Category Archives: video

Happy Valentine’s Day from Silent London

If music be the food of love …

In this early film (possibly from 1899), posted on the Library of Congress YouTube channel, a woman chooses between the affections of two musicians. The rejected serenader takes his revenge, but true love finds a way.

And in the spirit of love, togetherness and all that jazz – did you know that you can now “Like” Silent London on Facebook? Spread a little affection today, people. Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Phoenix: A Century of Cinema

The Phoenix Cinema
The Phoenix, when it was the East Finchley Picturedrome

I thought you might enjoy this elegant documentary about the history of The Phoenix cinema in East Finchley. It’s a charming film, tracing the cinema from its earliest days in the 1910s and through its several reincarnations, crises and successes. You might remember that the cinema celebrated its silent era origins with a programme of Paul and Acres shorts last November. What this films reminds us, ultimately, is just how crucial independent cinemas such as the Phoenix are to the cultural life of the city, and to individual film lovers. You never forget where you first saw your favourite film, after all.

The film was made by On Par Productions and features a soundtrack by The Last Dinosaur.

Silent Christmas: Cage Against the Machine

John Cage, composer of 4'33"
John Cage, composer of 4'33"

It’s a fairly safe bet that the discerning readers of this blog won’t be buying Matt Cardle’s single this Christmas.* But what should we be slipping into the fleecy stockings of our loved ones instead?
Well, in a moment of rare cross-medium helpfulness, Silent London advises you to forgo Surfin’ Bird, When We Collide and anything that has ever been recorded by Cliff Richard, in favour of 4′ 33″ by Cage Against the Machine. Not just because it’s the most genuinely subversive record to have a chance of entering the UK charts in ages, but because of the video. Yes, there’s a video, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Continue reading Silent Christmas: Cage Against the Machine