Tag Archives: open thread

Silent film in 2013: open thread

Janet Gaynor and her Christmas tree
Janet Gaynor and her Christmas tree, via the Toronto Silent Film Festival

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all our readers!

It has been a very busy year – in the best kind of way. We witnessed the long-awaited return of Napoléon to the capital, a short but fascinating British Silent Film Festival – and the birth of a new intimate screening series, the Kennington Bioscope at the Cinema Museum.

There have been some wonderful screenings at our favourite venues – from the Gothic silents at the BFI Southbank to a range of international films at the Barbican cinema. Retrospectives of Marcel L’Herbier and Jean Grémillon at both venues introduced many of us to the further reaches of French silent cinema. Theatrical releases of Underground, Nosferatu and The Epic of Everest boosted silent movie awareness hugely. Blancanieves proved that the art is not lost.

Home video releases ranged from old favourites, such as The Phantom of the Opera – to the still- controversial The Birth of a Nation.

On a personal note,  I was lucky enough to visit the festivals at Bologna and Pordenone, and I have enjoyed another year of blogging, writing and speaking about the silent cinema I love.

Next year, we’re anticipating a Buster Keaton season at the BFI Southbank, the 10th Slapstick festival and several events to mark the centenary both of the Little Tramp and the onset of the first world war. For more details, of course, you can check the ever-expanding listings.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let me know below what your highlights and yes, maybe lowlights, of 2013 were silent-film wise. Was it a good year for the silents?