Silents are golden

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The Independent Culture
Silents are golden

The term "silent movie" has always been something of a misnomer, since the things used to be accompanied by the racket of a full, live orchestra. And what with the music, the pictures and those natty little plot-forwarding captions, the whole experience must have been, dare one say, "multi-media". Pity those boffins with their CD-Rom drives who think they're doing something new. The point is, next week you can see two classic silent films with original new scores performed live at Sadler's Wells. John Ford's epic railroad story The Iron Horse (1924, above) is presented in a new tinted print, with a score by John Lanchbery while Harold Lloyd's classic comedy The Kid Brother (1927) is in an outstanding print direct from the original negative, with a score by Carl Davis. Both composers will be conducting their own work at the venue, with the Live Cinema Orchestra and the Guildford Philharmonic respectively. The company behind all this, Photoplay Productions, is keen to re-establish the tradition of screening silent film with live music - "fine prints on large screens, running at the correct speed, with full orchestral accompaniment, and the shared excitement of a large audience". It's the reel thing.

`The Iron Horse' 7.30pm 11 Apr; `The Kid Brother' 7.30pm 12, 13 Apr. Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Ave EC1 (0171-713 6000) £5-£16