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Entering the ancient world through silent cinema

UCL, University of London

Saturday, 21 November 2015 from 14:00 to 18:00 (GMT)

Entering the ancient world through silent cinema

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Type End Quantity
Admission to screening Ended Free  

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Event Details

This event invites audiences to enter the ancient world through rarely seen, aesthetically rich, and immersive silent films set in ancient Greece or Rome. Through their enticing use of gesture and look, exotic sets and extravagant costumes, colour, music and movement, these films still offer spectators the opportunity to enter into history and experience a distant past where life is lived differently or to an extreme. Introduced by Maria Wyke (University College London) and Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol), whose research investigates the representation of antiquity in silent cinema, a professional pianist (Stephen Horne) will improvise throughout. There will be opportunity to discuss the films also with Bryony Dixon (Curator of Silent Films at the British Film Institute) and Nick Lowe (Classicist & film critic, Royal Holloway University of London).


(Session 1) 2 pm to 3.45 pm: 35 mm films from the British National Film Archive 

* Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet (dir. Charles Kent,VitagraphUSA, 1911) c 8 mins.

* Saint Cecilia or Santa Cecilia (dir.Enrique Santos, Cines, Italy, 1911) c 13 mins. 

* The White Slave or Idylle corinthienne (dir. Louis Feuillade, Gaumont, France, 1909) c 15 minutes. 

* Slave of Phydias or L’Esclave de Phydias (dir. Léonce Perret, Gaumont, France, 1916/17) c 35 mins 

3.45 pm to 4.15 pm tea/coffee break

(Session 2) 4.15pm to 6pm: digital copies of prints from Parisian and Italian archives

 * Pygmalion and Galatea or Pygmalion et Galathée (dir. Georges Méliès, Star Film, France, 1898) c. 1 min. Provided by the Centre National du Cinéma, Archives françaises du film.

 * Dido Abandoned or Didone Abbandonata (dir. Luigi Maggi, Ambrosio, Italy, 1910). c 10 mins. Provided by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin.

 *Cleopatra or Cléopâtre (dir. Ferdinand Zecca & André Andreani, Pathé Frères, France, 1910). c 17 mins. Provided by the Gaumont Pathé archives. 

 * The conquest of Gaul or La conquête des Gaules (dir. Marcel Yonnet and Yan B. Dyl, France, 1922). c 53 mins. Provided by La Cinémathéque française. 

Synopses available here

As our Festival events are free, not everyone who asks for tickets comes to our events. To make sure we have a full house we allocate more tickets than there are seats. We do our best to get the numbers right, but unfortunately we occasionally have to disappoint people. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, so please arrive in good time for the start of the event.

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Do you have questions about Entering the ancient world through silent cinema? Contact UCL, University of London

When & Where

The Cinema Museum
2 Dugard Way
SE11 4TH
United Kingdom

Saturday, 21 November 2015 from 14:00 to 18:00 (GMT)

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