Today I watched a film. Four films actually, in a row. I wasn’t having as much of a ‘slobbing’ day as you would expect, but instead had a mosey down to King’s Place, the headquarters of ‘The Guardian’ newspaper, where they were showing a range of silent films, along with a live (and improvised) soundtrack.
Now, I wouldn’t say silent movies were my forte as such. I’m certainly no expert – and was introduced as many people were with ‘The Artist’, rather than traditional cinema from the 1920s era. After jumping on the ‘retro’ and trendy bandwagon that King’s Cross appears to have adopted with vigor, I was surprised and pleased to see around 200 people (many of whom were children) join Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd for a couple of hours of silent slapstick comedy AND, i was also rather impressed to find that Jarvis Cocker of Pulp and BBC Radio 6 fame was a part of the live band – playing the infamous stylophone of all things.
Apparently these events at King’s Place take place monthly and are definitely worth a visit if you’re stuck for something to do or are interested in learning more about this unique and often overlooked genre. Although the ridiculous scenarios Buster and friends find themselves in do take a bit of getting used to, I think it’s amazing that filmmakers of the 1900s-1920s managed to put together such creative, amusing and often, emotive scenes during times of intense economic depression and hardship. It’s also great, in my opinion, that so many people in 2012 enjoy watching these films. Highly doubting many films out at Odeon at the moment will be showing in venues 90 years from now!
ANYWAY, the scene below is from the film ‘The Scarecrow’ and is one of my favourites from the selection I watched today. It’s funny – I think…
Also, for details of upcoming events and performances at King’s Place, including more silent film afternoons, click here