Happy 10th birthday to our favourite friends north of the border, The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival! This annual Bo’ness bonanza of silent cinematic goodness has pulled out several stops for its 10th anniversary edition, which runs from 18-22 March 2020, and features great movies, brilliant musicians, special guests and apparently, a barrage of custard pies.
The entire lineup is live here now, but allow me to select some highlights
- You may already have seen that the dream team of the Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand are accompanying Murnau’s City Girl on the Saturday night – don’t miss this!
- The Friday night gala is The Mark of Zorro – if you have never seen Fairbanks Fairbanksing so much on the big screen, you haven’t lived. it’s a joy.
- Paul McGann narrating L’Homme du Large on the closing night – I saw this in San Francisco and it was spine-tinglingly good.
- New restorations showing at Hippfest include Julien Duvivier’s heartbreaking Poil de Carotte and Australian silent The Sentimental Bloke, which will be introduced by Dr Stephen Morgan and accompanied by Meg Morley.
- I am thrilled that the opening night film will be the incredibly moving Edith Cavell drama Dawn (1928) and even more thrilled that this will be preceded by a Cuppa talk from the fabulous Dr Lawrence Napper on Edith Cavell on Film: Wartime Propaganda and Peacetime Diplomacy.
- Ernst Lubitsch’s Lady Windermere’s Fan! Go Wilde, people.
- Weimar, you’re really spoiling us: Marlene Dietrich in The Woman Men Yearn For!
- And on a slightly more serious note, something I am really excited about and honoured to take part in. The Thursday night screening at Hippfest will be the wonderful gender-crossed version of Hamlet (1921) starring Asta Nielsen as the prince(ss). Silent Shakespeare is a passion of mine and I am delighted to tell you that I will be giving a Cuppa talk that afternoon on the topic of silent Shakespeare. There will be lots of clips I promise you, which will be masterfully accompanied by John Sweeney, as well as all the history, tragedy and comedy involved in this fascinating area of screen adaptation.
- Read the full Hippfest lineup and book tickets here.
- If you are stuck in London on 18 March, cheer yourself up by coming to see The Wind, with an intro by little old me, at BFI Southbank.
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