Hippodrome Festival 2012

Just under 2,000 tickets were snapped up by locals and visitors to Bo'ness attending the Hippodrome's second festival of silent film last year, and its centenary birthday celebrations on the 11th March.

HippFest 2012
2012 Festival Photography by Graeme MacDonald

The Festival, which featured a programme of well-loved classics and inspired archive discoveries, was also distinguished by a string of virtuosic live performances from the country's finest film accompanists, performers and broadcasters.

Audiences were treated to a wide variety of workshops, performances and films spanning all kinds of films from three decades of the silent era including the thriller 'A Cottage on Dartmoor', Japanese family drama 'I Was Born, But…', stirring melodrama 'The First Born', romantic comedy 'Show People', Scottish Screen Archive shorts and comedy features and two-reelers with the likes of Harold Lloyd, Charley Chase, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Twelve internationally acclaimed musicians were engaged over the three days to accompany these films, performing their own commissioned scores and improvised pieces on everything from piano, strings, brass and wood wind instruments to accordion and percussion, with Stephen Horne playing two instruments at the same time for his improvised accompaniment at the Laurel and Hardy triple-bill – with an accordion or flute in one hand and the other hand on the piano keys.

The Festival was characterised by a tremendous sense of audience involvement, with guests at the Opening dressing to the code of 'Hollywood Film Star', many taking up the invitation to participate in a fancy dress competition at the Jeely Jar screening, and even some drawn-on moustaches in honour of Douglas Fairbanks at the Closing Night. School children from the Bo'ness Public Primary School took part in a workshop exploring making music for images and images for music, and the Clanranald warriors led a band of trainee 'buccaneers' in a couple of sessions inspired by 'The Black Pirate'.

2012 Festival photography by Graeme MacDonald.

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Last updated: 09 February 2016 at 13:33