British Silent Film Festival at the Barbican

The British Silent Film Festival returns to the Barbican this week, with a four day programme of screenings, lectures and special events. Ideal for 1920s gooners such as myself as well as anyone with a broader interest in film, I’d hazard.

All the films will be accompanied by traditional music, with a stellar lineup of specialist silent film musicians. This from the site:

The art of the silent film musician features strongly in our line-up demonstrating how the language of film music developed and how musicians today take different approaches to accompaniment. We’ll be recreating the experience of cinema going from the Great War to the late silent period; looking at the unlikely relationship between radio and the silent film, celebrating the centenary of the birth of the British newsreel and hosting the world premiere of the restored musical score for the Russian fantasy film Morozko.

The pictures I’m most interested in are Twinkletoes – a slightly schmaltzy tale of a Cockney Colleen Moore who dreams of being a musical hall star; Helen of Four Gates – a recently rediscovered classic filmed in delightful Hebden Bridge; Pavement Butterfly – a German film set in Paris starring Anna May Wong as a go-go girl, bohemian and society gal; and Lonesome – a classic tale of two loners in New York who meet randomly and have an awesome day at Coney Island. You can see a clip of this much-loved film above!

The festival starts on Thursday 7 April and you can buy tickets for all shows and events at the Barbican website.

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