There ain’t no party like a Silent London Poll-Winners’ Party. Why? Partly because this is a virtual party, so you can join in the fun, and still stick to your Dry January #goals. Alternatively, take a shot every time you spot a typo and boy will this blogpost go with a swing. Not only that, but we politely declined Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s offer to host this year, so fingers crossed, the prizes will go to their rightful winners, right away.
While I shuffle the envelopes and the guests sashay down the red carpet, a little announcement. Every year the poll gets more international (although obviously the British bias is strong). Plus, this year we had the most votes we had had in years. As you are free to nominate whatever you like (and you did!), the answers were pretty diverse. So in the 2017 poll, I am awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for the very first time. At Silent London, we like to share the love!
So, as the sports commentators say, let’s find out who, and what, podiumed this year!
Best silent film DVD/Blu-ray release of 2017
GOLD: You’re going to hear this name a lot tonight. The best silent film DVD/Blu-ray release of 2017 is London Symphony – out now in the US from Flicker Alley. Some of these votes may also have been anticipating the UK DVD release in February from New Wave.
SILVER: Another British film gets a medal, though it’s more international than most. Second prize goes to the BFI’s Dual Format DVD/Blu release of Arthur Robison’s The Informer.
BRONZE: It’s another Flicker Alley release at number three! The notorious Behind the Door, directed by Irvin V Willat, restored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and once seen, never forgotten.
Best silent film theatrical release of 2017
GOLD: It’s a second gold medal for London Symphony, which went on an ambitious tour of UK venues in 2017 – and is still going!
BRONZE: The Informer places here too, for its theatrical run after the 2016 LFF Archive Gala.
Best modern silent of 2017
GOLD: Can you guess? It’s another gold medal for London Symphony!
SILVER: Lots of you voted for Bill Morrison’s magical documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time. And who can blame you? Not strictly a modern silent but I see exactly why you love it.
BRONZE: The Moonshiners takes third place. This Finnish short, directed by Juho Kuosmanen, is actually a remake of Finland’s first ever fiction film – the original is sadly now lost. You can read more about The Moonshiners in the February 2018 edition of Sight & Sound, too.