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Silent comedies

On Saturday, I attended a showing of two silent films accompanied by live music at Kings Place. I had never heard of Kings Place before the F Word blog alerted me to the Birds Eye View Sound and Silents events there.
Kings Place is a lovely venue (but I do think it is missing an apostrophe). Hall One where the films were shown is covered in an oak veneer which was wonderful. However, the stage seemed a bit high and, due to the fact that the films were projected over the heads of the musicians, my view from the third row was rather awkward. I would like to go back to have a coffee next to the canal basin on a nicer day.

I found The Danger Girl with Gloria Swanson a little incoherent. It was nevertheless quite amusing and the few stunts that it had were jaw-dropping: a car passed within inches of a horse (twice), a car stopped in front of a person just in time and a small bus burst into a restaurant full of diners. The female vocal trio Juice did a fabulous job of adding to my enjoyment. They were a lot of fun.

Ich möchte kein Mann sein aka I don't want to be a man was a disappointingly superficial three-reeler by Ernst Lubitsch. I suppose if it hadn't played with gender roles quite so explicitly then I might have not have been quite so dissatisfied. The three leading performers were very funny and some of the situations were amusing (the governess smoking, Ossi being measured for a suit and, of course, the kissing) bit overall it fell a bit flat. The music by Zoe Rahman accompanied by her drummer was marvellous but by my cloth ears it didn't quite suit the film.

This clip is from another Ossi Oswalda/Ernst Lubitsch collaboration and it is a huge amount of fun with a great new score.

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