The Cinema Museum

Silent Laughter 2018: programme revealed!

silent laughter 2018 flyer

It’s here! Straight from The Cinema Museum website, this is the programme for the 2018 Silent Laughter Weekend!

SATURDAY MARCH 10TH

10.00 The Night Club (1925)
A silent feature-length comedy starring Raymond Griffith, whose surviving films are few but which delight audiences at festivals around the world (as with his Paths to Paradise (1925) and Hands Up! (1926) at previous KB screenings). Contemporary critics made such comments as `Comedy along all lines from subtle wit, through burlesque to slapstick, and in every style he gets the laughs’ and `The picture is crammed with gags, most of them new’ … and with more than a nod towards Harold Lloyd’s Why Worry? (1923), shown at our comedy weekend last year. We defy anyone to see a connection between the title and the film! Introduced by Kevin Brownlow – who perhaps will explain!

11.30 The British are Coming!
Tony Fletcher introduces a selection of 1920s British comedies, including Adrian Brunel’s glorious spoof travelogue Crossing the Great Sagrada (1924), A.A. Milne’s Bookworms (1920) starring Leslie Howard, also Variety legend Leslie Sarony singing a comic song or two in a rare DeForest Phonofilm, one of the pioneering British-made talkies that predate Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929).

13.00 LUNCH

14.00 Charley Chase
Charley ChaseMatthew Ross highlights the career of Charley Chase, a brilliant, influential and – at least until relatively recent years – overlooked comedian and director of the 1920s and 1930s. A master of both the sight gag and situational humour, this selection of prime Chase comedies will conclude with one of his funniest silent shorts.

15.35 A Perfect Gentleman (1928)
Monty Banks is perhaps best remembered today for having married (and directed) Gracie Fields, something which has unjustly eclipsed his career as a star comedian in shorts and features (his 1927 film Flying Luck opened our comedy day last November). In this, one of his best starring roles, Banks gets involved in tracking down a stolen fortune, his adventures culminating in a whirlwind, gag-filled climax at sea.

17.15 Keaton Classics
Following our 100th anniversary celebration of Buster Keaton’s film career in last November’s comedy day, we are delighted to present a programme of classic Keaton material. Noted Keaton authors David Robinson, Kevin Brownlow and David Macleod reveal their favourites and researcher Polly Rose illustrates some of her new discoveries about Buster’s 1924 feature Sherlock Jr.

18.45 Dinner

20.00 Exit Smiling (1926)
Exit SmilingRenowned stage comedienne Beatrice Lillie – a Canadian-born British star whose reputation spanned both continents – made regrettably few films. Fortunately one of these is the 1926 MGM feature Exit Smiling, produced and directed by one of Harold Lloyd’s key associates, Sam Taylor. `Bea’ Lillie – as she was often known – plays Violet, the dogsbody for a travelling theatrical troupe who harbours ambitions to act – or, as a title card informs us, has played `Nothing’ in Much Ado About Nothing! A true classic, introduced by Michelle Facey.

22.00 approx. Close

 

SUNDAY MARCH 11TH

10.00 Lame Brains and Lunatics
Lame Brains and Lunatics coverOur thanks to American author Steve Massa, who has selected some of the ‘good, the bad and the forgotten’ silent clowns from his book bearing the same title as this programme. Assisting his presentation from this side of the pond will be Dave Glass, to whom we also offer thanks. Can you afford to miss Al St.John, Toto, Marcel Perez or Paul Parrott? (Don’t answer that!)

11.35 Seven Years Bad Luck (1921)
After his early successes as a star of Pathé comedies in his native France, Max Linder made two forays into American film-making. Our recent Silent Laughter Saturday included examples from both visits, Max Wants a Divorce (1917) and Be My Wife (1921), the latter representing part of a series of features produced and directed personally by Linder. In Seven Years Bad Luck, perhaps the best of these, the fun starts when Max’s butler breaks a full-length mirror. Bad luck seemingly ensues as Max escapes the police, unwittingly hiding in a lion’s cage. In addition to Seven Years Bad Luck, the programme will include a recently discovered Max Linder short from 1910, Les Effects des Pilules. Introduced by David Robinson.

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Surprise Programme
A surprise programme of rare material hosted by award-winning editor and director Christopher Bird.

