Blog: Alison Strauss, Arts Development Officer (Film & Media)

Alison Strauss, our Arts Development Officer (Film & Media) tells us what's on at the Bo'ness Hippodrome between September and November.

September is an exciting month for cinema, when film organisations, programmers and film fans come together to share their belief that watching a film as part of an audience is something important, valuable and worth championing. This collective of enthusiasts goes by the name ‘Scalarama’ (or ‘Scaledonia’ for Scotland!).

At the Hippodrome we have embraced this celebration with a line-up of three quirky classics: ‘The Glitterball’ – one of the Children’s Film Foundation’s most memorable features; ‘Sidewalk Stories’ – a contemporary silent echoing Chaplin’s ‘The Kid’; and, drum roll please...‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ – celebrated 1920 horror featuring the original mad scientist, with, for one night only, live piano accompaniment from expert silent film improviser Mike Nolan.

For more live musical accompaniment I am thrilled to announce that we’re welcoming back Stephen Horne – Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema headliner and master of piano, accordion and flute – to perform his own score recreating ‘A Night at the Cinema in 1914’. This marvellous selection of 14 short films from the BFI National Archive will give you a real taste of what it felt like to go to the pictures a hundred years ago. And where better to experience that than in a hundred-year-old cinema? We’re also inviting you to truly get into the spirit of the evening by wearing period dress, and be welcomed by none other than the original Hippodrome proprietor himself: ‘Mr Louis Dickson’.

Scotland’s film archives have also been extensively trawled through by filmmaker Virginia Heath to create the most extraordinary film I’ve seen in a long time – the impassioned love-letter to and from Scotland: ‘From Scotland with Love’. Made entirely of clips from a dazzling selection of Scottish non-fiction films, from the very earliest amateur films and ”topicals”, to ‘fifties home movies and professional documentaries, this is an un-sentimentalised and uplifting vision of the peoples’ history, with a beautiful score by Fife-based King Creosote. It really is a must-see!

Talking of ‘the people’s history’, we present a screening event for a new film charting the ‘eighties miner’s strike, and told from the point of view of the key protagonists of the time. ‘Still the Enemy Within’ screens with an introduction and Q&A from the production team and on-screen participants. We continue the miners’ strike theme with live and encore screenings of the stage smash-hit ‘Billy Elliot: The Musical’, and the following week ‘Pride’ – already hailed as the new ‘Full Monty’ – a factor-ten feel-good film about a little-told moment in miners’ union history.

In October we take part in both Luminate and Discovery – festivals that respectively celebrate older and younger audiences. This year’s exciting offerings include two films celebrating independent and inspirational older women and, in our popular Saturday morning slot, a chance to introduce youngsters to the best of new cinema from around the world: ‘Shorts for Wee Ones’, this season’s Jeely Jar Special.

Do remember to look in to the Hippodrome during Bo’ness’ Big Roman Week celebrations (13 – 21 September), especially for our Roman-related screening of the hilarious, Oscar-winning ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ starring Zero Mostel, of ‘The Producers’ fame, and Buster Keaton in his final film role.

While you’re here look out for our new Gift Vouchers available in denominations of £10, £5 and £1! Launching over the October week we’ll be hosting competitions and giveaways to win vouchers that can be used to buy tickets and refreshments at the Hippodrome, FTH and Callendar House. Just ask our friendly venues team for more information.

See you soon... !

Alison Strauss

Published on Tuesday, 26th August 2014

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