Rats, ruffians and radicals in Nottingham

British Silent Cinema

The Bargain, At the Villa Rose and The Rat

The full programme for the British Silent Cinema Festival has been published. The festival, entitled Rats, Ruffians and Radicals: The globalisation of crime and the British silent film (now there’s a theme and a half) takes place at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham 3-6 April.

As usual, the festival will be a mixture of films, papers, symposia and special events, mostly (but not entirely) around the festival’s theme. The main outline of the programme has already been given here, but here’s a check list of the main films being shown:

Thursday, 3 April

AT THE FOOT OF THE SCAFFOLD
Dir. Warwick Buckland GB 1913, 24mins

THE BARGAIN
Dir. Henry Edwards, GB 1921, 1hr 15mins

RED PEARLS
Dir. Walter Forde, GB 1930, 1hr 15mins

AT THE VILLA ROSE
Dir. Maurice Elvey, GB 1920, 1hr 22mins

DER MANN IM KELLAR (THE MAN IN THE CELLAR)
Dir. Joe May, Germany, 1914, 44 mins

DIE CARMEN VON ST PAULI (aka THE WATER RAT)
Dir Erich Waschneck, Germany 1928, 1hr 54mins

Friday, 4 April

THE HILL PARK MYSTERY (NEDBRUDTE NERVER)
Dir. Anders Wilhelm Sandberg. Denmark, 1923, 1hr 15mins

CHICAGO
Dir. Frank Urson; USA 1927, 1hr 57mins

Saturday, 5 April

THE WHIP
Dir Maurice Tourneur, USA 1917, 1hr 10mins

PIMPLE IN THE WHIP
Dir Fred Evans/Joe Evans, GB 1917, 20mins

THE RAT
Dir. Graham Cutts, GB 1925, 1hr 18 mins

Sunday, 6 April

TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS
Dir. H.B Parkinson, USA 1922, 1hr

DANS LA NUIT
Dir. Charles Vanel, France 1929, 75 mins

The mostly crime-free special events are, on the Saturday: ‘Women and Silent Britain’, a series of presentations and screenings looking at the roles of women in the first three decades of British cinema; also on the Saturday, Luke McKernan presenting ‘The Olympic Games on Film 1900-1924’; on the Sunday, ‘Melodrama from Stage to Screen’, with emphasis on musical acompaniment (contributions from Phil Carli and Neil Brand); and most notably, on the Friday, Kevin Brownlow delivers the second Rachael Low Lecture.

And there’s more. You’ll have to read the programme for all the many papers featured during the four days, but expect to be informed, and quite possibly entranced, by presentations on subjects as diverse as crime in Finnish film of the 1920s, fan writing and self-representation in British silent films, the Biokam films of Laura Eugenia Smith, the eroticism of Anna May Wong and her representation as ‘other’, diamond smuggling in early cinema, the white slave trade and Traffic in Souls, and petty crime in Fred Karno’s music hall sketches as an influence in the early films of Charlie Chaplin.

And there are Sherlock Holmes and Fu Manchu shorts, and restorations from the Imperial War Museum, The Woman’s Portion (1918) and Everybody’s Business (1917). And lots more besides. Most of the films come from the BFI National Archive, plus some from the IWM, the Danish Film Archive, and UCLA Film and Television Archive (Chicago).

It’s always an excellently organised and amiable event, which achieves miracles on a funding shoestring, and is by now a more than well-established feature of the silent film calendar (this is its eleventh year). Full programme details, booking form, accommodation information and so forth are all available from the festival site. See you there, hopefully.

2 responses

  1. Please forgive the unintentional ambiguity of my language. I meant that they will be informed and quite possibly entranced as well, not informed but unentranced. Read it out loud with a rising tone on the word ‘entranced’, and you’l see what I mean.

    (But I have now changed the text to eradicate any hint of ambiguity)

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