Forgotten classics to be revived for Silent Film Festival

Moishe's Bagel have composed a HippFest soundtrack for Salt For Svanetia. Picture: Michael Gillen
Moishe's Bagel have composed a HippFest soundtrack for Salt For Svanetia. Picture: Michael Gillen
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Rarely-seen movies from China, the former Soviet Union, Germany and the United States are to be revived as part of Scotland’s silent film festival.

The film film adaptation of Peter Pan, classic Laurel and Hardy capers, a cult German space documentary and a Polish film believed to have been lost for almost a century will be among the highlights of next month’s annual event at the historic Hippodrome cinema in Bo’ness.

Hollywood composer Craig Armstrong will oversee the creation of a new jazz score for the 1925 German film Wunder der Schöpfung, which will be introduced by John Brown, the Royal Astronomer for Scotland.

Musicians Jane Gardner and Hazel Morrison will be joining forces for a live performance which will accompany a screening of the 1930 film Earth, which is regarded as one of most important film in the history of Soviet cinema.

Polish supergroup Czerwie will be creating a soundtrack for Mania, a 1918 film charting the story of a love affair between a cigarette factory worker and a talented composer.

The five-day Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, which is being held for the sixth time, will also include Daybreak, a 1933 feature starring Chinese cinema idol Li Lili and the world premiere of a restored version of Buster Keaton short My Wife’s Relations, which has a newly-reinstated ending.

Festival director Alison Strauss said: “HippFest16 promises our audiences unparalleled experiences - the chance to see rare and recently restore films, the world premiere of new commissions and a just-discovered ending for a Keaton short, revelatory pairings of brilliant musicians and films, and of course the stunning Hippodrome itself – Scotland’s proud, first purpose-built cinema.

“Everyone who comes along can be part of the glamour and excitement of our truly unique festival… and we are looking forward to sharing the joy of silent cinema with all comers.”