15.35 So You Won’t Talk (1935)
Monty BanksContinuing from yesterday’s screening of A Perfect Gentleman (1928), here’s a chance to see silent comedian Monty Banks in a rarely-shown British talkie – except he doesn’t talk (mostly!). In what may have been a means of translating his silent comedy methods into the talkie era, the plot sees Banks becoming weary of all the chatter surrounding him and, in order to win a bet, guaranteeing not to talk. Cue lots of silent comedy as complications ensue …

17.15 Noisy Silents
Some silent comedies have always looked as though they were intended to have soundtracks, even though none were provided at the time; these examples, including films starring Harry Langdon, Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy will be provided with the extra sound accompaniment we feel they need – in the final case, we hope, by the audience. Hosted by musician and composer Neil Brand.

18.45 Dinner

20.00 Roy Hudd
Roy HuddWe are delighted to welcome comedian, actor and writer Roy Hudd, who will be in conversation with former News Huddlines writer – and Kennington Bioscope regular – Glenn Mitchell. As with their previous shows at the Cinema Museum, Roy and Glenn will be discussing and screening clips of great comedians from film, theatre and television. This time the emphasis is expected to be on essentially visual humour … but we’ll wait and see what they come up with!

21.45 Roy Hudd talk concludes with   the newly restored Battle of the Century (1927), starring Laurel and Hardy, and the pie fight to end all pie fights!

22.00 approx. Close

 

Tickets & Pricing

Weekend Ticket £30 / One Day £18 / After 2pm £12. These are available online from Ticket Tailor.

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Silent Laughter 2018 is coming soon

silent laughter 2018 flyer

It’s back! The annual weekend celebration of classic, rare and forgotten silent comedies returns to London’s Cinema Museum.

The programme will be announced shortly, but a few teases: expect Buster Keaton, classic Charley Chase shorts, a wonderful, rarely-seen Monty Banks feature, Beatrice Lillie, Raymond Griffith and lots more…

With weekend passes a steal at £30 (the price of only two or three screenings at some film festivals..) it’s safe to say you won’t be disappointed. Tickets are on sale now.

Get it in your diaries for March 10th and 11th, and stay tuned for more details!

 

Silent Laughter 2017 returns to London’s Cinema Museum

silent laughter 2017

The Kennington Bioscope’s Silent Laughter festival is returning to The Cinema Museum, following two very successful previous events – 2015’s Silent Laughter Saturday and 2016’s Silent Laughter Weekend. This year’s event will be on Saturday November 11th, and is being programmed by comedy historian Glenn Mitchell. While this year it’s back to a single day event, don’t despair – the programme is crammed full, and the event will be returning as a weekend in 2018, with a new annual date in March.

Silent Laughter events celebrate all things silent comedy, with a special emphasis on unfairly forgotten films and performers rarely seen on the big screen. Each festival’s programme is an eclectic mix of classics by the great names – Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy – with forgotten gems worthy  of rediscovery. Harry Langdon, Lupino Lane, Mabel Normand, Dorothy Devore, Raymond Griffith, Clara Bow, Eddie Cantor and Monty Banks are just some of the performers spotlighted so far.

If that wasn’t enough, the cream of the UK’s silent film accompanists turn these films into a true live cinema event, and all films are introduced by authors and silent comedy experts, such as Kevin Brownlow, David Robinson, David Wyatt and Glenn Mitchell.

Events take place at London’s Cinema Museum, a wonderfully eccentric venue steeped in history: It was once part of the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin stayed as a child, and Lambeth Walk, made famous by Lupino Lane, is less than a mile away.

2017’s Silent Laughter event will be a day packed full of funny films, fine musical accompaniment and other festivities presented by The Kennington Bioscope. Escape the gloom of November’s weather and join  for a selection of classic silent comedies as well as many rarities.

The full programme will be announced soon, but will definitely include Kevin Brownlow introducing Harold Lloyd’s wonderful ‘THE KID BROTHER’ and Anthony Slide presenting the career of forgotten funny lady Alice Howell. Subject to confirmation, there will hopefully also be Max Linder’s rare feature ‘LE PETIT CAFE’, as well as forgotten classics by Monty Banks and others.

Full day tickets only £18, or half day tickets £12. Don’t miss it!

Click here for more information and tickets.

The Silent Laughter website will also feature more details, and includes more on previous years’ events.