Lonesome (1928)

Silent summer: some dates for your diary

Please excuse typos in this blogpost. I am writing this in a mixture of mental fog and nervous excitement. Yesterday I had my second dose of my Covid-19 vaccination, and the ‘Moderna flu’ is real but suddenly the future seems a little bit brighter. So I thought I would pop on here to remind you of some upcoming silent-film-related events that you can attend in person or online, making your summer a wee bit more joyous and more silent.

Silent Sirens! More on this on the site later this week, but Stephen Horne’s debut album is released on Friday. I am listening to some extracts as I type this and it’s really beautiful. Pre-order now.

Rudolph Valentino! Also this Friday, the amazing San Francisco-based film historian Donna Hill, who knows everything there is to know about the sultry silent film star, will deliver an online lecture entitled The Tango Was The Step to Stardom. Registration is free and you can book your place here.

South West Silents! The Bristol-based screening collective continues to knock it out of the park. On 10 July they are showing Cabiria and the following day Maciste Alpino at the Watershed in Bristol. John Sweeney will provide the music, and Dr Carol O’Sullivan the expert introduictions. Plus, they have much more planned for the summer, including Chaplin and Valentino… Read more here.

Lon Chaney in The Penalty
Lon Chaney in The Penalty

Horror and Romance! It’s not too late to book for this free online lecture on 14 July either. This time, the wonderful Alexis Weedon and Karen Randall will explore the links between romantic novelist and glamour icon Elinor Glyn and silent horror film star Lon Chaney Snr. Register here.

Bologna! Il Cinema Ritrovato is another hybrid event as per last year, in person in Bologna and with a limited online programme too, 20-27 July. Read more and book tickets here.

Bristol! Hot on the heels of its big Italian sister, Bristol’s Cinema Rediscovered festival goes ahead in-person and online from 28 July-1 August. Silent highlights include a focus on the legendary William Friese-Greene with Peter Domankiewicz and Christopher Frayling. I am delivering the Philip French Memorial Lecture as part of this festival on Wednesday 28 July, which you can attend in-venue or online. I’m also popping up to introduce a couple of movies and take part in a discussion hosted by archive activists Invisible Women with Simran Hans and Helen O’Hara, which I am very excited about. More details and booking information here.

Lois Weber
Lois Weber

Kennington Bioscope! Keep your eye on their socials (Twitter and YouTube). The Bioscope has hosted some stunning events in lockdown and my guess is nothing will stop them now.

Pordenone! Le Giornate del Cinema Muto is going ahead both in person and online from 2-9 October 2021. Nothing is set in stone, but I am hoping to be in the Verdi for this one. You never know your luck. More here.

Slapstick! One for next year, but there’s nothing wrong in getting ahead in your silent film planning. The Slapstick festival in Bristol has confirmed its dates for next year: 26-30 January 2022. Meanwhile, tickets are on sale via Reading’s The Hexagon Theatre for Slapstick’s latest Big Comedy Bash fund-raiser –taking place on Thursday 23 September and starring Jo Brand, Jack Dee, Pippa Evans, Robin Ince and Arthur Smith.  

• For full silent film listings in the UK of course, you need the amazing Silent Film Calendar.

• Keep up to date with what I am doing, and what I have published here.

• Silent London will always be free to all readers. If you enjoy checking in with the site, including reports from silent film festivals, features and reviews, please consider shouting me a coffee on my Ko-Fi page.

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