Silents-wise, this screening is surely the highlight of the BFI Love season: Frank Borzage’s gorgeously romantic Seventh Heaven (1927), with a brand new score by KT Tunstall, Mara Carlyle and Max de Wardener.
Seventh Heaven is a classic from the golden years of Hollywood silent cinema, with unforgettable performances by Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell as star-crossed lovers in a gritty, but somehow still beautiful Paris. Back in 1927 Mordaunt Hall was moved to laughter and tears by this film, saying: “It is obvious that this subject was admirably suited to the screen, but it should also be said that Frank Borzage in directing this production has given to it all that he could put through the medium of the camera.”
It’s true. There is more emotion in 10 minutes of this weepie than most entire films, so this live music event should be unforgettably immersive. Here’s what the BFI has to say about the event:
Sonic Cinema has teamed up with the formidable talents of British musical powerhouses KT Tunstall, Mara Carlyle and composer Max de Wardener to present a brand new BFI-commissioned score to Borzage’s classic. Perhaps the most sublimely lyrical of all the silent-era romances, this tale of transformational love sees Charles Farrell’s sewage worker and Janet Gaynor’s street waif rise above poverty and war to be together. Martin Scorsese’s observation that Borzage’s films unfold in ‘lover’s time’ was never more apt, and the tender emotions Borzage captures build to an unforgettable, transcendental climax.
- Seventh Heaven screens on 10 December 2015 in NFT1 at the BFI Southbank at 7.30pm. You can buy tickets here.
Or … you can win a pair of tickets to the event if you are the first person to successfully decode these five silent movie emojis and send the answer to email@example.com. First to a full house wins – so get puzzling!
UPDATE: the competition has closed and the winner is … Michelle Facey! Answers below:
- The Triumph of the Rat
- Sherlock Jr
- Pay Day
- The Haunted Castle
- From Soup to Nuts
- Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the BFI Love Compendium, which includes a chapter on love in the silent cinema, written by someone we both know