This is a guest post for Silent London by Jonathan Wakeham, the co-founder and programer of the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival, the 6th edition of which takes place at BFI Southbank 4-7 May 2017. Find out more at locofilmfestival.com.
We’re all familiar with the iconography of male silent comedy stars: Harold Lloyd’s glasses, Chaplin’s cane or Laurel and Hardy’s signature hats. They are brands as recognisable as Hitchcock’s silhouette, and they make the same promise: a guarantee of entertainment.
But there’s no equivalent female brand: no icon that’s known the world over. That’s not because there were no women silent comedy stars. Women such as Louise Fadenza, Mabel Normand, Marion Davies, Sybil Seeley and more were big names in their day. Florence Turner — “the Vitagraph girl” — was the biggest box-office draw of her era, and arguably the first true movie star.
But although they drew huge audiences there was, from the beginning, a doubtfulness about women becoming comedy stars. Part of this came from a tradition that defined comedy as inherently male; the French philosopher Henri Bergson declared in 1900 that “laughter has no greater foe than emotion … highly emotional souls in whom every event would be sentimentally prolonged and re-echoed, would neither know nor understand laughter”.
Continue reading Sarah Duhamel, rebellious clown of French silent comedy
Hello silent film fans. The wonderful people at the Lucky Dog Picturehouse, who put on some wonderful, and very eclectic, silent film/live music shows around the capital, have a special offer for you – and some tickets to give away too. First, here’s how to acquire some tickets for a night of Buster Keaton films in Streatham, and enjoy a buffet too.
Join us at London’s famous Hideaway Jazz Club for our Buster Keaton Special! Some of Buster Keaton’s most well loved short films and a few surprises along the way … Live piano accompaniment by Tom Marlow, musician at The Lucky Dog Picturehouse (performed: BFI, Wilton’s Music Hall)
We’ve got a fantastic offer of FILMS PLUS BUFFET just £13 (£10 concessions) next Thursday 24th July at the famous Hideaway Jazz Club, Streatham. Click here to buy tickets.
Advance Tickets include finger buffet from the Hideaway kitchen. Please arrive at 7.30pm for buffet (includes vegetarian selection).
Please note: Tickets purchased after 21st of July will not include the buffet selection, but will be at the reduced price of £10. Food may be ordered separately at the venue.
But don’t forget – The Lucky Dog Picturehouse has two pairs of tickets to give away to Silent London readers. Just email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter the ballot. Here’s hoping you’re a lucky dog too!