Monday 6 May 2024

Peter Pan - Silent Film


 On Sunday l travelled to Malvern Town Hall to see a silent film.

I have seen shorts of different silent films but never a full release until yesterday. Peter Pan came out in late 1924 which means it is nearly 100 years old. Of course it is a black and white film.

What did l think of it? The special effects were pretty lame but at the time they would have been something new. The dialogue, which flashed on the screen regularly was very old fashioned, but, that's to be expected too. The main issue l had with it was l felt l was watching exaggerated  mime. The lack of sound meant the actors were overacting their expressions. When there is sound we hear the tone and tenor of speech which was sorely missing in this film.

David Bailey was the organist who played the theatre organ throughout the film. It did add to the film and theatre organs produce such great sounds. This organ was a Compton and was originally installed at Malvern Town Hall in 1930. It's so very different these days.

I think if l had been a child seeing this in 1924 l would have loved it because l think this film was made for children. Apparently Walt Disney was inspired by this film to make his animated version of Peter Pan. 

Will l see another silent film. Probably not, but, l'm glad l saw it and heard that wonderful organ playing too.

This screening was put on by Melbourne Theatre Organ. I'm listing their website as they regularly put on shows. I am also listing Malvern Town Hall website as they have a lot of artistic events coming up.

www.stonnington.vic.gov.au

melbournetheatreorgan.com.au

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