time of his life as a sharp-talking spiv; The Scarlet Thread (1950), with Kathleen Byron and Laurence Harvey, on August 3rd, just because I’ve never seen it and it looks intriguing; Victor Saville’s 1931 version of Hindle Wakes – not quite as good as the 1927 silent, but powerful stuff nonetheless, and oddly enough the rarer title these days – on August 10th (the BBC has a still for the 1951 version by mistake); and many many more – Obsession, Young and Innocent, Hell Drivers, I Know Where I’m Going!, Hungry Hill, This Sporting Life, That Hamilton Woman, A Night to Remember, Gregory’s Girl, Witchfinder General

There’s just the one silent, Anthony Asquith’s A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929). Needless to say, it’s being shown in the small hours, Monday morning July 30th at 1.30 am. To be honest, if I had to choose one British silent only to join such a parade, it wouldn’t be the sometimes ponderous A Cottage on Dartmoor, but it’s had some exposure of late, and so I guess it has a modest vogue about it. I’d have gone for the 1927 Hindle Wakes myself. Or The Informer. Or The Manxman. Or The Flag Lieutenant