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1- What is the first Season?

SILENT AND PRE-CODE FILMS





Our first season takes a closer look at silent films. Before the era of sound, cinema had been a very exciting new art form, where rules and regulations were yet to be set down. A number of non conventional film-makers made their mark in silent cinema, and many radical stories of same-sex love found their way onto the screens. The gay and lesbian tales of silent cinema showed a great diversity of focus: from riotous comedies of gender mischief, to heart-drenching dramas of stranded lovers, to films that deal with specific issues such as homosexuality in prisons, gay people’s vulnerability to blackmail, or the lure of a ‘normal’ life.
        

 
The nineteen thirties saw, apart from the advent of sound, two cataclysmic events which drove gay film-making underground: the setting up of the ‘Hays’ Film Censorship Code in the USA, and the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany. It was the end of an extraordinary flourishing of lesbian and gay art and activism, which unfortunately has not been sufficiently celebrated. To address that, we are showing you a selection of ten sessions with the very best of early LGBT cinema. You will be astounded by these films - by their honesty and by their sophistication, and also by their determination to make gay experience visible. And that’s before you even consider the art-direction! Some of these early films are in fact beautiful and provocative visual essays, pushing the boundaries of what a camera and an editing table can do.

 

 

THE GAY FILMS OF SILENT CINEMA

  

·         Did you know that the first narrative films in history were directed by a woman, and that she made some pretty gay-friendly films?

·         Did you know that the influential radical activist Magnus Hirschfeld appeared in an early movie as a psychologist discussing gay equality?

·         Did you know that lesbian icons Greta Garbo and Louise Brooks became famous not just in silent films, but in silent films about queer men?

·         Did you know that the first trans movie was made in 1914?

·         Did you know that some of the best movies directed by Ernst Lubitsch, the king of comedy, are silent, and queer?

·         Did you know that the first gay wedding on film appeared in a silent movie?

We have the films to prove it!

     From a vignette about lonely sailors made in the USA in 1895, to a lesbian romance made in Japan in 1935, we will be covering a lot of ground…

Jump aboard our locomotive

and join us for a thrill like no other!