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Win tickets to the British Silent Film Festival

The Ghost That Never Returns (1929)
The Ghost That Never Returns (1929)

This year’s British Silent Film Festival has an extraordinarily full schedule of films, talks and gala screenings. Whether you favour Soviet gem The Ghost That Never Returns with the full-throttle rockin’ blues of the Dodge Brothers (featuring Mark Kermode), Miles Mander’s sophisticated drama The First Born with Stephen Horne‘s elegant, haunting score, or some much-loved but little-seen favourites from the archives, there should be something to tempt you. And the whole thing takes place in the beautiful city of Cambridge this year (just 45 minutes from the Big Smoke by train).

You can read the whole schedule here. And buy tickets for individual screenings, as well as day or weekend passes, here.

BUT, very excitingly, the British Silent Film Festival has been kind enough to give away some tickets for free! To you beautiful Silent Londoners. To win a pair of tickets to a screening of your choice, just send the answer to this super-easy question to me, at silentlondontickets@gmail.com.

  • What is the name of the French silent film-maker whose life was dramatised in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning film Hugo (2911)?

The winner will be chosen at random from the correct answers at 1pm on Wednesday 18 April 2012, when the competition closes – and then notified by email. Good luck, and see you in Cambridge!

15th British Silent Film Festival – programme announcement and booking details

Miles Mander and Madeleine Carroll in The First Born (1928)
Miles Mander and Madeleine Carroll in The First Born (1928)

I’m very pleased to say that more details of the programme for next month’s British Silent Film Festival have just been released. The festival takes place in Cambridge this year, from 19-22 April. Delegate passes for the weekend are now available to buy here, and the full schedule is available to browse here. Screenings will include Graham Cutts’s Cocaine, to accompany the ‘What the Silent Censor Saw’ programme, The First Born, with Stephen Horne’s ensemble score, Norwegian drama Fante-Anne (Gipsy Anne) with a new score by Halldor Krogh, Soviet documentary Turksib with accompaniment from Bronnt Industries, folk films from the ‘Here’s a Health to the Barley Mow’ collection and new restorations from the Imperial War Museum. There will be some British silent cinema highlights from 15-year history of the festival, a Grand Guignol strand of macabre movies and Ian Christie will deliver the Rachael Low lecture.

All this plus the Dodge Brothers will be scoring The Ghost That Never Returns live, there’ll be an outdoor screening on the Sunday night, golfing tales from PG Wodehouse, some classic Cambridge comedies and a couple of WW Jacobs adaptations in the form of The Boatswain’s Mate and A Will and a Way. The full announcement is pasted below.

Fante-Anne (1920)
Fante-Anne (1920)

The British Silent Film Festival will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary in Cambridge at the Arts Picture House. The four-day programme will be packed with rarely-seen films from the BFI and other international archives featuring a wide range of fascinating subjects such as: P.G. Wodehouse’s golfing tales including The Long Holeand The Clicking of Cuthbert; rarities based on the charming coastal stories  of W.W. Jacobs including The Boatswain’s Mate and A Will and a Way; a celebration of the centenary of the British Board of Film Classification with a look at ‘What the Silent Censor Saw’ with the rarely screened and risqué film Cocaine.  We’ll be tracing the origins of Cambridge’s brand of ‘university humour’ before the Footlights with a selection of burlesque films from the 1920s and featuring  A Couple of Down and Outs, the ‘silent Warhorse’ made in 1923 which tells the tale of a WWI soldier who goes on the run with his warhorse to save it from the ‘knacker’s yard’. We are also delighted to  be screening the 1920 classic Fante-Anne (Gipsy Anne), directed by the great Norwegian director Rasmus Breistein; accompanied by a new musical score by composer and music producer Halldor Krogh.

Trade ad for the scandalous Cocaine (Graham Cutts, 1922)
Trade ad for the scandalous Cocaine (Graham Cutts, 1922)

We’ll also be featuring some 15th anniversary highlights including the legendary Grand Guignol programme of macabre stories with a twist in the tale and we’ll be including a selection of the best of British silent feature films screened over the past fourteen years. The Imperial War Museum will be presenting their latest silent restorations from their fabulous collection and we are very pleased to announce that Ian Christie will deliver the Annual Rachael Low Lecture.

This year’s ‘hot tickets’ will be the wildly popular Dodge Brothers performing their distinctive brand of Americana to The Ghost That Never Returns at the West Road Concert Hall; Here’s a Health to the Barley Mow with live folk accompaniment to silent films of English folk traditions and the Bronnt Industries playing to the stunning Soviet film Turksib. Regular Festival collaborator Stephen Horne will be performing his fabulous new ensemble music score to The First Born, a dizzying tale of sex, death and British politics.

Screenings will take place at the Arts Picturehouse, Emmanuel College and the West Road Concert Hall. The Festival will draw to a close with an outdoor highlights screening on Magdalene Street in the evening of Sunday 22 April.

This post was updated on 22 March 2012.

The British Silent Film Festival comes to Cambridge, 19-22 April 2012

Head of the Family (1922)
Head of the Family (1922)

Save the date: the 15th British Silent Film Festival will take place 19-22 April 2012 at a new venue, the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse. The change of location has influenced the programme too, which will feature some examples of undergraduate humour among a mix that includes adaptations of stories by WW Jacobs and PG Wodehouse as well a tribute to the BBFC. There’ll be a by-now customary performance by the Dodge Brothers too, skiffling along to Abram Room’s The Ghost That Never Returns.

 The programme will include rarely seen silent films from the BFI and other archives around the world  on a wide range of fascinating subjects such as:  P.G. Wodehouse’s golfing tales including The Clicking of Cuthbert; rarities based on the charming coastal stories  of W.W. Jacobs including The Boatswain’s MateA Will and a Way and brand new print of Head of the Family; a celebration of the centenary of the British Board of Film Classification with a look at ‘What the Silent Censor Saw’ and the origins of ‘university humour’ before the Footlights. This year’s ‘hot ticket’ will be the wildly popular Dodge Brothers performing their distinctive brand of Americana to The Ghost That Never Returns.

Tickets are not yet on sale, but watch this space for more updates, including the full schedule and how to book. Click here for a report from last year’s festival, on the Guardian film blog. Below, Dodge Brother and film writer Mark Kermode introduces The Ghost That Never Returns at last year’s New Forest Film Festival:

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