The Cigarette Girl Of Mosselprom (1924)

The Cigarette Girl Of Mosselprom (1924)

Hosted by Lucy Porter

Date: Weds 15 Feb 2023
Time: 14:00 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00
Dir: Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky
Soviet Union, 78 mins, cert 12

In stark contrast to most films made immediately after the Russian Revolution, this is an endearing rom-com filled with likeable characters and some self-effacing insights into the filmmaking process.

At the centre of it all is cigarette seller Zina (played by the future Cannes award-winning director Yuliya Solntseva) and the love tangles that surround her when she is talent-spotted to become an actress.

With an introduction from stand-up comedian and actor Lucy Porter and live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney.

RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 30 mins.

cigarette girl of mosselprom 1924 movie

Fred Karno: The Legend Behind The Laughter

Fred Karno: The Legend Behind The Laughter

Date: Weds 15 Feb 2023
Time: 16:15 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Without the wit, grit and creativity of Exeter-born Fred Karno, the Slapstick Festival itself might not exist.

Karno was the acrobat, gag deviser and impresario who recruited and trained many of the physical performers who gave Hollywood its slapstick comedy stars, such as Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Will Hay.

The festival is delighted, therefore, to host an illustrated conversation between Andrew Kelly (Bristol ideas) and David Crump – author of a definitive new biography of the man whose mantra “If in doubt, fall on your arse” influences so many of the entertainers Slapstick celebrates.

In partnership with Bristol Ideas.

RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 15 mins.

Fred Karno

Onscreen Wonder Women

Onscreen Wonder Women

Hosted by Lucy Porter & Jane Duffus

Date: Weds 15 Feb 2023
Time: 18:00 hrs
Venue: Watershed: Waterside 3
Price: £10.00/£5.00

Comedian and Slapstick favourite Lucy Porter and Jane Duffus, author of the What The Frock Book of Funny Women, present and discuss their picks from a new collection of rarely-seen silent comedy films in collaboration with Kino Lober.

The films, made between 1898 to 1926, feature slapstick high jinks, swipes at authority, gender swaps, feminist protests, and rebellions against the behaviour generally expected or demanded of women in those times.

The collection is drawn from international film archives. See this website for film titles.

With live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney. In partnership with Bristol Ideas.

A BSL Interpreted Event

RUNNING TIME APPROX 80 mins.

Wonder women

Charlie’s London: A Success Story

Charlie’s London: A Success Story

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023.
Time: 11:40hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £6.00/£4.50

Join Ayşe Behçet for insights into how the discovery that she, her mother and grandmother were all born in the same part of
London as Charlie Chaplin led to her becoming an internationally respected authority on the star’s early years, a blogger with
many thousands of social media followers and to gaining enough support from crowd-funders to publish Charlie’s London: From
East Lane to the Limelight – a Chaplin Estate-blessed biography in full-colour graphic comic format.

In conversation with Andrew Kelly (Bristol Ideas) and in partnership with Bristol Ideas. Followed by a book signing with Ayse and illustrator Karl Stephan

RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr

Charlies London

I Kiss Your Hand, Madam (1929)

I Kiss Your Hand, Madam (Ich Küsse Ihre Hand, Madame) (1929)

With an introduction by Kevin Brownlow

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023
Time: 13:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50 / £5.00
Dir: Richard Land
Germany, 66 mins, cert PG

With special thanks to Andrea Maguire for the intertitle translation

A rare chance to see Marlene Dietrich in one of the last films she made in Germany before she was spotted by actor/director Josef von Sternberg and taken to the States to star as Lola in THE BLUE ANGEL, thus beginning her stratospheric Hollywood career.

In this, her only silent comedy, she plays a new divorcee who pins her hopes on a future with a rich Russian count, disbelieving her ex’s claims that the man is penniless and working as a waiter.

German intertitles with English translation. With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney and an introduction
from film historian Kevin Brownlow.

RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 15 mins.

