The 13th British Silent Film Festival

Just to say that the website for the 13th British Silent Film Festival is now up  – it will run from April 15 to 18 in Leicester, and goodies in store include the chance to see William Wellman’s silent masterpiece Beggars of Life on the big screen, as well as Tol’able David, The Bridal Party in Hardanger and more great films, all accompanied by live music. The main theme of the festival is “Exploration, Science and Nature in British Silent Film”. I’m particularly intrigued to see that there will be a focus on the race for the South Pole between Scott and Amundsen and a chance to see Ernest Shackleton’s South – I’ve just been writing about two great mini-series focusing on these explorers at my other blog, Costume Drama Reviews, so all this would be of great interest to me. Sadly I can’t see myself being able to make it to Leicester, as I will be at work and it is a long way off, but I’m hoping some of the featured films may turn up at the BFI in London in future, as that is less of a trek for me.


6 thoughts on “The 13th British Silent Film Festival

  1. Wow, Judy, this does sound like a veritable feast for silent film lovers, and one that at long last offers some difficult-to-find gems in an ultimate presentation. Like you I wish I were able to attend.


    • Totally agree, Sam – unfortunately I only found out about this festival at short notice when one of the directors posted the information at the end of my ‘Beggars of Life’ review. I will keep my eye open for information about the following year’s festival and hope to hear about it further in advance so it might be more possible to get there!


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  3. Silent films on the big screen with live accompaniment is a real treat, I had the opportunity to experience it a few times. Too bad Leicester is so far away.


  4. The Sadoff book (Diane S, Victorian Vogue) does have a section on classic non-costume movies. She tries to explicit the specifically American values of these as a prelude to discussing American costume dramas and film adaptations of the 20s-30s: there were a number. She sees them as deeply anti-hierarchical and anti-rank, making fun in a fundamental way of the rich (as useless, helpless).

    She also cites 1948 as a year as important as the year the code began to be enforced. This breakup of the monopoly by an important anti-monopoly decision (movie companies were no longer allowed to own the distributing theatres for example) eventually led to far more daring frank movies than had ever been done before.



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