Under an open sky This is what you will find at the International Silent Film Festival 2022 in Bonn
Bonn · Black-and-white action on the big screen, accompanied by live background music: The 38th International Silent Film Festival will take place from August 11 to 21 under the open sky, in the courtyard of the University of Bonn. Included in this year’s festival are 20 films from twelve different countries.
“We receive packages with films from all over the world all the time," reported a visibly delighted Sigrid Limprecht at a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. After two years of Covid-related restrictions, the director of the Bonn International Silent Film Festival looked forward to the upcoming 38th annual edition of the globally acclaimed event. From August 11 to 21, 14 feature-length films and six short films will be shown in the Arkadenhof, the courtyard of the University of Bonn. As in the past, the films will be shown on a giant screen, accompanied by renowned musicians. "It looks like we will be able to let a decent number of people into the courtyard without any major access restrictions," said Limprecht.
Before the pandemic, up to 1,500 people were on hand each evening to watch the black-and-white films on the big screen. In the past two years, the capacity had been reduced to 500 visitors per screening due to coronavirus pandemic regulations. For this year's festival, the number of seats available each night will be 1,000. Admission remains free as is the tradition, but because of the generally worsening economic situation, Limprecht is appealing more than ever for audience support: "Donations from the audiences are urgently needed." Despite all the prophecies of doom, the festival director is certain that the Bonn Silent Film Festival will continue. "It won't be the last time, there will be a good future."
20 films from twelve countries
This year's program consists of 20 films, once again from 17 different archives in twelve countries, explained Oliver Hanley, who is joint artistic director of the Bonn Silent Film Festival together with Eva Hielscher. About half of the films will be streamed online on the festival website the day after the screening. The Silent Film Fest kicks off on Thursday, August 11 (9 p.m.), with "Male And Female" (USA 1919). Directed by Hollywood legend Cecil B. DeMille ("The Ten Commandments"), leading actress Gloria Swanson ("Boulevard of the Dawn") became a star overnight. The film is based on a stage play by "Peter Pan" author James M. Barrie and deals with love and gender roles in different social classes. The harpist Elizabeth Jane Baldry and Stephen Horne (grand piano, flute and accordion) will provide the appropriate musical accompaniment on opening night.
"One of the most influential documentaries of all time," says curator Oliver Hanley, will screen on Saturday, Aug. 13 (10:45 p.m.). It is about a day in the life of a film cameraman in the Soviet Union. "The Man with the Camera" was made in 1929 in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Under the direction of Dziga Vertov and his wife, working with editor Elizaveta Svilova, an undisputed classic of the documentary genre was created. Long known in the West only from abridged copies, the full-screen version restored in 2010 by the EYE Film Museum will be shown for the first time in Bonn, which also does justice to the film's original structure. Violinist Sabine Zimmermann and Mark Pogolski on the grand piano will create a tapestry of sound.
An Australian silent film will be featured at the Bonn Festival for the first time with "The Sentimental Bloke" from 1919 (Wednesday, August 17, 9:45 p.m.). The neo-realist flick was made with significant participation by lead actress Lottie Lyell, who also contributed to the screenplay, editing, design and production. The version restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia will have its European premiere in Bonn.
More information can be found here: https://www.internationale-stummfilmtage.de/en/home-en
(Orig. text: Hagen Haas / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)