• South West Silents

Silent Film Revolution 2020

Updated: Aug 10

As you may have noticed 2020 marks a New Year and a new decade! For South West Silents it marks our fifth year, a new strand and a new venue! So what do we have instore for you all in the next 12 months… and beyond!

Early 2020: Firstly, Happy New Year from all of us at SWS towers! 2019 was an incredibly busy year for us, our most busiest; in fact it was so busy and successful that we ended up winning the ‘Silent Film Heroes’ category as part of Silent London’s annual national poll for a second year running! Our thanks to everyone who voted for us again; it was a great honour and we really appreciate your wonderful support.

But, alas, we’re not planning to sit back and rest on our laurels anytime soon as we have a whole new year in front of us. As you may have noticed on our social media groups (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) that we have a number of events up and running already. As always, our regular South West Silents Club Screenings return under the curatorship of our very own Mark Fuller. While our usual live silent film events (with live music) have now moved from Cube Cinema to the Arnolfini Contemporary Arts Centre which can be located on Bristol’s harbour side (and sits just further down from our other regular Bristol venue Watershed).

Speaking of Watershed, we start 2020 with a special screening of the new restoration of Jean Epstein’s masterpiece Finis Terræ (1929) with live music by Stephen Horne on Sunday 9th February, if you liked the recent British film BAIT (2019) and interested in the up and coming The Lighthouse (2019) then this is the film for you, you won’t be disappointed!

We are continuing to work and support the likes of Borderlines Film Festival, Bristol Festival of Ideas, The Palace Cinema in Broadstairs, the British Film Institute, Lobster Films in Paris, Cinema Rediscovered Film Festival, Portsmouth’s No.6 Cinema, Flicker Alley in L.A., San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Curzon Cinema & Arts in Clevedon and of course Slapstick Festival. Don’t forget to book your tickets for Slapstick 2020 by the way!

2020 marks our fifth birthday as well and we will be celebrating this later on in the year during Cinema Rediscovered Film Festival 2020. More info about all of this nearer the time of Cinema Rediscovered.

1920/2020: 100 Years of Silent Film: 2020 also marks one hundred years since the start of what would become the final decade of silent film and yet, as the 1920s started, there was no sense that the introduction of sound would affect the essence of silent filmmaking at all. In fact as the decade continued the visual aspect of film became even stronger and stronger until 1927 and 1928!

So to mark 100 years since the beginning of the 1920s, South West Silents are launching a new strand that will specifically look at the films of the 1920s over the course of the next 10 years. Our ‘1920/2020 100 Years of Silent Film’ strand will showcase the best films as well as lesser known titles from every aspect of the silent film era in the 1920s, with films from the United States, Europe and beyond. Special screenings and discussions will form the basis of a new way of looking at the film output of the 1920s and will showcase a new aspect of the later history of the silent era.

This 1920/2020 strand starts with two key German Expressionist films with special 100th anniversary screenings of the restoration of Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920 / The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) with live music by David Bednall on Thursday 13th February at Bristol Cathedral. We will then jump over to Arnolfini to screen the brand new 4K restoration of Der Golem (1920) with live music by Stephen Horne on Friday, 28th February.

Of course, we are not suggesting that our entire output for the next 10 years will be specifically based our ‘100 Years of Silent Film strand’. We will continue to celebrate every aspect of the silent era and bring you the best the world can offer when it comes to the silent era. In fact, our early 2020 line-up below shows this.

Early 2020 Lineup:

Wednesday 29th January: Clara Bow Silent Film Night The Lansdown Pub Screening Room, 8 Clifton Rd, Bristol BS8 1AF Free Admission / 8:00pm

Sunday 9th February: Finis Terræ (1929) New Restoration Live Music by Stephen Horne Watershed, 1 Canons Road, Bristol BS1 5TX Various Ticket Prices / 2:00pm

Thursday 13th February: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) Special 100th Anniversary Screening / Live Music by David Bednall Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TJ Various Ticket Prices / 7:30pm

Wednesday 19th February: Ivan Mosjoukine Silent Film Night: SWS Club Night The Lansdown Pub Screening Room, 8 Clifton Rd, Bristol BS8 1AF Free Admission / 8:00pm

Friday, 28th February: Der Golem (1920) New 4K Restoration Special 100th Anniversary Screening / Live Music by Stephen Horne Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA Various Ticket Prices / 7:30pm

Friday, 13th March: Battleship Potemkin (1925) Live Music by John Sweeney Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA Various Ticket Prices / 7:30pm

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