Buongiorno! This sultry summer weather is doing its best to convince me that I am still in Bologna when I am closer to Bognor. But there is a cure for the post-Ritrovato comedown in the offing – and this medicine will be available out west, in Bristol, at the end of the month.
This year’s Cinema Rediscovered festival (26-30 July) has released its full lineup, and it is a many-splendoured jewel indeed. Especially if you are interested in the work of women directors: Bette Gordon, Kira Muratova, Chantal Akerman, Mai Zetterling, Sofia Coppola and many more are featured in the programme.
Let us pause, however, to consider the silents.
Alla Nazimova’s queer mistresspiece Salomé (1923) screens at the festival on Saturday 29 July with live music from Meg Morley, in collaboration with the marvellous South West Silents and Invisible Women. Don’t miss this screening – I will be taking part in a post-film discussion with the aforementioned IW collective. Book tickets here. A local snippet: actor Nigel De Brulier, who plays Jokaanan the Prophet in Salomé (pictured above) was born in Bristol in 1877.
Elsewhere in the wider silent world, Friday 28 July will see the world premiere of the BFI’s new restoration of Lorenza Mazzetti’s Together (1956), a mesmerising drama about two Deaf without speech dock workers in postwar London. Book tickets here. Also screening at the festival is Brighid Lowe’s new documentary about Mazzetti, which will be introduced at the festival by Lowe with Mazzetti scholar and friend of Silent London Henry K. Miller.
More documentaries to tempt you. Film, the Living Record of our Memory, is the new film by Inés Toharia Terán on the importance of film preservation, which will be introduced by Cinema Rediscovered founder Mark Cosgrove. Book here.
And Ian Christie presents his A Trip to Tetlapayac, which retraces Sergei Eisenstein’s steps in Mexico in 1931, after his disappointing foray to Hollywood. This is followed by the UK Premiere of The Marriage of Greta Garbo and Sergei Eisenstein, the latest tantalising video essay by American independent Mark Rappaport, best known for From the Journals of Jean Seberg and Rock Hudson’s Home Movies. Book here.
Some shameless self-promotion? I thought you’d never ask. Muriel Box’s impeccable comedy The Passionate Stranger (1957), starring Margaret Leighton as a romantic novelist whose fantasies threaten to come to life, screens on Friday 28 July. I will be in the estimable company of filmmaker Carol Morley, and Muriel Box BFI season curator Josephine Botting for the post-film discussion. Book tickets here.
- Explore the full lineup for Cinema Rediscovered here.
- Speaking of Bognor, or thereabouts, silent film events are afoot in Sussex, watch this space – or this one, for details.
- Do read Carol Morley on Muriel Box.
- Here’s my obituary of Lorenza Mazzetti for the Guardian, from 2020.
- A propos of absolutely nothing, I am introducing this screening of Hitchcock’s Rope at the Garden Cinema in London next Sunday.
- I’ll be in Lithuania again this September, for Pirmoji Banga. Read my report from last year.
- Silent London will always be free to all readers. If you enjoy checking in with the site, including reports from silent film festivals, features and reviews, please consider shouting me a coffee on my Ko-Fi page.