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Chance to enjoy Buster Keaton silent film masterpiece

Posted on 20 March 2014

A University of York historian is offering theatre-goers a glimpse into the “giddy, silly, thought-provoking” world of early silent film cinema.

Sherlock Jr.

Professor Judith Buchanan will introduce a York Theatre Royal audience to three very early short French and American experimental films, followed by the Buster Keaton 1924 masterpiece Sherlock Jr. Pianist John Sweeney will provide a distinctive accompaniment to the films.

‘Frame-Busting at the Flicks’ will be held at the Ballroom of the De Grey rooms, York Theatre Royal, on Wednesday, 26 March. Suitable for all the family, it is part of the Silents Now programme which is rediscovering and remaking silent cinema with contemporary audiences.

Professor Buchanan, Director of York’s Humanities Research Centre, said: “Early cinema was inventively disrespectful of boundaries, frames or even the seeming separateness of cinema itself. Through this event, we are offering a modern audience the chance to experience a giddy, silly, thought-provoking evening of silent film.

“It features three early short films in which characters stubbornly refuse to remain within prescribed bounds, as well as the wonderful Buster Keaton masterpiece Sherlock J. Ahead of the main film, we will also invite the audience to remake a single short scene in some reruns by challenging pianist John Sweeney to create a musical mood.

“If anyone has not seen Sherlock J, they really should. For those who have seen it, this is a chance to enjoy it anew with live piano accompaniment in the beautiful Ballroom of York Theatre Royal’s De Grey Rooms.”

Professor Buchanan leads the Silents Now project which is working with arts cinemas, schools, community groups, film archives, actors, theatre companies, film-makers and musicians to bring back into circulation little-known films from the silent era and help them give delight again in new ways for new audiences.

‘Frame-Busting at the Flicks’ will take place on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 at 8pm at the Ballroom of the De Grey Rooms, York Theatre Royal. Tickets cost £8 and can be booked at Popcorn will be provided. 

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Caron Lett
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