If you live near Bristol then you’ll know all about Bristol Silents already – those marvellous people who put on silent film screenings all year round as well as the annual laughathon that is the Slapstick Festival. But those of us dwelling within the confines of the M25 needn’t be too despondent. Bristol isn’t far away, and when you hear that Bristol Silents are putting on a screening of a classic film, with a new score and an introduction from Aardman Animation’s Peter Lord, I wouldn’t blame you for whipping out your train timetable.
So the film in question is Harry O Hoyt’s special-effects extravaganza The Lost World (1925) and the new score has been written by John Garden, who plays keyboards with glam dance-poppers Scissor Sisters. Over to Bristol Silents:
The magical special-effects work is by Willis O’Brien – pioneer genius of three-dimensional animation and of the combination of animation and live action, whose subsequent masterwork was to be King Kong.
The story is familiar enough – careful, deliberate build up; journey to a sinister land where prehistoric monsters still thrive, cut off from the rest of the world for millennia; the capture of a dinosaur and the results of bringing in back to civilization (in this case London).
The marvel of the film is the extraordinary spectacle of seeing these pioneering stop-motion creatures eating, bathing and fighting. The sequences of a brontosaurus running amok in London still astonishes.
The Lost World screens at the Arnolfini Arts Centre at 7.30pm on Saturday 25 June. You can buy tickets here on the Arnolfini website and keep an eye on the Facebook event page, and this blog, for updates.