Sight & Sound September 2014

Ann Dvorak

Ann Dvorak

The September 2014 issue of Sight & Sound unveils the magazine’s Greatest Documentaries of all Time poll. I voted in the poll and contributed a few words on one of the top 10: Nanook of the North (1922). Also, I reviewed Christina Rice’s hugely enjoyable biography of the fascinating Ann Dvorak, Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel

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Sight & Sound August 2014

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In this month’s Sight & Sound, I have written a feature about what it was like to go to the cinema 100 years ago, ahead of the theatrical release of an archive compilation called A Night at the Cinema in 1914. Also, in the Primal screen column, I expand on a subject close to my heart – female film-makers of the silent era, and a commendable new website that celebrates them, the Women Film Pioneers Project.

 

Charlie Chaplin’s Footlights with the World of Limelight

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Charlie Chaplin and Claire Bloom in Limelight (1952)

For the June 2014 issue of Sight and Sound, I reviewed David Robinson’s new book about the making of Charlie Chaplin’s final film, Limelight (1952). Excitingly, the book also contains Chaplin’s previously unpublished novella Footlights, which formed the basis for Limelight.

Toronto silent film festival: keynote speech

A great honour to be asked to speak on the opening night of the Toronto silent film festival. It’s just a pity that geography was against us. But the speech was recorded ahead of time, and looked very smart, thanks to a colleague in the multimedia department generously helping me out – Andy Gallagher shot, produced, edited and did absolutely everything except sit on that blue chair. I spoke about intertitles – the often unsung heroes of silent cinema.

Festival radar: Hippodrome festival of silent cinema

Hippodrome, Bo'ness Scotland home of silent film festival

Shortened to #hippfest on social media, the Hippodrome festival of silent cinema is one of the most welcoming and charming events on the silent movie calendar – not to mention one of the most ambitious. I travelled to Bo’ness, Falkirk for the weekend to visit the festival, then came home and wrote this report for the Guardian film blog.