Back by popular demand, Hitchcock’s silent movies take over the BFI Southbank for a second summer in a row: all of them freshly restored by the BFI experts and all either with live musical accompaniment or a range of very classy recorded scores. You can read more about each film on Silent London here. These are the first feature films Hitchcock ever made, and from the expressionist thriller The Lodger to the rustic comedy of The Farmer’s Wife they are clearly the work of an extremely talented and versatile director. In fact, they were recently inducted into the Unesco Memory of the World register.
All of which Hitchcock fandom is a preamble to saying that I have three pairs of tickets, to a silent Hitchcock screening of your choice, to give away. Hurry, because the season has already started, and I will be choosing the winner on Monday morning. Email the correct answer to this question to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Hitchcock” in the subject line by midnight on Sunday 11 August 2013 for your chance to win.
No I am not about to tell you to spend more of this glorious summer tucked away in a dark and musty cinema rather than out in the park. Holland Park’s Luna Cinema is hosting an evening of silent cinema at its open-air venue – which is what we call a win-win. It promises to be a great night, with classic films starring Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy on the big screen. You’ll be even more impressed when you hear that the musician and host for the evening is Neil Brand.
The Luna Cinema, the country’s leading producer of pop-up cinema, presents a night celebrating silent cinema to Opera Holland Park on the 11th August. The stunning summer theatre, in Holland Park, with its velvet seats, bars and beautiful canopy (in case of bad weather) will host the Luna’s giant screen for a very special night of classic silent films. We will have silent film expert Neil Brand hosting the evening and providing live musical accompaniment to an array of classic silent films including Charlie Chaplin’s most famous work, “The Immigrant” – it’s a rare opportunity to see this 1917 comedy showcasing Chaplin at his very best. Amongst other classic shorts we will also be screening “Liberty” – one of Laurel and Hardy’s most famous comedies and considered to be their greatest silent work before they moved to the “talkies”.
The Luna Cinema’s silent film night takes place at Opera Holland Park, London on Sunday 11 August. Tickets cost £9.50 – £19.50 and they are available through thelunacinema.com or by going straight to the Opera Holland Park box office (operahollandpark.com or 0300 999 1000).
A silent movie at a massive west end venue? You can’t miss this. The Odeon Leicester Square is celebrating its 75th anniversary next month with silent comedy and live music courtesy of Donald Mackenzie, who will be playing the cinema’s wonderful Compton organ.
The film playing will be Harold Lloyd’s brilliant, recently restored, film Safety Last, the story of a small-town boy who comes to the big city determined to reach the top. As kids get free admission to the screening, this would be a fantastic way to introduce your children to silent movies – especially if they have seen and enjoyed Hugo, which riffed on the famous “clock face” scene.
To set the scene for the morning, a jazz band – The Hendo Washboard Kings – will be playing the audience into their seats and at the Compton is Donald MacKenzie, the Odeon’s organist for the past 21 years.The Compton organ was custom built for the cinema in 1937 by the London firm of John Compton. The organ has 5 keyboards and its pipework is housed in two large rooms underneath the stage. These days its appearances are rare and this is an ideal opportunity to see it in action.
Safety Last screens at 10.30am on Saturday 3 August 2013. Admission is £10 at the door (tickets are not available in advance) and accompanied children under 16 will be admitted free of charge. Click here for venue information.