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Film Editorial

silentfilm18.jpg Pray silence please

The Gateshead Silent Film Festival features two classic films – The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and The Gold Rush – and, on the Saturday night, liquor and dancing at their very own speakeasy. Oh my!

Of course, silent films were never really silent. They had musical accompaniment and for these two special screenings – which are being put on through a joint collaboration between St Mary’s Heritage Centre and GLAS Performing Arts Academy – they’ve got GLAS Performing Arts Academy’s very own Stuart Angus on piano and he’s compiled his own soundtrack for each presentation. And hasn’t he got a couple of real doozies to get his teeth into.

First up is The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (pictured), the expressionist classic from Germany in which the visual mayhem of the twisted sets really drives the narrative that features the crazed Dr. Caligari and his mysterious sleep walker. One of the most influential horror films ever made, this is still as creepy as hell.

Then on the Saturday it’s the turn of the Little Tramp himself, Charlie Chaplin, in his comedy The Gold Rush. It’s the film he said he’d most like to be remembered for and it’s packed with iconic scenes. After this screening the speakeasy will then click into gear with an evening of great music drawn from the 1920s onwards, for anyone who fancies taking to the floor to swing, jive or even go cheek to cheek. That’s my last weekend in January sorted, then.

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Friday 26 January; The Gold Rush, Saturday 27 January. Doors 7pm, shows start 7.30pm (dancing until 11pm on Saturday), both £10 each. Tickets: gateshead.gov.uk/whatson or 0191 433 4699.