Robin Hood and Der Rosenkavalier

News of two UK screenings coming which are worth nothing.

Robin Hood

Firstly, 7 October 2007 sees a screening of the Douglas Fairbanks classic Robin Hood (1922) at the Royal Centre, Nottingham. The score is by John Scott, who also conducts the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra. Here’s some of the blurb from the Royal Centre site:

If you’ve never seen a Silver Screen Silent Classic before then now’s your chance to sit back and enjoy this home-grown tale played to a new original orchestral score by the legendary John Scott. If you have then you’ll know just what a treat you are in for with this exciting evening out.

Robin Hood (1922) was the first motion picture ever to make a Hollywood premiere, and starred a swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks in the title role. This epic adventure was based on the legendary tale of Nottingham’s greatest Medieval hero, and was the first production to present many of the elements of the legend that have become familiar to movie audiences in later versions. One of the most expensive movies of the 1920s, an entire 12th century village of Nottingham was constructed. Telling the classic story of Robin and his band of Outlaws, Fairbanks is an acrobatic champion of the oppressed, setting things right through swashbuckling feats and makes life miserable for Prince John and his cohorts, Sir Guy Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham and good ultimately triumphs over evil.

For over 30 years John Scott has established himself as one of the finest composers for film having scored over 60 films winning three Emmy Awards and numerous industry recognitions of his work. His major film credits include Greystoke, The Legend of Tarzan, Charlton Heston’s Antony and Cleopatra, The Deceivers with Pierce Brosnan, King Kong 2,The Long Duel with Yul Brynner, Shoot To Kill with Sidney Poitier and the Jacques Cousteau Re-Discovery Of The World TV series.

Der Rosenkavalier

Next, a little further away, but already being advertised and something of a hot ticket, there’s Der Rosenkavalier (1926), at the Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, with Richard Strauss’ music, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, conducted by Frank Stroebel. The screening takes place 14 June 2008. The film, directed by Robert Weine is something quite unusual among silent films, as the blurb explains:

However well you know Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier, or even if you don’t know it at all, this will surprise and delight you. It’s not a film of the opera but music with pictures, an independent silent cinematic version made in 1926 by the pioneering director Robert Wiene (best-known for the ground-breaking The Cabinet of Dr Caligari). The scenario of Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) was written by Hofmannsthal, the opera’s librettist, and includes new scenes and flashbacks, with a major role for the Marschallin’s husband, unseen in the opera. The music, played by a live orchestra, was arranged by Strauss with additional material, some newly composed. Masterminded by Frank Strobel, artistic director of European Film Philharmonic Berlin and a specialist in arranging and conducting music for silent films, this newly restored print with reconstructed final reel comes to Liverpool for the British premiere of this entertaining and fascinating rediscovery, a unique event in the history of film and opera.

More details from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic site.