Live in Trafalgar Square

Silents in Trafalgar Square

Frame still taken from BBC News video of Capital Tales in Trafalgar Square

Recently, as you’ll know, the London Film Festival hosted two screenings of silents in Trafalgar Square, with live music accompaniment. There’s a BBC video news report on the second screening, Capital Tales, which featured a pot pourri of London footage, much of it silent, with John Sweeney at the piano.

John Sweeney in Trafalgar Square

John Sweeney accompanying Capital Tales in Trafalgar Square, from

The report features short interviews with John, BFI programmer Robin Baker, and assorted members of the public. The general feedback from this event, and the screening of Blackmail the day before, has been very positive, and I think we can expect more screenings of silents in the London open air in the future. I’m entirely in favour of this. Take the films to the people. Let’s have people stumbling upon archive films in unexpected places. Let’s bring the past into the present. Archives should be everywhere.