Silent films at the London film festival 2013

Harbour Drift (1929)
Harbour Drift (1929)

There is no beating about the bush here. The 57th London Film Festival’s approach to silent cinema is definitely quality over quantity. Here’s what you can look forward to this year.

The Epic of Everest (1924)

The Epic of Everest (1924)
The Epic of Everest (1924)

This year’s Archive Gala, also going on nationwide release, is this unforgettable expedition film of Mallory and Irvine’s doomed attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1924. Gorgeous photography, a heart-stopping story and another great, surprising score from Simon Fisher Turner. Read our full review here. The gala screening will feature the score played live, which is sure to be fantastic.

18 October 2013, 6.15pm, Odeon West End Screen 2

Jenseits der Strasse (1929)
Harbour Drift (1929)

Harbour Drift (1929)

I saw this last year at Pordenone, and I loved it. Harbour Drift/Jenseits des Strasse is a moody, romantic melodrama, directed by Leo Mittler – the kind of film that gives even the grubbiest events a touch of magic. The screening at the London Film Festival will also be accompanied by Stephen Horne, making it a must-see. Here’s what I had to say about it in 2012.

My highlight was a lyrical German film that came between them, called Jenseits der Strasse or Harbor Drift (Leo Mittler, 1929). A beggar nabs a pearl necklace from a puddle, and promises to share the profits on its sale with a new-found drifter pal, all the while a prostitute plans to take it, and sell it herself … Impressionistic, oddly noirish, tragic and ultimately dark-hearted, this is a real find. The film has been championed for a few years now by Stephen Horne, who accompanied it beautifully on piano, flute, accordion and zither. The recent discovery of the film’s previously missing reel makes this gem ripe for restoration, and a wider audience.

13 October, 12.30pm, NFT1, BFI Southbank

You’ll find full booking information on the London film festival website.

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4 thoughts on “Silent films at the London film festival 2013”

  1. Please everyone come along to Harbour Drift. At least those of you not still at Pordenone! 12.30 is hardly an ideal time but apparently we have to make room for a Michael Nyman event. I’ll be coming back from Italy the previous evening in order to do the show and it would be nice to have a decent turnout for such a great film.

  2. Stephen – Annoyingly I will be on a plane back from Pordennone at the time. Do you know if there are plans for another screening in the UK? I would really like to see this.

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