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  • Writer's pictureSouth West Silents

Silent Winter Going Into Spring

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

We are still only a few weeks into this new year and yet 2017 has already been a busy time for us at South West Silents; it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon. In fact, we are only beginning to warm up. So expect a firestorm of silent film events through the rest of this winter going into spring!

This firestorm includes a wide range of events and screenings, all taking in many different aspects of silent film. For instance, we have already mentioned our next up and coming event in mid-February, which we are hosting alongside DAVAR which will celebrate the work of Jewish Comedian Max Davidson.

Play On! Hamlet (1920)

We are also thrilled to announce another every exciting collaboration! South West Silents have now joined forces with the great Borderlines Film Festival to bring you two very exciting events. These two screenings will showcase the power and artistry of women filmmakers in the silent era. First Asta Neilsen will return as William Shakespeare’s doomed Prince of Denmark in the 1921 feature film Hamlet, accompanied by the marvellous Lillian Henley on piano at The Courtyard Hereford, on Sunday February 26th.

Lois Weber is a name that many silent film fans may not know and yet her work is incredibly important to the development of silent film as an art form in the medium’s pioneering years. We will be celebrating Weber’s work with a special screening of Shoes (1916) at the Borderlines Film Festival on Friday 3rd March with live accompaniment by the wonderful John Sweeney and a fascinating intro by writer and historian Ellen Cheshire (Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema). There will be a second screening of this film at the Curzon Cinema & Arts, Clevedon on Sunday 12th March, this time with an introduction by Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London.


John Sweeney will return to the South West again the following week to accompany an incredibly rare screening of Il Fuoco (The Fire) at the Cube Microplex on Friday 10th March. With a 35mm print coming in from the Turin Film Archive, this promises to be an exciting performance of this Italian melodrama starring the striking diva Pina Menichelli, shot by the wonderful silent magician Segundo de Chomon! More info about this coming very soon.

This alongside regular club screenings, first with a French classic silent chosen and introduced by Dr Mark Bould in March, and then in April we welcome Dr Stephen Morgan with a silent Australian title of particular interest.

Below you will find a calendar of these events, as well as an even wider selection of events taking place within the region. We hope you can all join us at some of these!

Hamlet (1921), Live Music by Lillian Henley Sunday 26th February / 2:15 pm / The Courtyard, Edgar St, Hereford HR4 9JR

Shoes (1916), Live Music by John Sweeney, Intro by Ellen Cheshire (Silent Women) Friday 3rd March / 3:00 pm / The Courtyard, Edgar St, Hereford HR4 9JR

Napoleon (1927) (BFI Restoration) Sunday 5th March / 12:00 pm / The Courtyard, Edgar St, Hereford HR4 9JR

Il Fuoco (1916), Live Music by John Sweeney Friday 10th March / 8:00 pm / The Cube Microplex, Dove Street South, Kingsdown, Bristol, BS2 8JD

Shoes (1916), Live Music by John Sweeney, Intro by Pamela Hutchinson (Silent London) Sunday 12th March / 1:30 pm / Curzon Arts & Cinema, 46 Old Church Rd, Clevedon BS21 6NN

SWS Club Screening: French Silent Film Night: Intro by Dr Mark Bould (UWE) Wednesday 15th March / 7:30 pm / The Lansdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol

SWS Club Screening: Australian Silent Film Night: Intro by Stephen Morgan (King’s College) Wednesday 19th April / 7:30 pm / The Lansdown Pub, Clifton, Bristol

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