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. 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.

Beggars of Life at the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema

Beggars Of Life poster

The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, or #hippfest for short, is an amazing event that takes place each March in the teeming metropolis of Bo’ness, Falkirk – its programme is wide-ranging, ambitious and creative. Last year, they asked me to write some notes for a screening of The Artist; this year, they asked me to do the same for a very special show: Beggars of Life, with music from the Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand. Here they are:

These screening notes contain spoilers.

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Primal Screen: In the Land of the Headhunters

For the April 2014 issue of Sight & Sound, I wrote the Primal Screen column on Edward Curtis’s slippery ethnographic drama In the Land of the Headhunters, set among the Kwakwaka’wakw people of British Columbia. I also wrote a short review of the wonderful Masters of Cinema box set Lubitsch in Berlin. More details of the issue here.