New Empress Writer to Present at British Silent Film Symposium

by Helen Cox on 03/04/2013

cinema seats ritz

In place of the British Silent Film Festival this year a series of one-off events has been organised in London and Aldeburgh. The first is the British Silent Film Symposium on the 19th of April in which 14 research papers will be presented on all aspects of filmmaking and filmgoing between 1895 and 1930. Alongside other speakers New Empress writer Jo Pugh will be presenting at King’s College at the University of London on a director very much revered by the New Empress team: Walter Summers.

Following a screening of A Couple of Down and Outs at the British Silent Film Festival in 2012 and in preparation for a forthcoming restoration by the BFI of The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands (also directed by Summers), Jo has examined surviving files at the National Archives in an attempt to reconstruct the film’s ‘government story’.

Some of the records have been long since destroyed, but the remaining documents chronicle the appalled reaction among Falkland Islanders, not least the islands’ governor: Arnold Hodson, to Summers’ depiction of the colony’s population. While the Treasury counted the film’s income over ears of profits, Colonial Office files bristle with outrage and calls for cuts.

Other academics including Bryony Dixon and Sarah Street will also cover topics such as the spectre of the Kinema Girl and policing and silent cinema.

To purchase tickets to the Symposium, click here.


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