End Of Year Message

A Publicity card from Biograph’s A Trap for Santa Claus (1909) Directed by D. W. Griffith

Christmas 2011 is almost upon us, so we thought we would send out our Seasonal Greetings to all our supporters and members and give you all a brief summary on what has happened over the past 12 months.

What a year 2011 has been. We saw some new faces at a record breaking Slapstick Festival 2011, comedians Rob Brydon and Shappi Khorsandi brought along their love of Silent Comedy, while we were thrilled to introduce Shaun the Sheep to the Slapstick Stage. Slapstick 2011 also saw us hand out the Aardman Animations/Slapstick Award to regular Bristol Silents and Slapstick supporters Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie (many know them better as the Goodies of course) for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Visual Comedy’.

The world premiere of John Garden’s new semi-improvised score for Lost World (1925) was another great highlight for Bristol Silents this year with the screening going on tour throughout the country, including a special screening at the Natural History Museum, a very rare treat indeed, and one hell of a fun score by John. We hope to have the screening on tour again in the near future.

The regular Bristol Silents Club Screenings are still going from strength to strength with 13 screenings this year despite the odd technical fault haunting us, but thankfully all of this has now gone after we found a fantastic new home at The King’s Arms, Whiteladies Road (on Blackboy Hill). From films from all over the silent cinema globe (American films were the major source this year, although we were able to screen the odd Swedish and German film along the way) the Club Screenings could well take a turn to look more towards Europe in 2012; watch this space. Our thanks to everyone who was able to come along to these screenings & by doing so demonstrating your support for what we’re doing. A special Christmas thanks must also go out the staff of The King’s Arms pub for making us so welcome this year.

Finally, 2011 will also see us say goodbye to our good old Bristol Silents website. After 10 years of keeping us afloat, we thought it best that we should put it out into retirement. Mainly because no one could really understand any of the old internet coding it was using, and we thought we would jump aboard the WordPress wagon instead. The old Bristol Silents page will be closed down at the end of January 2012.

As for 2012, well, the New Season will bring in a bumper year for the Slapstick Festival, with special guest star Pierre Etaix being one of the major events have planned. On top of that, we have some new faces arriving in the shape of Griff Rhys Jones (to host the major Gala Event) as well as Sanjeev Bhaskar who (after his great support for our Slapstick 2011 fundraiser) we welcome to Slapstick for the first time.
2012 most certainly looks like a thrilling year for early cinema, especially when we see a full blown Silent Film hitting the silver screen on general release for the first time in over 80 years. The Artist (2011) will make its first appearance in the UK on London Cinema Screens first and will then go onto general release throughout the rest of the country on January 6th 2012. Fingers crossed for those Oscars…. If there was ever a time to celebrate Silent Film, there couldn’t be a better time!

Finally a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been to support us this year (and over the past years of course) and we all hope to see you in the New Year!

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