Hippodrome Festival 2013
The third Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema at the Hippodrome Bo'ness closed
on Sunday 17th March 2013 with a sold out Gala screening and live performance of
the world premiere of a new film score composed by Jane Gardner.
2013 Festival Photography by Graeme MacDonald
As the Hippodrome's red velvet curtains closed at the end of 'The Goose Woman' (1925),
the three musicians were met with thunderous applause, drumming of feet and cheers
and whistles. The musical accompaniment for the sensational final screening in the
Festival was performed by Jane Gardner on piano and flugelhorn, Hazel Morrison on
percussion and Su-a Lee on cello and musical saw.
Jane Gardner's piece was beautiful and haunting with eloquent musical themes emerging
for the cast of characters – peppy jazz for the estranged son played by Jack Pickford
(brother of Mary), cock-sure brass for the suave romantic rival and, most hauntingly,
the eerie and almost uncanny musical saw, expressing the voice of the faded opera
star who tries to reclaim her former glory by pretending she had witnessed a murder
to attract media attention. The music perfectly expressed the film's emotional power
and effortlessly took the audience from high drama, to comic moments and delicate
The score and pre-event workshop with music students at local secondary school Bo'ness
Academy were supported with funds from the PRS for Music Foundation, whilst the
screening of 'The Goose Woman' was by arrangement with Photoplay Productions.
The screening and performance of 'The Goose Woman' marked the close of the five
day Festival. 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.
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.
Festival attendances were up by 25% compared with last year's event and the town
of Bo'ness enjoyed a large number of visitors to its shops, restaurants and local
attractions during the five-day Festival. Local business and significant employer
in the area: Caledonian Produce (Bakkavor), came on board with funding support,
Bo'ness cake specialist Absolutely Sweet donated silent film themed cup-cakes and
Bo'ness Town Bistro donated canapés.
2013 Festival photography by Graeme MacDonald.