Sunday, 9 June 2013

Catching Up

I thought I'd list a few things that I had hoped to blog about and were, to me at least, culturally significant.  My film education continues at the hands of the bf....

Firstly back in the late winter - the interminable winter -  the bf and I went to Ely Cathedral for a Ely film society showing of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923, Dir Wallace Worsley, starring Lon Chaney and Patsy Ruth Miller). The musical accompaniment was supplied live from the cathedral organ by the Cathedral's assistant organist  Jonathan Lilley.  A Fantastic evening.

In the beginning of May we headed off to the Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast for the 'Sounds and Silents' film festival.  We stayed at the very stylish Laurel House.  The festival was based at Aldeburgh Cinema - a fitting venue as it was built in 1919.  The festival lasted the weekend, kicking off on Friday night with the premiere of 'The Invisible Lighthouse' a documentary film by Thomas Dolby.  Thomas introduced the film, and as it was, then, unfinished also supplied some of the narration.  He finished the evening with a small set of his hits.
The next day, to my shame I slept through that afternoon's offerings: 'The Boatswain's Mate' and 'The Skipper's Wooing'.  What I did see of the latter I did like.  I should add at this point that two of the themes of this festival were the coast, and the comedies of the English film maker W W Jacobs.  I managed two out of the five!  Well, almost two...
Things were rounded off on Sunday evening in a very cool and stylish manner:  a screening of the silent classic 'Beggars of Life' to a live accompaniment from the Dodge Brothers - the skiffle band, which includes film critic Mark Kermode on Double Bass - and Neil Brand on the piano and who played his way through the whole festival!  It was utterly fantastic, a really memorable performance that brought out so much from the film.  'Beggars of Life' dates from 1928; director William A Wellman, starring Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks (what a magnetic screen presence) and Richard Arlen.

A wonderful discovery in the excellent Aldeburgh Bookshop was a book on the artist/illustrator Robin Taverner.  Lovely work in the Bawden tradition.

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