Tag Archives: BFI

The First Born at Edinburgh Filmhouse

Premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2011, Miles Mander’s 1928 silent melodrama The First Born finally arrived in Edinburgh tonight at the Filmhouse.

Introduced and accompanied by composer Stephen Horne, whose new score debuted with this newly restored version of the film back in October, The First Born tells of the sex lives of the rich and famous, with philandering MPs and their wives getting up to mischief behind closed doors. Nothing’s changed there then.

Written by Mrs Alfred Hitchcock, Alma Reville, Horne explained that the BFI Bryony Dixon stumbled upon the film a decade ago while researching Reville’s work, only to discover a forgotten classic.

Now spruced up and returned to the big screen, the film sees Mander, who also stars as the caddish Hugo Boycott, wringing every ounce of drama from the script. The stunning Madeleine Carroll co-stars as Boycott’s equally scheming wife.

It’s relatively fast-paced and there’s some terrific direction from Mander, who gets up close with the camera and tries out some innovative angles throughout, including an impressive point of view shot that was partly the reason Dixon went ahead with the restoration.

Although the event seemed to go somewhat unheralded by the Filmhouse’s PR team – the screening was moved from the large Screen One into the smaller Screen Three – it was nevertheless a success with the near-capacity audience and I’d recommend seeing The First Born if it comes to a cinema near you.

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Alfred Hitchcock at the BFI

Exciting things are happening at the BFI as their Rescue the Hitchcock 9 project, which aims to fully restore the director’s nine surviving silent films, comes to fruition.

The BFI will be celebrating Hitch throughout the summer of 2012 with a series of gala premieres, namely 1921’s Blackmail, 1927’s The Ring, 1926’s The Lodger, 1925’s The Pleasure Garden. Full details can be found on the Genius of Hitchcock section of the BFI website.

As I’m in Edinburgh it’s unlikely I’ll make it down to many of these but I’m confident our Filmhouse will screen them at some point.

In the meantime, a new trailer has been released to promote the Hitchcock project and it’s rather lovely:

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