Film and Music: book now for silent cinema

From Blackmail, courtesy of BFI

Ever since The Artist charmed us all and swept the board at this year’s awards ceremonies, silent film has been making a comeback.  A few months ago we went to the Royal Festival Hall to see silent film Faust accompanied by a live orchestra playing a new score by Aphrodite Raickopoulou. It was utterly magical and moving. And such a success, that the Royal Festival Hall is now making it a regular feature: you can see Ben Hur accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra on June 9. Arts centre King’s Placealso now host Sunday afternoons with Not So Silent Movie musicians, who improvise soundtracks to silent films live on stage (the next one is May 13), while cabaret supperclub Volupte are launching their silent version of a dinner and a movie, also on Sundays (from May 6). But perhaps most exciting is the BFI’s summer Hitchcock season, part of which includes screenings of four newly restored silent films. New scores have been commissioned to accompany The Pleasure Garden, Blackmail, The Ring and The Lodger, and they are being screened over the summer in a variety of quirky locations across London, from Wilton’s Music Hall to The Hackney Empire. Our top pick is Hitch’s 1920s masterpiece Blackmail, being screened outside at the British Museum, the location of the film’s adrenaline-fuelled finale. Online tickets are sold out, but there’s a limited number available form the LFF half an hour before the film starts. It’s so worth chancing your luck!

Ben Hur, Not So Silent Movies, Volupte Silent Film Season and Hitchcock Silent Film Season
Ben Hur: June 9, 7pm; Not so Silent Movies: Sundays, 3pm; Volupte: from May 6, 7pm and Blackmail: 6 July 2012, 9pm
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Where else:
King's Place, 90 York Way; Volupte, 9 Norwich Street; British Museum, Great Russell Street, N1 9AG; EC4A 1EJ;WC1B 3DG;
£8 - £45 (Ben Hur); £9.50 - £12.50 (Not So Silent Movies); £7-£10 (Volupte); £11- £15 (Blackmail)
— Beatrice
22nd April 2012