I kiss your hand Dietrich

Paths To Paradise (1925)

Paths To Paradise (1925)

Live From New York – With Steve Massa & Ben Model
Raymond Griffith in Paths To Paradise

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023
Time: 15:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50 / £5.00
Dir: Clarence Badger
USA, 67 mins, cert PG

Considered to be one of Raymond Griffith’s finest onscreen comedy performances, PATHS TO PARADISE finds Griffith as a jewel thief matching wits with another, played by Betty Compson.

The film is crammed with clever plot twists that culminate in one of the wildest comedy chases of the silent era. The film will be presented in a new digital restoration by Undercrank Productions made from a 2K scan of a 35mm nitrate print preserved by the Library of Congress.

PATHS TO PARADISE is presented with an introduction by Steve Massa and piano accompaniment by Ben Model streamed live from their homes in NYC, and is not pre-recorded.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 25 mins.

paths to paradise

Free Online Event: Paths to Paradise

FREE EVENT Live From New York

With Steve Massa & Ben Model Raymond Griffith in Paths To Paradise

Watch for free at home – streamed live from New York

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023
Time: 15:30 hrs
Dir: Clarence Badger
USA, 67 mins, cert PG

paths to paradise thumb 1

Considered to be one of Raymond Griffith’s finest onscreen comedy performances, PATHS TO PARADISE finds Griffith as a jewel thief matching wits with another, played by Betty Compson.

The film is crammed with clever plot twists that culminate in one of the wildest comedy chases of the silent era. The film will be presented in a new digital restoration by Undercrank Productions made from a 2K scan of a 35mm nitrate print preserved by the Library of Congress.

PATHS TO PARADISE is presented with an introduction by Steve Massa and piano accompaniment by Ben Model streamed live from their homes in NYC, and is not pre-recorded.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hrs 25 mins.

Register now & watch it live on February 16th


If you have already registered for our live streaming event, you can login using the button below:

Silent Comedy Gala Special

Silent Comedy Gala: 1924 – Buster Keaton At The Double!

Silent comedy classic double bill with live music from the Ensemble ImproCinema.
Special Guest Hosts: Graeme Garden and Polly Rose

Date: Thurs 16 Feb, 2023
Time: 20:30 hrs
Venue: The former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium
Price: £22.50/£18.00/£10.00 under 16

A BSL Interpreted Event

This event’s title reflects that Keaton was, quite literally, working at a breakneck pace in 1924, beginning work on THE NAVIGATOR within weeks of fracturing his neck in one of the many daring stunts featured in the ingenious SHERLOCK JR.

Seen as a double bill, they underscore Buster’s extraordinary
range as an actor, playing a cosseted high society bachelor beset by dangers on (and under) the high seas in one and both a hapless cinema projectionist and his dream self – a suave detective – in the other.

Keaton superfans, Goodie and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue star Graeme Garden and filmmaker/ PhD researcher Polly Rose introduce two of their favourite silent star’s best-loved and most acclaimed comedies, with live musical accompaniment from the Ensemble ImproCinema, featuring Slapstick’s musical
director Günter A. Buchwald and on percussion Frank Bockius.

Book now to enjoy two titles, both deservedly included in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Funniest Movies of All Time.

The Navigator: Donald Crisp & Buster Keaton USA (1924), 59 mins, U

Sherlock Jr: Dir Buster Keaton, USA 45 mins, U

In partnership with Bristol Ideas.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 2 hr 30 mins including interval. Please Note: This event may be over-run!

buster keaton navigator

Harry Langdon: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926)

Harry Langdon: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926)

Introduction by Kevin Brownlow

Date: Fri 17th Feb, 2023
Time: 13:40 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50 / £5.00
Dir: Harry Edwards
USA (1926), 62 mins, cert U

Made when Harry Langdon was still developing his man-child character with a young scriptwriter called Frank Capra and featuring Joan Crawford in one of her earliest starring roles, this is the story of a poor boy who enters a gruelling cross-country hike in the hope of winning enough prize money to secure
the love of a pin-up.

