Monthly Archives: March 2012

Back to the Future III – the silent version

Here’s a fun little clip I spotted on Twitter today, a silent version of the train sequence from Back to the Future III, created by someone using Adobe Premiere edit suite for the first time.

Could this start a trend for full movies being “silenced”?



Show People at the 2012 Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema

A few weeks ago I found myself returning to the town of Bo’ness here in Scotland for the opening night of the second annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema.

Taking place in the Bo’ness Hippodrome, Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema which celebrates its centenary this year, Friday 16 March saw the organisers screen the 1928 King Vidor silent comedy, Show People, starring Marion Davies and William Haines as Peggy Pepper and Billy Boone.

I won’t go into too much detail on the film, which is a joy from start to finish, undoubtedly inspired The Artist (even if the director won’t admit it) and deserves a DVD release pronto, as I’ve written about it at length on my other site, ReelScotland.

Over there you’ll also find the following video I shot with silent film pianist, Neil Brand, a man who knows his movies and has had a lot of time to think about just what it is that makes them so special for modern audiences.

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Celebrating Island of Lost Souls’ X-appeal

Island of Lost Souls

It’s always been standard practice in the promotion of movies to create a buzz around new releases but it takes a lot to get an 80-year-old classic in the news.

Island of Lost Souls steelbook

Island of Lost Souls steelbook

So it was something of a surprise yesterday to find the BBC picking up a story on 1932’s Island of Lost Souls, the Blu-ray of which receives its first UK release on Monday 28 May. Even more surprising, the story soon became the site’s most-read story of the day. Hunger Games eat your heart out!

The article is based on the fact that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), celebrating its centenary in 2012, has recently reclassified the film from its original X certificate to a PG.

It seems the film, starring Charles Laughton as Dr Moreau, was rejected in 1933 and in 1957, before being classified with an X certificate with cuts in 1958. In 1996 these cuts were restored and the film gained a 12 certificate.

The film was then resubmitted in 2011 for the upcoming Blu-ray release when it found itself downgraded to a PG.

It’s a fascinating article that should do wonders for sales of the newly restored DVD and Blu-ray, which promises a host of extras including video interviews and a lavish booklet. The Masters of Cinema releases are always worth picking up and I’d recommend pre-ordering the limited edition steelbook while you still can.

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