The Cinema Museum, London

Kennington Bioscope Seventh Silent Film Weekend – Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 April

Sat 20 Apr - Sun 21 Apr 2024 · Events

He Who Gets SlappedThis year along with our usual themes of rarely seen gems, restorations, and discoveries we are looking at the year 1924 with many films on 35mm or 35mm nitrate scans. Highlights of the event, subject to confirmation:

We are screening two rarely seen epics. One is the Italian production of The Last Days of Pompeii (1913) on 35mm with colour tints. Based on the novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, it was directed by Giovanni Enrico Vidali and (uncredited) Ubaldo Maria Del Colle. It stars Suzanne De Labroy, Ines Melidoni and Luigi Mele. Another is the German version of Taras Bulba (1924), again on 35mm and based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol. Starring J.N. Douvan-Tarzow in the title role, this was directed by Vladimir Strizhevsky and Joseph N. Ermolieff at the Emelka Studios in Munich. It was one of several Russian-themed films that exiled producer Ermolieff made during the 1920s.

As part of our commitment to screen British cinema we will be premiering East Lynne (1913), in a brand new 4K restoration from an amazingly good quality, recently found original 35mm nitrate print. The first British feature of the sensational novel of 1861 by Ellen Wood, it was directed by Bert Haldane at the Barker Studios in Ealing, with Blanche Forsythe, Fred Paul and Fred Morgan in the leading roles. Restored by Chris Bird and Bob Geoghegan. In Henry Edwards’s Owd Bob (1924), an old farmer’s sheepdog is saved when a rival’s dog is proved to be a sheep killer; this will be presented on 35mm and stars J. Fisher White, Ralph Forbes, James Carew and Yvonne Thomas. There will also be W.P. Kellino’s Not For Sale (1924) made by the Stoll Film Company with Ian Hunter, Mary Odette and George Bellamy. In the scenario by Lydia Hayward, extravagant Lord Dering (Hunter) is cut adrift by his father with £5 a week, and is forced to live in a Bloomsbury boarding house, whose proprietor he later marries.

Forgotten Film Pioneer, presented by Dave Peabody using 35mm and digital transfers, will be a look at the career of James Searle Dawley, who has been called `The First Professional Motion Picture Director’. Dawley was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, stage actor, and playwright. Between 1907 and the mid-1920s he directed more than 300 short films and 56 features. As part of this presentation Dave will be screening Dawley’s early version of Frankenstein as well as a 35mm print of The Charge of the Light Brigade.

As part of our Restorations and Discoveries strand we will be showing 35mm scans of new discoveries by Joshua Cattermole, who previously brought us The Gold Diggers from 1923. He will present his latest finds, which include a collection of Robert Paul films (1896-1901) and the Dogger Bank Incident (1904), together with an Oliver Hardy fragment from 1916. Other discoveries are a beautifully tinted and toned print of Nell Shipman’s The Light on Lookout Mountain (1923).

For the first time we are including a comedy programme on both days. Restored Laughter (35mm nitrate scans and digital prints) and Comedies of 1924 are co-presented by Glenn Mitchell, the first with Dave Glass and the second with Matthew Ross.

Last but not least, our evening special presentations are Victor Sjöström’s He Who Gets Slapped (1924) with Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert and Ruth King, in which a bitter clown endeavours to rescue the young woman he loves; and Pathescope Presents, an `Only on Nine-Five’ presentation by Chris Bird. Using ninety-year-old 9.5mm prints, the evening will culminate in a screening of the only tinted print in the country of the five-reel version of Metropolis.

The Last Days of Pompeii