A rare chance to see ‘the fourth genius’ of silent cinema with an introduction from Langdon admirer Kevin Brownlow and live piano accompaniment from John Sweeney.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 10 mins

Joan Crawford Harry Langdon Tramp Tramp Tramp 1926
Joan Crawford Harry Langdon Tramp Tramp Tramp 1926

A Violin Over The Head

A Violin Over The Head

Slapstick Music in Variety Theatre With Oliver Double

Date: Fri 17th Feb, 2023
Time: 15:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50 / £5.00

Slapstick comedy and music often collided in the world of variety theatre.

Here, Oliver Double introduces a dazzling array of historic footage featuring routines by some of the comedians, singers, dancers and spesh acts who mixed melody and pratfalls. Performers you’ll meet include Stanelli and his Hornchestra, Little Tich, the Bill Hall Trio, Lily Morris, and Wilson, Keppel & Betty.

Also featured are Manley & Austin, whose knockabout routine starts with Florence Austin smashing her violin over her husband’s head.

Oliver Double is Head of Comedy and Popular Performance at the University of Kent.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 20 mins

Little Titch

Harold Lloyd in Speedy (1928)

Harold Lloyd in Speedy (1928)

Silent Comedy Classic with live music hosted by Kevin Brownlow

Date: Fri 17th Feb, 2023
Time: 20:30 hrs
Venue: The former Bristol Imax Cinema, Bristol Aquarium
Price: £18.50/£15.50/£10.00 under 16
Dir: Ted Wilde
USA (1928), 85 mins, cert U

Harold Lloyd’s last great silent masterpiece.

Journey back in time to 1920s New York via this Oscar-nominated comedy starring Harold Lloyd as he embarks on a David v Goliath battle to save the city’s last horse-drawn streetcar, operated by the father of his sweetheart (Ann Christy).

Includes a cameo by baseball legend Babe Ruth, evocative scenes shot at Coney Island and – pay attention – the first known use of the middle finger gesture, later banned under Hays Code rules.

With an introduction from the veteran filmmaker and historian Kevin Brownlow and live music from the peerless Ensemble ImproCinema.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 35 mins

Speedy poster

The Extraordinary World of Charley Bowers

The Extraordinary World of Charley Bowers

With Peter Lord

Date: Sat 18th Feb, 2023
Time: 09:30 hrs
Venue: Watershed
Price: £8.50/£5.00

Even heroes have heroes and for the internationally-admired
animator, director, producer and Aardman Animations co-founder Peter Lord, one is Charles R (Charley) Bowers (1877 – 1946) – not only an accomplished cartoonist, creator of hundreds of the Mutt & Jeff animations beloved by audiences in the 1920s and a popular
comedy actor, but also the inventor of a process enabling him to insert jaw-dropping stop-motion-based special effects into live action sequences.

Join Slapstick regular Pete as he hosts this event celebrating Bowers’ extraordinary life and work, along with some of his favourite shorts and clips – all with live musical accompaniment from Guenter A. Buchwald.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 20 mins

extraordinary world of charley bowers

Harry Hill: Breaking the Silence

Harry Hill: Breaking the Silence

Date: Sat 18th Feb, 2023
Time: 12:00 hrs
Venue: St Georges, Bristol
Price: From £15.00
Cert 12

The irrepressible Harry Hill makes a welcome return to Slapstick, this time to screen and talk about his Lonely Island short film series, including a screening of one never before seen.

Harry wrote, produced, directed and starred in all four black & white, silent, slapstick comedy shorts, with each one located on the same island in a different historical setting.

We also have the bonus of extracts from the ‘work in progress’ extension of his Cavemen episode, and an opportunity for a live Q&A .

Hosted by Robin Ince.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1 hr 10 mins

A BSL Interpreted Event

harry hill event caveman

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last! (1923)

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last! (1923)

With specially recorded introductions from Suzanne Lloyd and Vic Armstrong

Date: Saturday 1 April 2023
Time: 20:00 hrs
Venue: St George’s Bristol
Price: From £10
Dir: Fred Neymeyer and Sam Taylor
USA (1923), 74 mins, cert U

The clock sequence in Safety Last! is arguably the best known of any in a silent comedy. Genuinely dangerous, too, as it was shot high up on the side of real LA skyscapers and using clever camera angles and a series of platforms still creates a sense of peril in audiences today as the witness Harold’s long climb to the top.

