The days are grey, the weather foul, and we need something to lift our spirits. So how about The Bioscope’s very own film festival? We always try to point you to the various silent film festivals around the world, but for its own film festival The Bioscope wants to do something a little different.
So we’re going to have the world’s first festival of lost films. The Bioscope Festival of Lost Films will take place over five days, 14-18 January 2008. It will present five lost silent feature films, each accompanied by a short, with supporting materials, side events, and maybe a celebrity interview or two. So, just like any other festival, except of course that there will be no films to show you. Because all of the films featured will be lost films, not known to exist in any archive anywhere. So a collective act of imagination will be required, as well as a collective sigh at what has been so thoughtlessly cast aside.
What films will be showing? We cannot yet tell you. Just as some festivals have to leave it until the last moment because they cannot be sure of securing the films that they want to show, so The Bioscope Festival of Lost Films will need to be cautious in case the films it hopes to programme turn out to exist somewhere. It seems the story about F.W. Murnau’s The 4 Devils having been found is only an ingenious prank, but there could be some truth to the rumours about King Vidor’s Bardelys the Magnificent having been found. Only at the last minute will it be possible to confirm the final selection. Rest assured that only the best titles will get selected for your delectation.
Therefore, please note down 14-18 January in your diaries, and look out for further announcements about the festival as the time gets nearer.
Postscript (January 2008)
The films featured in the festival were:
Day 1: A Study in Scarlet (1914) and The Great European War (1914)
Day 2: Ein Sommernachtstraum (1925) and Hamlet (1907)
Day 3: Human Wreckage (1923) and Dorian Gray (1913)
Day 4: The Mountain Eagle (1926) and Number 13 (1922)
Day 5: Drakula halála (1921) and Life Without Soul (1915)