The BFI is has revealed the discovery by Eye, the Dutch Film Museum, of a lost masterpiece of British silent cinema, George Pearson’s Love, Life and Laughter (1923), starring Betty Balfour.
Balfour, also known as Britain’s “Queen of Happiness”, was the most successful British actress of the 1920s, known also as the country’s answer to Mary Pickford. It is one of the most wanted on the BFI’s list of 75 films published to mark the BFI National Archive’s 75th anniversary in 2010. Only one other complete film by director Geroge Pearson survives.
The film was recently discovered in the archives of Eye, while being catalogued following its arrival at the archive in November 2012. The print is part of a collection of film cans that belonged to a local cinema in the small town of Hattem, near Zwolle.
Cinema Theater De Vries had only been active for three
If, when you consider our national heritage, you think of murder, guilt, sex and cheeky humour – well, somebody out there agrees with you. The decision to add Alfred Hitchcock's nine surviving silent movies to Unesco's UK Memory of the World register puts his early work on a cultural par with the Domesday Book and Field Marshal Douglas Haig's war diaries – also selected for the list this year.
The nine silents were all directed by Hitchcock in the 1920s and include better-known films in the director's classic thriller mode such as The Lodger and Blackmail as well as comedies (Champagne, The Farmer's Wife) a boxing movie (The Ring) and dramas (The Pleasure Garden, Downhill, Easy Virtue and the lush, rustic romance The Manxman). The collection was nominated by the BFI,
All nine of Alfred Hitchcock's surviving silent films, dating between 1925 and 1929, have been added to the UK's section of theUnesco Memory of the World register to "safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity".
The films' three-year restoration was marked by a screening at the British Film Institute (BFI) last summer. Among the films is The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, which was Hitchcock's first major success, about a serial killer in London, society comedy Champagne, and The Ring, Hitchcock's only original screenplay. Blackmail is also included, which was released in 1929 with both sound and silent versions.
Unesco is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Its website explains the addition to their roster by describing the Hitchcock films as "among the greatest achievements of British silent cinema" and "blueprints for the rest of
Some of the highlights of the lineup are festival favourites of the year Amour, Chitrangada, Samhita, The Sapphires, Drapchi, Miss Lovely, Me and You, Celluloid Man, and Baandhon.
Fourteen films will screen in the Competition section while seven contemporary films will be screened in “Indian Cinema Now” section.
Complete list of films:
Fourteen feature films from Asia, Africa and Latin America will compete for the coveted “Suvarna Chakoram” (Golden Crow Pheasant) and other awards.
Always Brando by Ridha Behi (Tunisia)
Inheritors of the Earth by T V Chandran (India)
A Terminal Trust by by Masayuki Suo (Japan)
Shutter by Joy Mathew (India)
Today by Alain Gomis (Senegal-France)
The Repentant by Merzak Allouache (Algeria)
Sta. Niña by Manny Palo (Philippines)
The big story
"Shaken not stirred;" "I expect you to die;" "Keeping the British end up"... James Bond has been part of the movie furniture for so long it hardly seems there could have been a time when 007 wasn't around. But it was in 1962 that the first Bond movie hit cinemas – exactly 50 years ago – and to celebrate we put on our thinking caps and considered what was our favourite Bond film.
Incredibly, we didn't all agree. Peter Bradshaw got all amorous for
From Russia With Love, Philip French said yes to Dr No, Tom Lamont aimed his peepers at Goldeneye, and Xan Brooks treasured Diamonds Are Forever.
There's more where that came from next week, as other Guardian critics have their say. You can have yours here, on the open thread.
In the news
Jim Carrey on board
Quiet goes the Don
One of the great pleasures of hosting and organising the London Critics' Circle film awards last week was getting Donald Sutherland over from La to present the Dilys Powell award to Nic Roeg. The Don't Look Now director had no idea his great friend was coming over, and was quite floored by Donald's surprise appearance right at the end of the ceremony. When I offered Donald the opportunity of presenting the award to Nic, he took about a minute to reorganise his shooting schedule on The Hunger Games in La, flew in overnight, popped down to BFI Southbank for a tech rehearsal, went out for dinner, came back in and gave a gloriously colourful account of making love with Julie Christie
The audience at the Capitol cinema in London during the middle week of April 1926 witnessed an unusually bold declaration of authorship. The opening moments of The Pleasure Garden, touted in the fan magazines as the debut of "the youngest director in the world", contained, under the "directed by" credit, the slanted and underlined signature of the 26-year-old Alfred J Hitchcock. What followed was also – as it would become clear over the decades – signature Hitchcock film-making. The film's first scene gives us a voyeur's-eye-view of a dancer's legs; and then makes us share the voyeur's unease as the look is returned. The Spectator's influential critic Iris Barry scented the "new blood" desperately needed by the ailing British film industry,
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