But the scene is only one of the reasons this film regularly appears on Funniest Film Ever lists. Lloyd sparks laugh after laugh with his over-ambitious efforts to make it in the big city so that he can marry his home-town sweetheart (Mildred Davis).

And this screening will be extra special – showing here exactly 100 years to the day of its first release and with live accompaniment by a trio of stellar musicians, The Stephen Horne Trio and with a special guest host (to be announced).

Don’t miss this special centenary screening of an undisputed comedy masterpiece.

EVENT RUNNING TIME APPROX 1.20 hrs

Post Event Notice

A hugely successful sell-out event at St Georges celebrating Lloyd’s classic thrill picture 100 years to the day of it’s original release.

harold lloyd safety last tallys broadway theatre
Harold Lloyd Safety Last, With Tallys Broadway Theatre Below

I Don’t Want to be a Man

I Don’t Want to be a Man (1918)

(ICH MÖCHTE KEIN MANN SEIN)

Date: Saturday 22 April
Time: 11.30 hrs
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £8.50
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch
Germany (1918), 45 mins, cert TBA

With a live piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and an introduction from internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson

A rare chance to see an early comedy short by a director widely regarded as one of cinema’s all-time greats, Ernst Lubitsch.

In this raucous, flirtatious film, a boisterous teenage girl (Ossi Oswalda) becomes so tired of being bossed about she decides to pose as a man on a night out to see if it’s more fun, only to discover that while it does have its high points it also results in complications.

With a live piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and an introduction from Pamela Hutchinson.

12.30 PANEL DISCUSSION 

A unique panel discussion about gender representation in film with the internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson, the award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode, pianist Meg Morley and Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons.

I Dont Want To Be A Man 1919

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

Date: Saturday 22 April
Time: 15:00 hrs
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £8.50
Dir: Sidney Franklin
1926, USA, 70mins. Cert: U

Piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and introduction from Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons

Our second film is the South West premiere of a newly-restored silent comedy starring the Hollywood star Marion Davies in one of her biggest box-office hits.

She plays the New Jersey cousin of a man who learns he’s in line to become a prince of Graustark.

When his travel plans are disrupted, she adopts his identity, his title and his enemies – then faces a dilemma when she falls for a man who may also be a fake. With a surprise (colourful) finale, piano accompaniment from Meg Morley and introduction from Kat Lyons.

Beverly of Graustark 1926 2

Victor / Victoria

Victor / Victoria

Date: Saturday 22 April
Time: 19:30 hrs
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £8.50
Dir: Blake Edwards
1982, USA, 134mins. Cert: 15

With an introduction from the award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode

Jazz Age Paris is the setting for this quadruple Oscar-winning screwball musical comedy, part derived from a 1933 script, in which Julie Andrews plays a down-on-her-luck opera singer who is persuaded by a gay drag artist friend (Robert Preston) to pretend to be a man pretending to be a woman to get high-paying work as a female impersonator in a nightclub.

There, the ‘woman’ wins the love of a macho Chicago businessman (James Garner) who shocks his associates by wanting to continue the romance even after he learns ‘she’ is a ‘man’. With an introduction from Malaika Kegode. “A work of dry wit, high slapstick, black despair, romantic warmth, and penetrating intelligence” – David Kehr, Chicago Tribune.

victor victoria1982

Gender Rebels

GENDER REBELS

Save money with a pass for all 3 films for only £15

Date: Saturday 22 April
Venue: Waterside 3 at Watershed
Price: £15.00

Slapstick Festival, Bristol’s annual festival of silent and classic screen comedy, has teamed up with internationally respected film historian Pamela Hutchinson, award-winning performer, filmmaker and playwright Malaika Kegode and Bristol’s reigning City Poet Kat Lyons to present a day-long programme looking at some of the wittiest ways movie-makers have explored and disrupted gender roles during the 20th century.

The events include the three films:

Victor / Victoria

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

I Don’t Want to be a Man

Get the Full Day Discount!

FESTIVAL PASS v2
FESTIVAL PASS v2