SILENCE is golden, it is said, and the third Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema proved to be a high carat event.
As the red velvet curtains closed at the end of “The Goose Woman” on Sunday, the three accompanying musicians were met with thunderous applause, drumming of feet and cheers and whistles.
This performance ended the five-day festival in which audiences were treated to a varied programme including a little known Soviet gem ‘The Ghost That Never Returns’ (1929), avant-garde Japanese drama ‘Jujiro’ (1928), and glorious romantic comedy ‘Stage Struck’ (1925) starring Gloria Swanson.
The musical accompaniment for the sell-out final screening in the festival was performed by Jane Gardner on piano and flugel horn, Hazel Morrison on percussion and Su-a Lee on cello and musical saw.
Special guests included Mark Kermode and his skiffle band, The Dodge Brothers, who heralded their performance with a spot of busking on the pavement outside; Jason Singh, one of the UK’s leading Human Beatboxers; acclaimed silent film improvising musicians Neil Brand and Guenter A Buchwald from Germany and the Dutch documentary filmmaker Vera Iwerebor.
Funding support came from Caledonian Produce (Bakkavor) who is a significant employer in the area; Bo’ness cake specialist Absolutely Sweet donated silent film themed cup-cakes and Bo’ness Bistro donated canapés.
Festival director Alison Strauss said: “We’ve had the best audiences we could possibly have hoped for and the feedback coming in is overwhelmingly positive.
‘‘The combination of the talented performers, stimulating film line-up, this beautiful and atmospheric venue and the public, more of whom who came along than ever before, has made for a really magical five days.”