Image courtesy Flatpack Film Festival
At the 1900 Paris Exposition, visitors had their first taste of sound-cinema, thanks to the Phono-Cinema-Théâtre. This special pavilion featured current stars of theatre and variety, including Sarah Bernhardt in Hamlet and a can-can by Gabrielle Réjane - captured on film with original sound thanks to an ingenious gramophone system. and a can-can by Gabrielle Réjane - captured on film with original sound thanks to an ingenious gramophone system.
Following a century in obscurity, these startling short films - many of them in hand-tinted colour - have been restored by the Cinematheque Francaise, and are screened here for the first time in the UK. The material without sound will be accompanied by a live trio led by pianist and arranger John Sweeney.
This premiere is presented by Flatpack Film Festival, which runs in venues across Birmingham from 20-30 March, in partnership with The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and Cultural Engagement, as part of Arts & Science Festival 2014 - a week-long celebration of ideas, research and collaboration across campus. For details of the full programme, visit: www.birmingham.ac.uk/artsandsciencefestival.