Monday, 23 November 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 344: Thu Dec 10

7th Heaven (Borzage, 1927): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 7.30pm

This is part of the BFI Love season and here is James Bell's introduction to tonight's special screening of a silent film classic:
Sonic Cinema has teamed up with the formidable talents of British musical powerhouses KT Tunstall, Mara Carlyle and composer Max de Wardener to present a brand new BFI-commissioned score to Borzage’s classic. Perhaps the most sublimely lyrical of all the silent-era romances, this tale of transformational love sees Charles Farrell’s sewage worker and Janet Gaynor’s street waif rise above poverty and war to be together. Martin Scorsese’s observation that Borzage’s films unfold in ‘lover’s time’ was never more apt, and the tender emotions Borzage captures build to an unforgettable, transcendental climax.
Chicago Reader review:
Frank Borzage won an Academy Award for his direction of this 1927 romance, and it remains the best known of his silent films. Janet Gaynor (who also won an Oscar) is a Parisian waif taken in by free spirit Charles Farrell; their love deepens as the clouds of World War I gather and Farrell is drafted and sent to the front. With its theme of sheltering love and its justly celebrated ending (perhaps the most serious assault on realism in the American cinema), the film is quintessential Borzage, though it seems rather simple in comparison to the masterworks that came later (including the semisequel Street Angel).
Dave Kehr

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