Dir: René Clair (France) 103m
Le Fantôme du Moulin-Rouge is another of Clair’s comic fantasies. Based on a novel by Walter Schlee, a young man unhappy in love agrees to be hypnotised by a performer at the Moulin Rouge nightclub. His freed spirit (the Phantom) goes on a mischievous escapade around the city, but he has to return to his comatose body to save the mesmerist from being charged with his murder. Along the way he foils a blackmail plot that had forced his girlfriend to agree to marry another.
Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Elizabeth-Jane Baldry
Stephen Horne has long been internationally considered one of the leading silent film accompanists. A house pianist at London’s BFI Southbank for 30 years, he has played at all the major UK venues and recorded music for many DVD releases of silent films. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates other instruments into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. He regularly performs internationally and in recent years his accompaniments have met with acclaim at film festivals in Pordenone, Bologna, San Francisco, Telluride, Paris, Cannes, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul, Istanbul, Berlin and Vienna. In 2011 and 2012, he was commissioned to compose ensemble scores for the London Film Festival Archive Galas of The First Born and The Manxman. In 2012 his accompaniment for Rotaie won the main prize at the Bonn Sommerkino Festival and he was subsequently invited to repeat the performance at that year’s Beethovenfest. For six years, from 2014 to 2019, he won in the category ‘Best Screening with a Single Accompanist’ in the Silent London end-of-year poll, while in the 2020 poll he was named in the category ‘Best Online Silent Film Screening’.
Elizabeth-Jane Baldry is the world’s only silent movie harpist providing accompaniment to silent film screenings in the manner of the old silent movie pianists.
This screening is part of Bristol Ideas’ #BristolFilm2021 Paris Season, in collaboration with South West Silents. It is presented as part of Opening Up the Magic Box, a heritage element of Film 2021 which marks the centenary of the death of Bristol-born film pioneer William Friese-Greene and the 125th anniversary of the first public cinema screening in Bristol, which took place at the Tivoli on 8 June 1896, as well as celebrating Bristol – a UNESCO City of Film since 2017.