Scotland’s only silent film festival returns in March with appearances from film critic and musician Mark Kermode, film accompanist Neil Brand and a host of silent stars including Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.
The third Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema will take place on 13-17 March 2013 in Bo’ness, with a line-up of premieres, commissions and workshops in the 101-year-old Hippodrome cinema led by over 40 musicians and performers.
Legends Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Jean Harlow and Buster Keaton, will share the screen with less well-remembered yet hugely popular silent stars such as Baby Peggy, Jack Pickford (Mary’s brother) and Ossi Oswalda, (the “German Mary Pickford”).
Every Festival screening will be accompanied live by a wide range of performers including Festival regular, Neil Brand; the hugely versatile Günter A. Buchwald (known to play piano and violin at the same time); and electronic ensemble Minima will perform their distinctive haunting score for one of the first Japanese films to be shown in the West.
The Festival also presents the first Scottish appearance by The Dodge Brothers, accompanying Russian drama The Ghost That Never Returns with an exuberant hybrid of country blues, rockabilly, jugband and skiffle. The line-up features Mike Hammond, film critic Mark Kermode, Aly Hirji and Alex Hammond with their true American sound on washboard, banjo, double bass, harmonica, mandolin and guitar.
New funding partnerships have enabled world premieres of Festival commissions including Jane Gardner’s full score for Closing Night Gala rarity The Goose Woman and storyteller Andy Cannon returns as the Film Explainer interpreting rare films from the Scottish Screen Archive with traditional folk musicians Frank McLaughlin and Stewart Hardy.
The Festival’s programme for children and young people also continues in 2013 with a primary schools workshop with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, the world premiere of scores composed by Falkirk secondary music students in New Found Sound, and a silent film VJing session for young people with one of the UK’s leading human beatboxers and recent Sound Art Resident at the V&A Museum in London, Jason Singh.
Alison Strauss, Festival Director said: “The programme is really strong and includes titles from Germany, Japan, USSR and Scotland as well as the States. This year we’ve aimed to maintain a palpable air of discovery and excitement surrounding the films.
“The musical styles are as varied as the films, with folk, jazz, electronic, baroque, and rockabilly whilst the musical instruments range from double bass and human beatbox, to mandolin and musical saw.”
The full Festival programme can be found on the official website, with tickets on sale online from 10am on Tuesday 5 February 2013, by phone on 01324 506850, from the Steeple Box Office, High Street, Falkirk FK1 1NW and the Hippodrome Box Office.
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