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  • Writer's pictureSouth West Silents

Silent Films for September 2018

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

September 2018 may feel like a long way away, but this hasn’t stopped us from ourselves for an incredibly busy month of silent film! September will mark the official return of South West Silents after our summer respite and we have plenty planned. Although this is not forgetting Cinema Rediscovered, the festival of film we are helping produce, coming up in Bristol between Thurs 26th – Sun 29th July 2018. Have you booked your tickets yet?

September will also be host a small season we have put together with No6 Cinema, Portsmouth, which is located in the heart of city’s wonderful Historic Dockyard. Our two day event on the 28-29th of September celebrates Battleships and Silent Film, showcasing one of the most celebrated silent films of all time as well as two very rare British silents features.

More details on these follow in due course, but for now, we shall leave you with these events to whet your appetites:


South West Silents returns on Saturday 1st September 2018 with a very special day celebrating all things silent cinema (with music of course). In fact, this is a first for us as we’ve decided to take over the epicentre for everything film related in Bristol… the cultural hub that is 20th Century Flicks!

Over the course of the day we will screen a wide selection of silent films in both of Flicks’ specially made cinemas. In the Kino Cinema, we will screen a selection of shorts and documentaries while in the newly built Videodrome Cinema, we will screen a range of feature films.

We won’t be announcing the titles of the films being screened here, you will just have to turn up sometime on the day and see what it is on.

But expect classic names such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson as well as a few names you might never have heard of. You will have plenty to choose from over the course of the day between both cinemas. We will be up and running from 12pm until 6:30pm!

We are also planning a special ‘Kino Kids’ section in the early part of the day as well.

There will be plenty to do outside the two cinemas; and don’t forget you have the incredible 20th Century Flicks’ catalogue to explore as well! So, for now, spread the word!

07/04/2010 william friese green

And so it returns! South West Silents are proud to announce, in collaboration with the Bristol-based brewery Dawkins Ales, the very tasty return of the wonder that is the Friese-Greene beer! Both companies have joined forces again to bring this very special beer back to the Bristol area for the autumn season. The specially brewed ale is a celebration one of the great film pioneers of British Cinema and one of Bristol’s least celebrated sons: William Friese-Greene.

Born in Bristol on 7th September 1855, William Edward Green (the Friese-Greene bit came later) is classed by many as one of the founding fathers of British Cinema and a key figure in the early development of cinematography as a whole. In some circles he is celebrated, while in others he is damned for filing patents on devices he allegedly didn’t invent.

So on Friday 7th September 2018 (Greene’s birthday in fact) we will celebrate Friese-Greene’s birthday by re-launching the beer dedicated to the great man.

The beer, named, The Friese-Greene will be re-launched at the Dawkins’ pub The Victoria, Clifton (next to the Lido) with a selection of films inspired by the work of William Friese-Greene as well as some early colour films.

Louise Brooks Double Bill Weekend


A masterpiece of the German silent era, Diary of a Lost Girl was the second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst a mere months after their first collaboration in the now-legendary Pandora’s Box (1929).

Brooks plays Thymian Henning, a beautiful young woman raped by an unscrupulous character employed at her father’s pharmacy (played with gusto by Fritz Rasp, the degenerate villain of such Fritz Lang classics as Metropolis, Spione, and Frau im Mond). After Thymian gives birth to his child and rejects her family’s expectations of marriage, the baby is torn from her care, and Thymian enters a purgatorial reform school that seems less an institute of learning than a conduit for fulfilling the headmistress’s sadistic sexual fantasies.

The screening will have a specially recorded audio intro by author and critic Pamela Hutchinson with live music on piano by Jonny Best (Yorkshire Silent Film Festival).


G.W. Pabst’s 1929 silent masterpiece Pandora’s Box stars Louise Brooks in the role that secured her place as one of the immortal goddesses of the silver screen.

This controversial, and in its day heavily censored, film is regularly ranked in the Top 100 films of all time (including Cahiers du Cinema and Sight & Sound). Brooks is unforgettable as Lulu (Louise Brooks), a sexy, amoral dancer who creates a trail of devastation as she blazes through Weimar-era Berlin, breaking hearts and destroying lives. From Germany, she flies to France, and finally to London, where tragedy strikes. This stunning photographed film is loosely based on the controversial Lulu plays by Frank Wedekind, and also features one of the cinema’s earliest lesbian characters.

New 2K DCP of the 2009 restoration of Munich Film Museum’s definitive cut, with score by Peer Raben. Showing as part of this year’s Heritage Open Weekend which celebrates Heritage sites all over the UK.

Battleship Potemkin

If it isn’t cars or trains, then ships aren’t far behind when it comes to the most popular forms of transport in silent era filmmaking. And Battleships were the most attractive of all ships to find their way onto silent film stock.

Over the course of two days, South West Silents and No 6 Cinema, Portsmouth are proud to present this mini season of Battleships and Silent Film centered on the world famous Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. This mini season, made up of a true classic title from the era and two very much forgotten British produced silent films; Battleships and Silent Film will give you an insight, as well as plenty of seafaring action, into the silent film world of the Battleship.

All the films will be accompanied by either a recorded score or live music.

Declared the greatest film of all time at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and one of only two films to have appeared on every Sight & Sound’s critics’ polls (1952–2002), Sergei Eisentein’s Battleship Potemkin has also been widely censored, as much out of fear of the perceived influence of its ideas as for any contentious material on screen.

In essence, it tells a five-part story of a naval mutiny leading to full-blown revolution, but while this material could be crudely propagandist in other hands, Eisenstein uses images of such dynamic compositional strength and editing of such frame-perfect precision that it’s hard not to be swept along, regardless of personal politics. Despite endless quotation and parody, the set-piece massacre on the Odessa Steps still packs a sledgehammer punch.

South West Silents are proud to present one of the true classics of cinema on the big screen in full blown High Definition, with a recorded soundtrack of Edward Meisel’s 1926 score to accompany the film. Film courtesy of the BFI.


April 23rd 1918 saw one of the most daring and heroic raids of the First World War with the British Royal Navy attempting to block the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge, a key U-boat and light shipping base for the Imperial German Navy.

Based on the raid, Woolfe and Bramble’s much forgotten gem is a film that recreates the famous heroic attack at Zeebrugge with a mixture of drama and authentic First World War film material including captured German film as well as the most advance special effects of the time.

South West Silents and No6 Cinema, Portsmouth are proud to present this very rarely screened film up on the big screen. Film courtesy of the BFI and Studio Canal.

Live Music by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.


What better way to celebrate Nelson on his birthday than to see this rarely seen masterpiece by Maurice Elvey on the big screen with a brand new score. Nelson was a major passion project for Britain’s most prolific film director. Written by Alfred Hitchcock’s scriptwriter Eliot Stannard and made with the support of the Admiralty at a time when the Navy needed to recruit. The film transforms Nelson into an action packed hero for the British audiences of World World One, celebrating his heroic status and recreating famous moments in British Naval history.

Elvey’s action packed film is very much an education as well as entertainment with it’s stunning cinematography and razor sharp action sequences mixed with model shots and animation. Part of the film was shot on HMS Victory, making NELSON the only feature film ever made on the Royal Navy’s most famous ship.

South West Silents and No6 Cinema, Portsmouth are proud to present this rare screening of Elvey’s forgotten masterpiece celebrating the life of one of the British Navy’ greatest heroes. Film courtesy of the BFI.

Live Music by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.

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