Archive for Hippodrome Silent Film Festival

The Sunday Intertitle: L’Herbier Rides Again

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2020 by dcairns


Magnificent intertitles from L’HOMME DY LARGE, the closing film at this year’s Hippfest.


I have my tickets to all of Sunday’s screenings, now I just have to calculate which of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday films I can afford. I’m extremely tempted by FILIBUS THE AIR PIRATE with music by my chum Jane Gardner, but there’s also THE WOMAN MEN YEARN FOR and CITY GIRL… And I’ve never seen THE LOVES OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, showing on Thursday with Fay Compton in the lead (before she owned Hill House), and on the same day, Asta Nielsen as HAMLET.

Since my writing work for the fest has bagged me tickets to POIL DE CAROTTE and THE MARK OF ZORRO, it makes sense to concentrate on Friday and Saturday, since actually getting to Bo’ness and back is part of the expense.


Oh, I just can’t decide!

(Anybody with a car going through on Thurs, Fri or Sat?)

Here Is The News

Posted in FILM with tags , on February 10, 2020 by dcairns


The Tenth Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, AKA Hippfest, will be held in March, and you can buy tickets now.

I’m contributing programme notes to: Julien Duvivier’s POIL DE CAROTTE, which gets live music by Stephen Horne; Fred Niblo’s THE MARK OF ZORRO, accompanied by Rapido Mariachi; and the closing gala, Marcel L’Herbier L’HOMME DU LARGE, which will be presented with not only Neil Brand & Frank Bockius providing live music, but actor Paul McGann reading the translation of the fabulous intertitles.

But there’s much more than that going on (Laurel & Hardy! Keaton! Dietrich!). If you’re a movie-type person in Scotland, you simply must go. If you’re further afield, do it if it’s possible for you. Tell ’em Shadowplay sent you.

The Shadowcast #10: Welcome to the Hippodrome

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2019 by dcairns

A crazy and baffling still from THE PARSON’S WIDOW — no such scene appears in the movie — just one of the movies discussed in the first ever location-recorded edition of The Shadowcast, coming to you direct, with a slight time delay, from the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival in Bo’ness. Along with the atmospheric qualities of being on location, you get to enjoy a lot of background chatter and noise, making earbuds probably a necessity for this installment. But if you close your eyes it’s a lot like being there.

I talk to the cousins of James Finlayson, the BFI’s head of silent film, the festival director, Silent London herself, and a bunch of (extra)ordinary punters, about films such as MOULIN ROUGE, AU BONHEUR DES DAMES, THE RED HEROINE and HINDLE WAKES. Let me know what you think of the experiment.