Tag Archives: Radio 3

News: Slapstick, Hippodrome, Neil Brand, Nanook and more

It’s a busy time! Here’s a roundup of the silent movie news I really want to share with you.

Bristol fashion

The Slapstick festival, our favourite reason to visit Bristol, is back in 2016, running from 20-24 January with a fantastic lineup of events topped by a special gala screening of Chaplin’s The Kid. But there’s so much more to the programme than that. I am looking forward to Kevin Brownlow’s favourite silent comedy westerns, Lucy Porter on the genius of Anita Loos, David Robinson’s lecture on the inside story of The Kid and a musical screening of Cecil B DeMille’s jazz-age drama Chicago (1927), as well as tributes to Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Ben Turpin and more. Read more and book here and don’t forget to support the Kickstarter campaign if you can.


Neil Brand – and friends
Neil Brand – and friends

Brand new

It would take a smarter woman than me to keep up with Neil Brand these days – he pops up everywhere from the BBC to the Royal Albert Hall to the good old BFI. The best way to keep tabs on his activities and make sure you don’t miss a show, is his website neilbrand.com, which has just been thoroughly revamped. There’a google calendar of his upcoming events (very useful) and links to buy his DVDs, albums and books. Plus, there is an INCREDIBLY USEFUL page, titled So you want to programme a silent film? which is a clear, and authoritative guide to how to put on a silent film screening – from rights to music to marketing. If you are contemplating putting on a show – read this first. There is also a link through to Brand’s Originals site, which has some fascinating material about film music and musicians in the silent era. I hear that these pages will be getting their own makeover shortly.

Continue reading News: Slapstick, Hippodrome, Neil Brand, Nanook and more

Sound of Cinema: Jazz and film

Last night’s Jazz on 3 celebrated the art of live accompaniment to silent film, as part of the BBC’s marvellous Sound of Cinema season. The show, presented by Jez Nelson, features jazz and improvising musicians creating live scores for silent films. Listen again here, or catch up with the sessions by watching these gorgeous clips, with music from the live session by Alison Blunt (violin), Viv Corringham (vocals), John Bisset (guitar) and David Leahy (double bass). Here, they are accompanying an experimental film by Louise Curham called Pararaha, Ruapehu, Mt Clear.

The much-loved 1925 German film A Trip to the Planets was also among the films chosen for the session.

Another modern silent here, Composted Memorial by Sally Golding, an installation and performance artist know for her cine-sculptures. She desecribes the film, which is constructed from vintage 9.5mm home-movie fragments as: “A wonky filmic resurrection, as a cine-essay dissolving in destructive magic.”