The Phantom of the Opera

4pm, Saturday 4 February, Opera House

Year: 1925
Running Time: 80 mins
Director: Rupert Julian
Starring: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
Cert: PG
The Phantom of the Opera 

Beneath the sewers of the Paris Opera House dwells a masked figure. He is the Phantom, a hideously disfigured composer whose dream is to turn chorus singer Christine into a diva. Lon Chaney, the “Man of a Thousand Faces”, dominates this classic adaptation of the 1910 novel. His ghastly make-up and outrageous performance made this one of the great classics of American silent film.

Film critic Roger Ebert said in 2004 that “it has always been a question whether The Phantom of the Opera is a great film, or only a great spectacle.” Either way, to see this film in 1925 was a truly shocking experience. Fast-moving and exciting, the film is a dramatic tale of obsession, kidnap, murder and revenge, beautifully tinted throughout and featuring an impressive sequence of early Technicolor as the Phantom appears at a Masked Ball.

This is the original film version of Phantom which inspired numerous remakes. It was a critical and commercial success upon release, as these press quotes from the time contest: an “ultra fantastic melodrama” (New York Times); “produced on a stupendous scale” (Moving Picture World); “probably the greatest inducement to nightmare that has yet been screened” (Variety)

Minima have specialised in live accompaniment to screenings of silent films since 2006. Their electrifying new score for The Phantom of the Opera captures the horror of the story, but also finds pathos, romance and humour. Drums, bass, guitar and cello strike up a thrilling relationship with the film, following the Phantom down into his subterranean nightmare world.

“Minima are one of the leading bands accompanying silent film in Europe.” (Robert Rider, Head of Cinema, the Barbican Centre)

“Minima’s spine-tingling music clung to each twist of the movie… spellbinding accompaniment.” (The Guardian)

“A superbly sinister live score by the soundtrack group Minima.” (Financial Times)

 

  • Buy one adult ticket and get a free child ticket (under 16 yrs).

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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

3pm, Sunday 5 February, Baronial Hall

Year: 1927  Running Time: 94 mins
Director: FW Murnau
Starring: Janet Gaynor, George O’Brien, Margaret Livingston
Cert: U

Awards 1st Academy Awards (1927/8)

  • Best Actress – Janet Gaynor
  • Cinematography – Charles Rosher and Karl Struss
  • Unique and Artistic Picture

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

sunrise_poster“This song of the man and his wife is of no-place and everyplace: you might hear it anywhere at anytime. For wherever the sun rises and sets…in the city’s turmoil or under the open sky on the farm, life is much the same, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet.”

So begins F.W. Murnau’s astonishing film.

This is a moving simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a seductive city girl. Labelled simply ‘The Man’ (George O Brien) and ‘The Wife’ (Janet Gaynor) the protagonists embark on an adventure of temptation, reconciliation, reconsecration and redemption, told with a lyrical simplicity of timelessness and universality.

Made with an unlimited budget, the amazing cinematography captures both idyllic rural settings and the bustling modern city with pioneering camera work. Sunrise is silent film at its most poetic. it uses an amazing array of cinematic touches, with a plot that keeps the audience transfixed.

Wurlitza will provide live accompaniment, adding music that will be both familiar and unfamiliar, from Bach and Villa Lobas to Talking Heads, Echo and the Bunnymen, Madness and the Vapors, as well as some of their own. This is a truly unique and memorable experience, and great for all ages.

Take a look at the Facebook event.

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Sunrise trailer