Opening proceedings Walter Ruttman’s iconic Berlin, Symphony of a Great City is set to live piano and percussion by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne. Made in 1927, Ruttmann’s documentary footage captures a city emerging from the embers of depression.
Taking us from dawn to dusk through a maze of urban characters: from browbeaten workers to decadent partygoers, São Paulo, A Metropolitan Symphony, with live piano accompaniment by Clelia Iruzun, is the festival’s next instalment. Like Ruttman’s film, directors Adalberto Kemeny and Rudolf Rex take us by the hand through the bustling pulse of Brazilian life, though never shying away from the city’s poor and dispossessed.
Leading the season into more traditional narrative-based films is William Parke’s 1918 classic melodrama The Yellow Ticket. In it we follow the life of Lea (Polish actress turned Hollywood superstar Pola Negri) who is forced to hide her identity to attend medical school. Through her persistence she overcomes her disadvantages of being a woman, an orphan and a Jew. The Yellow Ticket will be accompanied by the entirely improvised piano performance of Sophie Solomon.
Finally, come February 2015, the season finale consists of a series of classic Sherlock Holmes adventures. Screen icon Ellie Norwood plays Holmes and Hubert Willis is Dr. Watson in these 1921 classics. Director Maurice Elvey’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (perhaps Arthur Conan-Doyle’s most famous work), followed by A Scandal in Bohemia (and a series of lesser-known shorts) will bring the season to a climactic finish.
|What||Silent Film and Live Music Season, Barbican|
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
28 Sep 14 – 29 Mar 15, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|