Tag Archives: Sawchestra

The Adventures of Prince Achmed and A Trip to the Moon, Folly for a Flyover, 25 June and 9 July 2011

A Trip to the Moon (1902)
A Trip to the Moon (1902)

It is shaping up to be a great summer for outdoor cinema screenings in London – and that includes silent films as well. For starters, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd are camping out in Canary Wharf with Neil Brand and the Create London festival is putting on these two gems in an unusual location in Hackney. The Folly for a Flyover is a temporary arts space in Hackney Wick, situated right under the A12. It opens later this month and is hosting five weeks of events. You can read more about this exciting project here on their website.

First up, Sawchestra are back with another interactive silent film show. The group make beautiful music from musical saws, children’s toys and other outlandish instruments and you can join them in playing along to Lotte Reiniger’s classic animation The Adventures of Prince Achmed on 25 June. That same night you will also have the chance to watch a selection of short films from Itsnicethat.com. The show starts at 8.30pm on Saturday 25 June and tickets cost £4. More details here.

July brings more delights, as the Folly hosts a screening of George Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon and other early animations, with a live score from the musicians at the Guildhall Electronic Music Studios. This event might sound a little familiar – that’s because it’s a repeat of the Barbican show on 26 June, which I wrote about in more detail here.  This looks great, and I hope the atmospheric location adds to the strangeness of it all – in a good way, I mean! The show starts at 8.30pm on Saturday 9 July and tickets cost £4. More details here.

These screenings are of the Create London festival, a series of cultural events in London’s Olympic host boroughs. For more information on these and the other events in the festival, check out the website.


And thanks to @susan_carey on Twitter for the tip.

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Der Golem with Sawchestra at Apollo Piccadilly Circus, 30 April 2011

Der Golem (1920)
Der Golem (1920)

Who says silent film screenings can’t be cutting-edge? Excuse the bad joke, please. The Sci-Fi London film festival is putting on a screening of Der Golem (1920) and the music will be provided by Sawchestra, who play saws (obviously) as well as toy instruments and other found objects. What’s more, they’ll be handing out some more instruments to the crowd, as they’re very big on audience participation. I can only imagine how rowdy this is going to get – but it sounds like a whole heap of fun.

Der Golem: How He Came Into the World is an early Expressionist horror, full of black magic, high drama and outright weirdness. The plot concerns a rabbi in 16th-century Prague who creates a man out of clay, and then brings him to life to terrorise those who are persecuting the Jews. It’s a little ridiculous, of course, but Karl Freund’s Expressionist cinematography is a treat, and playing along with Sawchestra should be a great opportunity to camp it up and enjoy this strange film.

Der Golem screens at Apollo Piccadilly Circus at 7pm on Saturday 30 April. More details are available here.