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Silent Film Marathon
at Akbank Sanat

Blog
Silent Film Marathon at Akbank Sanat

05.12.2017

Text: Cem Kayıran

The 4th International Istanbul Silent Film Days will take place in three different venues this year. During 14th-17th December, Akbank Sanat, French Cultural Center as well as bomontiada ALT will host “Silent Film Days”, and this year’s theme is “Dance”. Organized by Kino Istanbul, Silent Film Days bring the important silent films of the cinema history together with live music. Two very prestigious European cinema institutions, Cineteca di Bologna and Eye Filmmuseum, are also among the institutional partners of the festival.

The festival’s program includes presentations from academicians, researchers and curators before the screenings. The first screening is Die Weber from 1927, a film exploring how German filmmakers related to Soviet cinema. The film will be screened with a live performance from Günter Buchwald and Franck Bockius, two very important representatives of silent film music in our day. The duo will also perform during the Spanish Dancer screening on the same day, this time together with Burak Ayrancı. Another screening taking place in Akbank Sanat on the first day of the festival is a special program consisting of eight dance themed films from different cultures and locations. English pianist John Sweeney will be performing live during the Dance Films Selection.

Second day of the festival is opening with The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), with John Sweeney on the piano again. After this important film from director Lois Weber’s career; the first film that the iconic star of Polish Cinema, Pola Negri starred in, Bestia: Polish Dancer, is next on the program. Italian film music composer Daniele Furlati will be accompanying the screening with a live performance. Festival is screening the only known copy of this Polish gem, which was restored in 4K earlier this year. The last screening of the day is a series of short films known as Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre, which is one of the pioneering experiments of bringing film and sound together. The live performance for the Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre screening comes from Sweeney – Buchwald and Bockius trio.

16 December program starts off with an E.T.A Hoffman adaptation from 1919, Die Puppe. This exceptional piece by Ernst Lubitsch, who is also known by his Hollywood work, will be accompanied by Buchwald and Bockius’ live performance. International Silent Film Days will also include a special program for silent cinema’s important figure, Buster Keaton.  Two of the films that Keaton both directed and starred in, The Goat and The Neighbours, are included in the last day schedule, with music from Daniele Furlati. A recurring event from previous years, Views From Ottoman Empire, brings various archival footage to the screen with Carroll Cather’s music in the background. Two final screenings from the festival are another Pola Negri film, Mania and Letters From Baghdad, a film focusing on the life of English explorer Gertrude Bell.

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