UK-US 1914 | c.85 mins
Avaliable on: DCP, DVD
Marking the centenary of the start of World War I, this glorious miscellany of comedies, adventure films, travelogues and newsreels recreates a typical night out at the cinema in 1914.
Cinema a century ago was a new, exciting and highly democratic form of entertainment. Picture houses across Britain offered a sociable, lively environment in which to relax and
escape from the daily grind. With feature films still rare, the
programme was an entertaining, ever-changing roster of short items with
live musical accompaniment.
Among the highlights of this
programme of 14 shorts films are a quirky comic short about a
face-pulling competition, a sensational episode of the American film
serial The Perils of Pauline, an early aviation display, scenes
of suffragettes protesting at Buckingham Palace and Allied troops
celebrating Christmas at the Front. There is also an anti-German
animation film and an early sighting of one of cinema's greatest
The BFI has commissioned composer and pianist Stephen
Horne, one of Britain's leading accompanists of silent film, to create a
new improvised score - with abundant references to music of the period -
which reflects the spirit in which the films were made.