The fifth instalment of Scotland’s only silent movie festival announces its programme today – and judging by previous years, you should start snapping up tickets straight away (tickets go on sale today, 10 February 2015, at noon). The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema takes place in Bo’ness, a small town tucked away on the banks of the Firth of Forth in Falkirk, Scotland. Bo’ness has a stunning vintage cinema, the Hippodrome, which has been restored to its 1920s glory, and each year hosts of a celebration of the silent era that is as welcoming as it is wide-ranging.
HippFest celebrates its fifth birthday in style with three major World Premiere Festival Commissions, a pop-up cinema at Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, the chance to discover forgotten stars Colleen Moore and Eric Campbell and get hands-on with a series of workshops and interactive events covering everything from beatboxing to Joan Crawford’s favourite dinner party recipes.
You can find all the information about the festival, and how to book tickets for the events, on the festival website here. You can also follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter. This year’s event runs from 18-22 March 2015 and below I have picked out some highlights from the programme. I have to say I am pretty excited.
- The Friday night gala screening will be the hilarious Synthetic Sin, starring Colleen Moore. There’s a dress code ladies and gents – flapper glamour! Neil Brand will accompany on piano and some silent movie blogger or other will be introducing the film …
- “The Film Explainer” Andy Cannon will perform alongside extracts from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, along with musicians Wendy Weatherby and Frank McLaughlin.
- A true Silent London favourite, Piccadilly, starring Anna May Wong, will screen with musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne
- Edinburgh band Moishe’s Bagel have concocted a new score for the Soviet documentary Salt for Svanetia – after the festival the band will tour the film around Scotland and the music will be available to buy on CD.
- Another new score commissioned by the festival: Shona Mooney will play for the Lillian Gish-starring epic Annie Laurie. Definitely an occasion for you to rock your tartan with pride.
- Harrowing German street film, Gerhard Lamprecht’s Children of No Importance will be accompanied by pianist Richard Siedhoff – really not to be missed.
- A double-bill on the opening night will celebrate Scottish actor and Chaplin’s favourite villain, Eric Campbell.
- There will also be a “jeely jar” screening of Buster Keaton’s The Navigator, a programme of shorts from the first world war, a special railway-themed screening at the local train station, a speakeasy and the chance to dine like a silent move star with the wonderful Jenny Hammerton.
See you there!
- My report from last year’s Hippodrome Festival (including, I kid you not, Kevin Brownlow in a group selfie)
- The Guardian – Festival radar: Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema